Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years Review

Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years Review

The Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years is a blended scotch whisky made from a variety of single malt and single grain whiskies each aged 30 years and comes in at a ratio of 75% malt to 25% grain. The reason they do this is to recapture “…a tradition that has sadly been lost over time, with today’s blended whiskies rarely offering more than 20% malt.”

It’s great that they’re “…proud to recapture the original spirit and vision of the early distillers, bringing this exceptional blend featuring 75% single malt, finished in sherry casks for 8 months”. The additional sherry mellowing is nice as it’s a likely candidate for why this whisky feels so cohesive and balanced. For something this old and finished in sherry casks the price is pretty good. I just wish it was delivered in a more natural state and we knew a bit more about what malts and grain(s) are in the Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years.

For whisky geeks like us it’s always fun to know as much about a whisky as possible and we appreciate things like higher proofs, non-chill filtering and natural color. Though at a conceptual level I know why they do it.

If the Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years, or any of their other 40% whiskies, was delivered at even 46%, let alone cask strength, they’d have to pay more taxes on it. Though that increase could be offloaded to willing customers so that’s a poor excuse and not the theory I’m referring to – it’s mass market appeal.

All of the top selling whiskies in the world come in at 40-43% and are chill filtered because the mass consumer wants a “smooth” whisky and if you want to play in that mass market and appeal to the general Trader Joe’s and Costco consumer you can’t challenge that customer too much. You have to give them a smooth whisky at a surprising value.

Alexander Murray isn’t a NDP that’s pointed at whisky nerds like Cadenhead’s, Blackadder, Signatory, Single Cask Nation or even Hepburn’s. They’re point at the general consumer and to target them you have to release things like this Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years at 40% so it’s soft and smooth. You have to chill filter it so the masses don’t freak out about flocking and you have to add color to your young whisky so it “looks right”.

I’m not saying I like those practices, nor are they what I look for in a whisky, but I get it. If you want to play in the mass market you need to release stuff in a mass-market friendly manner. If you want to play in the whisky nerd market then you release stuff in a whisky-nerd friendly manner. It’s all about who your target audience is.

Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years Info

Region: Scotland

Bottler: Alexander Murray
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Age: 30 Years
ABV: 40%

Price: $140*

Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years Review

EYE
Orangish caramel

NOSE
Pears, apples, malt, toffee, vanilla beans, fresh pastries and some saline. Light notes of waxy licorice, spice, dried strawberries and cotton candy dance on through as well. It’s a pleasant aroma, I just wish it had more depth to it. It’s a bit on the light side.

PALATE
Apples, pears, bananas, malt, caramel, spice, peat, toasted pastries and light bits of waxy licorice, dried dark fruit, menthol and cocoa. The peat didn’t really come through on the nose, but here on the palate it’s noticeable and adds a nice facet to the whisky.

FINISH
Medium roll out of fruit, malt, toffee, peat, waxy chocolate licorice and Canadian mints.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, medium body and a soft smooth feel.

OVERALL
Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years isn’t too shabby of a whisky. I could drink this one any day of the week and be quite happy with it, and $140 for a 30 year whisky is a decent value these days if you gauge your whisky by such measures. The aroma comes across like something from the highlands or even Campbell town with its overall sweet malty character while the palate comes through in a similar manner though with a bit more smoke.

My only gripe with the Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years is the same gripe I have with a lot of whiskies and I can’t help but wonder how much deeper, how much more robust and how much more exciting this would be if delivered at least at 50%, if possible, and non-chill filtered. How much more amazing would this be if more of that 30 year character was left intact.

SCORE: 87/100 (B+)

*Disclosure: This Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 87
  • Palate - 87
  • Finish - 87
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 87

Summary

Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years is good and a decent value, but could be better at 46%+ & NCF.

Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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4 Responses to Alexander Murray Monumental 30 Years Review

  1. Josh I think its great you get the opportunity to taste a variety of whiskys/whiskies that might be hard to find otherwise. I’m jealous! Out of curiosity, what is the size of the tasting samples they send you. Is it just enough to form an opinion, or that and a little more to enjoy?

    • Thanks Bryce. Most samples are 1 – 2 oz which is just enough to get a good taste. Every once in a while it’ll be 3 – 5 oz and that’s when there’s a bit extra to enjoy after. And then some folks send a whole bottle and those I definitely get to enjoy 😀

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