Archive for the ‘Craigellachie’ Category

Carn Mor Strictly Limited Craigellachie 2006 (10 year old) 46%

Tasted: Dec 2017

A little hard but quite mineral on the nose. Citric (lime) with barley and subtly creamy oak. With time the barley becomes quite fragrant.

Malty and full on the palate with barley, lime, minerals and a touch of oak. Hints of greengage on the middle. Good length, if a little hot and minerally.


Claxton’s ‘The Single Cask’ Craigellachie 2008 (8 year old) 57.3%

Bourbon Hogshead 1724-4280/ Dist: Nov 2008 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

Very sulphured and feinty with cold tea and a serious cardboard overload! Beneath there’s possibly hints of barley and grass, but who knows!

The palate is not quite as bad as the nose, but it’s still cardboardy with hints cereal, sugar and citrus. Again there’s a cold tea note and it finishes with lingering cardboard.

A drop of water brings out some lemon and vanilla on the nose and palate but the spirit is pretty poor and I doubt leaving in the cask for another decade would do a lot for it!

Coopers Choice Craigellachie 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Cask 9464. Port Finish/ Dist: 2008 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: May 2016

Aromas of hard barley and sweet, almost cloying, syrupy/ jammy red fruits. Hints of manure, pepper, rubber, straw and earthy fruit follow. Natural? Yes! Stinky? Definitely! Slightly grubby? Absolutely! Enjoyable?…. Er… No!

The palate is sweet, sickly, sticky and jammy with red fruit, manure and pepper. The port has swamped the finish, which probably isn’t a bad thing as this Craigellachie is definitely of the industrial persuasion! Medium length with a hot, tannic finish. Although it has a pleasant spicy after-taste, that is nowhere near enough to redeem it!

Craigellachie 2007 (7 year old) 66%

Sherry Butt 900771/ Tasted: Mar 2016

Nose: Intensely barley’d with baked fruit, herbs and beeswax. Slightly metallic with some faintly cardboardy spice and industrial notes. Water completely transforms it bringing out a Sauvignon blanc-esque grassy critic character.

Palate: Industrial hard barley with a touch of honey, malt and like the nose faintly cardboard spice. Unsurprisingly it’s pretty alcoholic too. Water makes it vague and more cardboard.

Finish: Very herbal and alcoholic with a touch of rose petal marc.

Conclusion: Dilution completely transforms the nose for the better; unfortunately water doesn’t produce the same transformation on the palate.

Edition Spirits Craigellachie 1995 (19 year old) 54.6%

Sherry/ Code: EDI0111/ Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: Aug 2015?/ Tasted: Oct 2015

Initially the aromas are a little hard with baked green apple fruit. However some fragrant barley appears to add balance along with some aromatic vanillins.

The palate opens with the soft, creamy vanilla with a little hard barley beneath. Hints of lime and apple come through on the middle and the citrus notes really step up a gear or two! Crisp, slightly austere finish.

Water makes the nose a little more honeyed and fragrant with hints of dusty oak and a little more green fruit. The palate is simpler with the oak being the dominant theme.

Edition Spirits ‘The First Edition’ Craigellachie 1995 (20 year old) 54.4%

Sherry Butt/ Code: EDI0151/ Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: May 2017

Soft, fragrant barley on the nose with hints of spicy, dried fruit, raisin, prune and sultana. A touch of sweet rose petal appears along with almond, maraschino cherry and walnuts. All in all it’s a lovely nose.

The palate opens with sweet honey and rose petals, followed by the spicy dried fruit, vanilla, pepper and coriander powder. Good grip and intensity with some mineral notes augmenting the dried fruit. Tangy finish with the minerality lingering.

Craigellachie 13 year old 46%

Tasted: Apr 2015

Nose: A beautiful, crisp and mineral nose with fragrant honey and hints of apricot, orange, tangerine and peach. With time hints of mocha and toasted oak appear.

Palate: The palate mirrors the crisp, mineral character of the nose except it is showing a little more barley and a greater degree of oiliness. Relatively straightforward but pleasantly honeyed and very deep.

Finish: Delightfully long and mineraly with lingering barley.

Conclusion: A lovely, vibrant malt with what appears to be plenty of Highland character. (Mind, it’ll probably turn out to be to from somewhere completely different though!) [tasted blind] 

Craigellachie 15 year old 46%

Tasted: July 2015

Nose: Luscious and honeyed with some superbly balancing citrus, grass and mineral notes along with a good dollop of sweet barley for good measure! With time some floral notes and a touch of vanilla emerges.

Palate: Opens with a little more oak and oily, nutty cereal. Still the honey refuses to be dominated and is shot through with a subtle but enthusiastic thread of citrus and minerals. Hints of gentle spice are unlocked in the middle.

Finish: Lovely, bracing mineral finish with lingering barley and honey.

Conclusion: A classic Spey which delivers everything a good Spey should do. 

Craigellachie 17 year old 46%

Tasted: May 2015

The nose opens with slightly hard, earthy barley with hints of herbs and a touch of smoke. Hints of perfumed flowers appear along with some honey and spice.

The palate is a little watery for 46%. There are hints of sweet barley, toffee, apricot, dried fruit and herbs. Medium length with a hard barley and perfumed finish. It’s not as fresh or as clean as the 13 year old.

Craigellachie 19 year old 46%

Tasted: June 2016

Nose: Dusty, malty and earthy with a faint industrial note, however some honey and lightly creamy oak balances. Showing some maturity with a late herbal/ grassiness.

Palate: Begins a little austere until the honey and creamy oak arrives. Hints of barley, dusty oak, coffee and malt on the middle along with a slight industrial note.

Finish: Long and a little hot with a dry barley and straw finish. The creamy oak lingers pleasantly.

