Whisky Focus - Glen Moray Rioja Cask Matured and Peated Rioja Cask Finish Reviews

Glen Moray Rioja Cask Matured and Peated Rioja Cask Finish

18th June 2024
Glen Moray distillery has unveiled their next two Warehouse 1 experiments, the Glen Moray 2015 Rioja Cask Matured and Glen Moray 2012 Peated Rioja Cask Finish and they are as I have come to expect from this series, outstanding.

Glen Moray Warehouse 1 Rioja Cask Matured and Peated Rioja Cask Finish

With the two latest limited edition single malt whisky instalments in their experimental Warehouse 1 Collection Glen Moray distillery are giving whisky fans the opportunity explore the rich depths that Rioja red wine casks can bring to a whisky, the two new whiskies are – Glen Moray Rioja Cask Matured and Glen Moray Peated Rioja Cask Finish.

The two whiskies have been created from some of the distillery’s earliest experiments with Rioja casks. As part of their Warehouse 1 experiments, Glen Moray’s whisky makers sourced Rioja red wine casks from Spain, curious to explore how the wood’s rich tannins and stone-fruit flavours would influence their whisky.

They began by aging new-make spirit in these casks for a full maturation, resulting in the deep and fruity Glen Moray Rioja Cask Matured expression. Glen Moray tells me that this 8 Year Old whisky layers notes of cherries and plums with hints of leather and oak, offering a uniquely full-bodied take on the distillery’s classic Speyside style.

A few years later, with a different whisky in mind, they transferred a lightly peated Glen Moray whisky aged in bourbon casks into Rioja casks for an innovative finish. Aged 11 years, Glen Moray Peated Rioja Cask Finish it is described as soft and gently smoky, blending sweet notes of plums and cherries with hints of distant bonfires, adding a new dimension to Glen Moray's spirit.

Commenting on the two new releases, Glen Moray Brand Ambassador Iain Allan said: "The whiskies of our Warehouse 1 Collection are among some of our most intriguing single malts. And these two limited editions aged in Rioja red wine casks are sure to appeal to inquisitive whisky enthusiasts. Deep and fruity, with notes of cherries, plums and leather, Glen Moray Rioja Matured is a dram as rich as it is rare, whilst our Peated Rioja Finish offers a delicious smoky take on our Speyside whisky. We are confident that both will appeal to the whisky lovers worldwide."

The Glen Moray Rioja Cask Matured 2015 has a RRP of £86.75 and Glen Moray Peated Rioja Cask Finish 2012 has a RRP of £104.50, each have been bottled naturally coloured, non-chill filtered and at cask strength. You can read my thoughts on each of the whiskies below.

You will find the Warehouse 1 Glen Moray Rioja Cask Matured 2015 and Glen Moray Peated Rioja Cask Finish 2012 available f
rom specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

Glen Moray Warehouse 1 2015 Rioja Cask Matured Review

Bottled naturally coloured, non-chill filtered at 59.8% ABV.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A little floral, a lovely gentle sweet toasted vanilla oak, slightly burnt raisin, plum, and a little dark chocolate.

Taste: A delicious mildly candied sweet dark berry fruity delivery comes with a lovely bitter dark chocolate edge keeping the sugars in check, a little honeyed oak tannin and some gentle pepper.

Finish: The delicious sweet dark berry fruits continues long into the finish before eventually bittering out to leave a slightly drying mix of lingering tobacco and pepper dusted oak.

Comment: As fans of the Glen Moray Warehouse 1 Collection will know by now, the distillery does like to offer whisky drinkers something off the normal beaten track and something rather special which it has undoubtedly done here with this rather tasty 8 year old dram which has fully matured in a Rioja cask, the fruit rich dram offers a delicious balance of bitter/sweet and the 59.8% ABV simply adds to the flavour pleasure in the mouth. A stunning dram from a top quality Rioja wine cask. I would hope they have another cask of this quietly maturing in Warehouse 1 as this could be very special in another 5 or 10 years

SMW Whisky Score 90/100

Glen Moray Warehouse 1 2012 Peated Rioja Cask Finish Review

Bottled naturally coloured, non-chill filtered at 58.8% ABV.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Sweet vanilla toffee infused with a lovely gentle peat smoke and equally gentle wine soaked raisin and sultana fruitiness.

Taste: Sugar fuelled gentle bonfire peat smoke alongside a delicious wine soaked raisin, sultana and plum fruity mix leads the delicious first wave closely followed by a little honeyed oak tannin and some lovely gentle pepper.

Finish: A deliciously long rich sweet, peaty, fruity, spicy finish. The fruit is eventually overthrown by the slightly drying oak and spice and the lovely gentle sweet peat out lasts them all.

Comment: An absolutely delicious balance of sugar charged grape and Glen Moray's gentle sweet peat smoke has made for an absolutely outstanding dram. I would love to see this become a permanent addition to the Glen Moray core range, a Glen Moray Peated Rioja Finish 11ish Year Old sounds good to me and it certainly tastes good, how about it, the powers that be at Glen Moray?

SMW Whisky Score 93/100

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