Whiskies matured exclusively in first-fill Bourbon casks can be a bit vulgar in my experience, with an abundance of vanilla and intrusive tropical fruit notes. Glad to report this isn't the case here. The new(-ish) Glen Moray 18 is fresh and juicy without being over-the-top fruity, well-rounded without being bland, and it comes boasting a nicely measured cask influence that provides mature wood notes without turning overly oaky.
I find that there's always something "dusty" about Glen Moray's distillate (think old books / libraries / time-worn wood-panelled offices), and while this impression is not exactly foregrounded here, it's still discernible, and beautifully merged with the effects of barrel aging.
In other words: this is a modern 18-year-old that actually noses like its stated age but still provides some youthful energy, especially on the palate. An extremely juicy whisky, with a pronounced acidity that is held in check by the tartness of oak tannins and the aforementioned distillery character. It's 1) fresh and sparkly and 2) settled and mature, all at the same time.
The finish, however, could be longer and better defined. It's also too peppery and - surprisingly, given the use of first-fill ex-Bourbon casks - too much on the sour/bitter side for my taste, which takes it down a notch.
All in all, more of an apéritif and/or summer whisky. If you're looking for a Bourbon-cask-matured dram that still resonates after a long and many-flavored meal, you're better off opting for a bottle of, say, Glen Scotia 15. However, if you do occasionally enjoy the lighter and brighter side of things, this is a good choice. To be clear, this is not underpowered by any means, due to the increased ABV, but it is somewhat subtle. Value-for-money ratio is questionable, too.