Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Glen Moray Tasting, Highland Park 21, Kirkland 24

Let’s go through some single malts backlog

Glen Moray tasting here… mostly quick blurbs… These aren’t particularly special but an interesting lineup for a tasting side by side.

A bottle of theirs previously reviewed here: https://www.aerin.or … y:entry210402-212140

Glen Moray NAS, 40%
Nose: Loud and clear orchard and tropical fruits. Fairly thin body, slightly metallic but fruity and malty palate. Little bit of spiced tropical fruits on reasonably short aftertaste. Overall: Like a blank canvass, nothing special but nothing wrong either. Little too bitter on the secondary notes… but it could be my palate at this particular time. Highball this or don’t bother.
Score: D+

Glen Moray Sherry Cask Finish, 40%
Nose: Dark orchard fruits, plums, some sherry funk. Yet another thin and somewhat sweet palate that is unfortunately somewhat watery. Little bitterness from the base malt works well with sherry sweetness giving it a bit of sweet nutty perception. Medium-long and quite spicy aftertaste with peppers and cinnamon rolling towards the back of it. Overall: Thin but reasonably enjoyable. The sherry notes help a lot but it’s more a suggestion of sherry rather than actually any concentration of such. Really should not be a 40%abv. Erring towards the lower grade, with a very big plus vs B- as it offers nothing of real substance other than perhaps a solid value and I don’t calculate value in grading.
Score: C+

Glen Moray Port Cask Finish, 40%
Nose: Sweet tropical fruits on this one or perhaps sun-dried ones. Surprisingly strong whiff of alcohol too for the proof spoils the fruit salad bringing varnish notes. Nearly flat, if a little sweet palate. Lots and lots spices on the aftertaste. Overall: Drinkable, and enjoyably spicy… This isn’t offering anything that sherry doesn’t and palate falls somehow a bit flat with roaring (as much as a 40% can) spicy (szechuan peppers, cloves, all spice) aftertaste. Yet again, extremely un-inspiring, yet cheap single malt.
Score: C

Glen Moray Cabernet Cask Finish, 40%
Nose: Sweet nutty and a while wine-y. Palate is enjoyably sweet, flavorful and a little spicy. More spice towards the aftertaste as seems to be the norm with these Glen Morays. Overall: arguably the best of the 4 set i have tried. Still too thin but with wine cask this seems to be the most balanced/flavorful combination.
Score: B

Highland Park 21, The Sovereign, K&L SP, 52%
A small distraction from random samples and a tasty treat for myself. Also a quick note that in a blind taste test Full Volume (17) Highland Park is tasted better than Highland Park the Light with fruitier and smoother experience vs the light’s more wild and ashier palate. I should probably stop reviewing highland parks at this point as I seem to have a bunch of different ones reviewed already. That distillery got a lot of bottlings, heh. The sample is generously provided by Orpheus. The nose is nutty tropical fruits as is typical with good bourbon casks with a bit of smoke coming through. Mineral-rich and tropical palate with quite a solid core of slightly rough smokiness. Though sweet so it’s more of wood smoke rather than salty seaweed. The spices soar high and then linger for quite a while in a long and little tobacco-y aftertaste. Overall: Slightly too peaty for me, yet still borders on the edge of greatness. I’m sure someone would absolutely love it… Not super well integrated together yet great each on its own elements. This somehow reminds me a bit of The Light experience. Blindly, I’d have given it lower score than will when drinking it fully aware. Value: At $299 in 2018… Sorry but no cigar. Iffy value then, somewhat passable value now. Still, plenty of stuff under that price point with better specs out of independents. Interestingly, here the pre-order price was a full $100 less than the final list price… at $199 that’s a reasonable value nowadays in ‘22… and perhaps passable in 2018.
https://www.whiskyba … ighland-park-1996-hl
Score: A-

Kirkland Speyside 24 (2021), Alexander Murray, Sherry Cask, 46%
A Kirkland private label from Alexander Murray, this is a sherry cask finished speyside single malt that’s 24 year old. The color is… dark. Dusty old sherry on the nose, quite sweet with fruit jam. Somewhat nutty, sweet and sherried palate, yet not too sweet. This seems to have opened up a bit as i recall it more restrained when just opened. Little bits of leather, coffee and tobacco are all present. Medium-long mellow aftertaste of warm spice follows…. Overall: If you like your generic sherried malt to be unidentifiable, this is one for you. It’s actually rather tasty if a bit generic, in so much there’s nothing in there that indicates to me that this is somehow a 24 year of age. It could have been an 18 or 12 and I’d still believe it. Now, I actually quite enjoying it in a nightcap sort of way, tasty if a little uncomplicated with sherry hiding most of the imperfections and proof being in the right ballpark of 46% abv. Fundamentally, it’s extremely ‘generic’ yet also enjoyable enough to not care about the genericness. Value: IIRC it was ~80… on paper that’s a solid deal.
Score: B

Scoring Breakdown: https://www.aerin.or … age=scores_breakdown