Whisky Advocate

Review: Chieftain’s Glen Moray 1989 Vintage

July 19th, 2010

Chieftain’s (distilled at Glen Moray), 1989 vintage, 18 year old, 43% $90
Clean, simple, and straight-forward: malty and smooth, with cut grass, hay, a kiss of honey, and a hint gin botanicals. A nice whisky to introduce blend drinkers to the world of single malts.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 83

16 Responses to “Review: Chieftain’s Glen Moray 1989 Vintage”

  1. B.J. Reed says:

    Never know what to think of this distillery – Nothing great has really come out that I recall but nothing horrible either. I think it fits well in a profile for a distillery whose whisky is made primarily for blends – Of course there was always that Serendipity mistake – Now that is a mistake that made for a great whisky!

    • John Hansell says:

      Good point, BJ. That’s how I sort of think of Glen Moray too, based on my past experiences.

    • John says:

      I’ve never tried anything from Glen Moray, although I am just now starting to get into scotch. It sounds like I should add them to my “to try” list (far superior to a to-do list).

  2. Thomas Chen says:


    Would you have the chance to taste the 70 yo?

  3. CK says:

    B.J. – There was a 10 year old released by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society last year (I think) that I found wonderful. Malty, mature for its age, and earthy but sweet. Granted, this is the only sample I’ve ever had, but I really enjoyed it.

    John – “A nice whisky to introduce blend drinkers to the world of single malts.” While I know this is no dig at the quality of malt, I think it is like kryptonite to the seasoned whisky drinker. Do you insinuate with that comment that someone who is familiar with a wide spectrum of distilleries’ character might find this a little ‘boring’?

  4. Steffen Bräuner says:

    There’s been several really great Glen Moray’s out there and one is very recent, a 36yo bottled by Duncan Taylor, whisky doesnt get better than this in my opinion, it was a must buy for me

    Distillery wise they have the Mountain Oak which is a fine dram, and they also got a bottle your own bottle straigh from the cask, pretty good stuff, I had to get a bottle of that as well. I’ve been to several verticals at the distillery, mainly at SoS and tried many very good bottlings but often these have been single cask bottlings or small batches. The OB’s they have put out in large quantities fits the descriptions most gives above


  5. This Chieftain’s was great – spicy & salty, almost like a Pulteney.
    I’m excited the new Chieftains for the US will be 46% or cask strength!
    The Glencadam 22 is also very good – big honey note!

    • Joseph says:

      I agree, the Glencadam is rocking! I think it has a bit of a red wine finish and mouth feel. Maybe it was aged in that type of cask?
      The Glen Moray 18 reminded me of Cocoa Pebbles. Do you know when the 46% stuff gets here?

  6. kallaskander says:

    Hi there,

    in my opinion Glen Moray has a lot in common with Glenfiddich. Both are rather light in body and delicate in flavour. And both begin to be really good at higher ages.
    Now there begins the trouble. There is not much old Glen Moray around.

    But it is less expensive than Glenfiddich of the same age. And in this comparisson you have to leave out the Glenfiddich fame and everything that goes with it of course.


  7. James says:

    In my opinion Glen Moray is a rather neglected little starlet. It offers one of the best distillery tours in Scotland and its range is swelling at a considerable rate.

    I would urge anyone visiting the Speyside/Elgin area not to miss it, particularly if you are something of a novice as far as whisky production goes. There are no maltings, but the rest of the process is clearly displayed. You are led into not just one but two warehouses to demonstrate the contrasts between dunnage and palletised. In the former there are two casks with glass ends, filled on the same day, to show whisky maturing in the wood. As for drams at the end, you can choose between three standard bottlings to compare with the single cask Sherry available elsewhere in the visitors centre (which has a super cafe) to be bottled personally (as Steffen mentioned) for about £45. This last isn’t quite on a par with Aberlour’s, but is still very tasty.

    At £3 a tour, you can pay a lot more in Scottish distilleries for a lot less.

  8. Lawrence says:

    I’m with James on this; has anybody tried the Glen Moray 12yo OB latley? The current bottling available in the the USA is good. I was quite surprised since I had heard some negative things. It’s only $25 but it is good but being a light whisky it helps if you start with a clean palate (the first dram of the evening).

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