They are certainly the brightest selection on our shelves, but Murray McDavid are much more than an eye catching label.
They are one of the few Independent Bottlers than offer a range of Whisky styles, from Grain to Single Malt to Blended Malt, they cross the range in style, both in appearance, selection and, most importantly, taste!
Established in 1996 by whisky legends Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin and Gordon Wright who had together purchased Bruichladdich Distillery in 2000 and had appointed Jim McEwan, formerly of Bowmore, as their distiller. The collaboration of Mark’s Wine history and Simon, Gordon and Jim’s Whisky Expertise led to the exciting finishes which Murray McDavid has to offer.
Based at the Coleburn Distillery in Linkwood, Murray McDavid have the perfect set up in which to experiment, nurture and blend the range.
We brought the Murray McDavid range into the Inverurie Whisky Shop late last year and held a tasting at the beginning of 2017 to help launch the relatively unknown name to the public. The tasting was probably one of the best ranges of whisky we have witnessed at such an event and since, the popularity of Murray McDavid has certainly grown. In the first of a two part look at the range, here are some of my own takes on their fantastic selection.
Siar Port is MMD’s expression of Westport Blended Malt, which most of you will know is Glenmorangie whisky teaspooned with Glen Moray. The nose is extremely delicate, showing no alcoholic burn or heat. Hints of toffee, with creme brûlée and light sherry tones come through. The colour is a light straw yellow.
This whisky has an oily texture, lightly spiced and full bodied. Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, more Creme Brûlée, biscuit and cooked orchard fruits on the palate. A very moreish finish which lasts for the best part of a minute. Adding a drop of water opens up more sweet chocolate flavours and hints of dark chocolate bitterness on the finish.
A very sweet nose, with hints of Aniseed warmth and depth. Reminiscent of a bag of Jelly Fruit pick n mix!
On the palate the first thing that I notice is a very drying texture, almost lip numbing dryness but this is followed by full on flavour. Cherry Fruit Cake initially, with a nutty, marzipan flavour coming through. Vanilla and Butterscotch play second fiddle to a Fruit onslaught in this tremendously enjoyable whisky.
The finish is dry and mouth-sapping and quite acrid, but in a good way. Almost lemon sherbet flavour. The addition of water tempers the fruit and allows more butterscotch and vanilla to come through.
The ruby red colour comes from French Oak Allier Casks, which the Whisky was finished in after maturing in American Oak Ex-Bourbon.
There are a lot of Christmas flavour to taste in here, cinnamon, Christmas fruit cake, cloves, mulled spices all backed up with vanilla fudge and butterscotch. Hints of oak are in there, especially with the addition of water.
A remarkable Blended malt, created using Glenrothes, Bruichladdich, Glengoyne and Tamdhu Malts, alongside Cameronbrig and North British Grains married together and finished at Coleburn in Sherry Casks.
This 21 year old Single Malt from Mortlach hits you straight away with a dark chocolate orange blast, hints of smoke and burnt wood.
To taste it is remarkably smooth despite it’s 50.4% ABV. Toffee and Vanilla fudge are abundant, with dried fruits, citrus notes and rum raisin. It’s creamy texture fills the palate and keeps the flour clinging to your mouth for a heavenly lifetime. If you want a much more chocolatey hit add a splash of water, and be prepared for more tropical citrus flavors and vanilla. This whisky has shot into my all time top ten, possibly top five whiskies.
We will be looking more into Murray McDavid next week with the release of some new whiskies, including a very exciting whisky from a rather well known Orkney Distillery….