Glen Moray is located just outside the town of Elgin in Speyside. It originally started production in 1897 and the distillery was housed in a renovated brewery building. In 1920 the distillery was taken over by a family firm called Macdonald & Muir (they later became Glenmorangie PLC) and following a major reconstruction in the 1950s, the distillery has been operating ever since. Glenmorangie PLC was taken over by multi national drinks company Moet Hennessey in 2004. The distillery produces around 2 million litres per year and they mostly release this 'Classic', which has no age statement, as well as occasional other limited bottlings (12, 16, 20 and 32 years old). this 'Classic' whisky is positioned at the cheaper end of the market and as a result is in the top 10 single malt sellers in the UK.
The colour is very pale and the nose rips your nasal hair out! Not a great start and one that shows there is some very young whisky present. Young whiskies are more alcoholic and the other characteristics have not had time to mature, so this gives them a very prominent alcoholic burn on the nose and palate. This sensation is present in this Glen Moray and masks any other characteristics that may be present. It is a similar story on the palate. There is an initial blast of spirit and feels very rough, thin and almost fizzy in the mouth. Some other characters start to come through eventually, with some fairly pleasant maltiness and something herbal (imagine freshly cut grass) revealing themselves. Matt, my work colleague, tried this with a drop of water and said that it was less aggressive on the palate and fruitier (like dried fruits) but then suddenly became quite bitter. The finish is short and has a strange twist. It begins with that grassiness from the palate but then the last sensation you get is bitter and acrid, like something burning. This is not a great whisky by any stretch of the imagination. It is one dimensional and at times rough and unpleasant. However, it is cheap and cheerful (around £20 a bottle) and would be a decent option if you wanted a whisky to have with a mixer or in a cocktail.