In Scotland’s far north, the River Lossie runs through the ancient town of Elgin, whose history was first recorded in 1190 A.D.
The Glen Moray Distillery isn’t quite as old, dating back to 1897 when the original Elgin West Brewery converted to distilling from beer brewing. Unusual for the time, the company’s single malts were aged in a range of casks, a tradition that still holds today.
Only five master distillers have overseen the distillery in its 121-year history, allowing for remarkable consistency across its range of single malts. The current Master Distiller, Graham Coull, took the helm in 2005 from Edwin Dodson, an innovator known working with cask maturation in Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay casks.
“The small number of master distillers has ensured a consistent approach, but at the same time allowed each the time to impart their own character and personality on the distillery and the spirit.”
– Graham Coull, Glen Moray Master Distiller
We spoke with Graham about working at Glen Moray; here’s what he had to say.
Talk to us about Glen Moray Distillery.
Glen Moray Distillery is located in the heart of Speyside in the town of Elgin. The distillery has been operational for over 120 years, and during this time there have only been 5 master distillers at the helm.
What sets Glen Moray scotch apart from other whiskies on the market?
It can be very difficult to put your finger on what makes one distillery different from another. However, the fact that there have only been five master distillers managing and creating the spirit over such a long period of time is unique. It has ensured a consistent approach, but at the same time has allowed each master distiller the time to impart their own character and personality on the distillery and the spirit.
What would you like bartenders to know about Glen Moray Scotch?
The Glen Moray range offers something for everyone. The Classic range is young and fresh, and allows consumers to enjoy different twists of flavor ranging from American oak to port, sherry, and even a something a bit smokier with the peated expression. The Heritage range whiskies (which are 12, 15, and 18 years old) are rich in taste and character, well balanced, and complex.
What’s the best way to enjoy Glen Moray?
The only way to enjoy Glen Moray is how you like it! I would say, however, that whisky is a very sociable drink best enjoyed with friends sharing stories whilst enjoying the complexity of the spirit.
Anything coming down the pike for the brand that you’d like to share?
I’m constantly working with the Glen Moray spirit and experimenting with different cask types and flavor profiles. This year will see the release of a Glen Moray finished in Cabernet Sauvignon red wine casks sourced from France. Glen Moray has a long history of experimenting with wine casks, but this will be the first time that Cabernet casks have been used.