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Issue 52 - Time to raise its game (Glen Moray)

Whisky Magazine Issue 52
November 2005


This article is 12 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Time to raise its game (Glen Moray)

Glen Moray is Glenmorangie's third distillery and is somewhat forgotten,lying as it does in the shadow of Tain's finest and the wonderful Ardbeg.But is it underrated? The mystery visitor had a look…

The road to Glen Moray takes you past some rather smart housing, largely comprised of ‘executive villas' and climaxing in a mock gated estate (in Elgin?) rejoicing in the name of Bruceland Mansions.

I couldn't help reflecting on the contrast between this pretentious gentility and the honest-to-goodness approach immediately apparent at Glen Moray. Whatever do the Hyacinth Buckets of Bruceland Mansions make of the whisky pilgrims, I wondered. Did I imagine the tutting as I drove past and, was it my imagination, or did a curtain twitch?

I expect they'd really prefer to have Glenmorangie as their neighbour. After all, it's owned by the same company, but Glen Moray has been in its shadow for many years.

There's nothing you can put your finger on but, once you've been to Glenmorangie or Ardbeg, Glen Moray has a slightly hang-dog air. It looks a bit like the little kid wearing his big brother's hand-me-downs – the school blazer that's just too big and the serviceable trousers, complete with patch.

This impression is perhaps derived from the giant fibreglass tank that greets you on arrival and the grubby corrugated sheet that forms the slab-sided wall of the malt store.

It was certainly compounded by the arrival of our guide, who I shall call D——. Apiratical ear ring glinted in the sunshine, but couldn't distract from the haircut, silver thumb ring and prominent eye-brow piercing. Where else, I wondered?

However, let's not go there because D—— was a great reminder n...

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