Windswept “The Wolf of Glen Moray” Whisky Barrel-Aged Wee Heavy

Name: The Wolf of Glen Moray
Brewer: Windswept Brewing Co. (Scotland, United Kingdom)
Style: Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (Base Style: Wee Heavy)
ABV: 9.2%
Review Year: 2020

The Wolf of Glen Moray is a Scotch Ale/ Wee Heavy brewed by the award-winning brewery from the Scottish Highlands, Windswept Brewing Co. This Wee Heavy was aged in casks that housed formerly Glen Moray whisky.

Established in 2012 by two former Royal Air Force pilots, Windswept is a brewery that produces award-winning ales in the heart of the Speyside. Windswept has since been a serial recipient of awards from various associations/ competitions such as the Society of Independent Brewers Association (SIBA). The Wolf of Glen Moray is one of those lauded brews, bringing home the silver award from the 2014 SIBA National Beer Competition.

Generalizations on Speyside whisky are trite, but the region is also home to some beautiful examples of what Scotch whisky can be sans peat. Others note that whiskies from this region are also known for being full of fruit and are commonly matured in Sherry casks. Apple, pear, honey, vanilla, and spice are some Speyside hallmarks.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B) with the Wee Heavy (17C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.

TASTING NOTES

Cleary ruby brown; brown head with good retention. The nose evoked scenes of winter in a log cabin: caramel and plum; hints of alcohol, roasted malt, and some earthiness. Medium-full-bodied with carbonation slightly below moderate. Not syrupy. Rich caramel-like malt sweetness and a nutty character at the forefront; supportive plum and apple. Lightly oaky, smoky (not peaty), tannic, and fruity-sweet whisky surfaces late and continue into the aftertaste leaving the palate dry and slightly puckering.


THE VERDICT

Scenes of winter in a log cabin by the fireplace. Plums and nuts in a bowl paired with a dram of Speyside whisky. The Wolf of Glen Moray is a well-executed cask-conditioned Wee Heavy that features a complex profile mainly of caramel, plum, nuts, roasted malt, and oak. This sipper highlighted the rich sweet malt-forward makeup of a Wee Heavy alongside the supplementing roasted malt character. We also think the oaky, tannic, and fruity-sweet qualities– most likely derived from the barrel– really blended well with the mentioned Wee Heavy hallmarks. Excellent.

 

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