Cragganmore Distillery Bottlings Tasting Notes

Posted: August 19, 2011 in Cragganmore, Scotch Whisky A-G

Cragganmore 12 year old 40%

Tasted: Aug 2005

A clean nose of slightly honeyed sherry infused fruit and bourbon oak along with a touch of smoke and orange fruit. Fairly light in body with some delicate sherried fruit, bourbon oak and a fleeting whiff of smoke. Short, uneventful and a bit ordinary to be honest.

Cragganmore Distillers Edition 1988 (14year old) 40%

Port finished/ Dist: 1988 Btl: 2002/ Tasted: Apr 2009

A deep, earthy and rich and honeyed nose. Surprisingly attractive and not dull! There a hint of sweet red fruit – berries and cherries, rum soaked raisins and hints of smoke and brine. It’s very rich for a Cragganmore and you would almost believe that some sherry is at work here.

The palate is soft and juicy with the red fruit port finish being very well integrated. It’s subtle and earthy with soft spices, but the middle is really tannic and where’s the finish? Far too woody! If only the 12 year old showed the richness character which was evident on the nose.

Cragganmore ‘Friends of the Classic Malts Edition’ 14 year old 40%

Dist: 1996 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: Dec 2011

A beautiful honeyed nose, oozing tropical fruit and subtle, yet blanketing sherry notes. Seriously deep with some delicate citrus just peeking through. Seriously fragrant and expressive nose!

Soft and voluptuous on the palate, opening with honey glazed barley and malt. The sherry imparts some lovely earthy spice on the middle and adds a subtle but noticeable depth. Some tart citrus balances and the granity Spey character becomes more evident towards the finish but some lovely, juicy malt keeps it under control. A seriously stunning Cragganmore, which put’s the 12 year old to shame!

Cragganmore 1998 (25 year old) 51.4%

American oak and refill European oak.

2014 Special Release/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Silky and spicy sherry wood on the nose with green nuts and hints of coffee, fig and raisins. With time the sawdusty American oak appears along with hints of muscavado sugar and leather.

Sweet dried, raisin and fig to begin with on the palate with drying, lightly coffee’d tannins on the middle. A touch of tart citrus appears but the sherry wood starts to bitter but adds a layer of cocoa. Very spicy finish with the dusty American oak coming through along with a touch of sweet barley, and mouth-watering citrus notes. Still a little tannic on the after-taste.

Diluted, the nose shows more of the American oak character with a touch of sandalwood and violets. The palate likewise shows more of the American oak and barley. Softly spiced and still a little bitter with more milk chocolate now. A touch of smoked meat and cedar comes through on the finish along with the dusty oak and sweet tannins.

Cragganmore 25 year old 51.4%

Tasted: Apr 2016

Nose: Intense oxidised fruit and herbs. Oozing maturity, with dusty oak and gorgeous tropical banana, apricot and pear. Stunningly deep with a touch of barley and creamier oak. Water brings out some waxy citrus.

Palate: Full and gently honeyed with barley, toasty oak and a wonderfully mature oxidised fruit and lightly herbal rancio. Intensely alcoholic, which is putting the brakes on a little. Water opens it and emphasises the juicy citrus.

Finish: Gorgeous length with the dusty American oak coming through. Mouth-watering and fruity although it needs diluting to bring out the softness and hints of heather and violets.

Conclusion: A stunning dram! Sensational neat or with water. Now that’s how I like my Speys!

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