Conclusion: It has charm and thankfully enough sweet honey and creamy oak to balance its industrial character.

Craigellachie 23 year old 46%

Tasted: Nov 2015

Nose: Intense and very herbal with heather, barley, honey and taught oak. Gentle tropical aromas of melon, apricot, green apple and guava appear and with time a touch of wood spice and vanilla.

Palate: A lovely mouthful of subtle sawdusty oak, tropical melon and apricot with gentle herbal notes. Stunning depth with a superb honeyed sheen. Develops citrus, spice and light stony notes on the middle.

Finish: Long, stony and very citric but the succulent honey returns to balances.

Conclusion: Damn that’s good. A seriously complex and classy malt. Can I have some more please Mr Distillery Manager! 

Craigellachie 23 year old 46%

Re-Tasted: Dec 2015

Nose: Dense, earthy and barley’d with hints of dried fruit, citrus rind and nutty/ toasty oak. Slightly Cognac-esque and showing a lovely, dusty maturity.

Palate: Fuller and sweeter than the nose with again a slight Cognac-esque rancio and hints cinnamon, cumin and nutmeg. Intense mineral and citrus middle, balanced by some buttery oak.

Finish: Intense and mouth-watering with the Cognac-esque dried fruit lingering.

Conclusion: Oh, yes! That’s damn good!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 2003 (12 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2508/ Dist: Apr 2003 Btl: Mar 2016(?)/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Aromas of sweet vanilla and edgy barley with hints of baked fruit, white liquorice and sweet rose petals.

The palate opens with the sweet barley and white fruit with hints of minerals and rose petals. Hionts of caramel and sweet apricot on the middle. Long and mineral with hints of dusty oak and spice. Crisp rose petal after-taste.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 2000 (13 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2252/ Dist: Feb 2000 Btl: June 2013/ Tasted: July 2013

The nose is a bit on the young and cardboardy side with hints of marc, spice and manure.

The palate is dry, cardboardy with an earthy (fusty) note. A little spirity with a touch of barley and citrus but there’s no escaping the cardboard! Raw and hot on the finish.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 2000 (14 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2439/ Dist: Feb 2000 Btl: July 2015/ Tasted: Aug 2015

Robust but light aromas of sherried fruitcake mix. Slightly earthy and bready with barley, Turkish delight and butterscotch notes.

The palate is quite earthy and a little wartery with a slight metallic note in the background. Again subtle on the sherry fruitcake mix. Good, if slightly austere finish with that metallic note lingering along with the Turkish delight and marc-like notes.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 1995 (18 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2389/ Dist: Nov 1995 Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A luscious nose of chunky Oloroso. Full and aromatic with chunky coffee grains. It feels a little older than it years. A piercing, fresh orange note appears along with some herbal spices. With time a light balsamic note appears.

The nose opens with the treacle toffee and that’s about it to be honest. Pretty one-dimensional, but very clean with a good dollop of milk chocolate on the middle. Quite a tart citrus finish with a light coffee’d bitterness.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 1995 (20 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2539/ Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

Aromas of hard barley, brittle honeycomb, oak, rose petals and subtle baked fruit. The sherry is very subtle and it is left to the sugar to attempt to balance the slightly industrial hardness.

The oak is a little more prominent and creamy on the palate, which is masking the hard barley to a certain extent. Hints of baked fruit and malt on the middle. A little short but mouth-watering as the citrus notes kick in.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 1995 (21 year old) 50%

Sherry Butt/ Code: OMC2647/ Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A slightly sulphur tainted Oloroso nose with edgy spice, green nuts and a touch of toffee and malt. The sulphur does blow off with time.

The palate is awash with herbal Oloroso and earthy spice. Again there is a slight blemish with the malt, treacle and green nuts coming through. Edgy spice finish with no shortage of drying tannins.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 1995 (22 year old) 50%

Sherry Butt/ Code: OMC2733/ Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Dec 2017

Damn, that’s a rough old nose! Burnt cereal, feints, sulphur, celery, barley and white pepper.

The palate is a little less sulphured and rough, but it’s still dirty and industrial with hints of burnt caramel and bitter spice. There’s no real balancing sweetness here and it’s short with aniseed, pepper and citrus.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 1995 (22 year old) 50%

Sherry Butt/ Code: OMC2732/ HL14405

Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: Nov 2017/ Tasted: Feb 2018

A very oaky nose with treacle, raisin, prune, fig and subtle herbal Oloroso notes. Lightly coffee’d with a touch of burnt wood spice and vanilla. Very clean with some late, high toned, column still-esque dried fruit.

The palate is full, rich and oaky with dominating prune, fig and raisin notes. Subtly herbal and treacly but a little drying on the middle as the tannins arrive and they do bitter ever so slightly on the finish, but it’s exceptionally clean and pleasantly spicy.



Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Craigellachie 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Quarter Cask Finished

Dist: Apr 2008 Btl: Oct 2015/ Code: HEP0115/ Tasted: Nov 2015

Aromas of beautifully fragrant barley, acacia honey, earth, white fruit and a subtle creamy oak note. With time hints of malt, baked fruit and liquorice.

The palate is relatively complex for a young Craig with sweet barley, fleshy apricot, banana and citrus. Quite mouth-filling with again subtle creamy oak and a touch of sweet spice and granity citrus. Long and oaky with a a little bitter from the cask but the sweet barley counters.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Craigellachie 2008(?) (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon (or refill sherry?)/ Dist: 2008(?) Btl: Oct 2015/ Code: HEP0116/ Tasted: Nov 2015

A fresher, more citric and grassy nose than HEP0115 with herbal barley, white fruit and late earthy notes.

The palate is fuller and maltier with a touch of toasted toffee, barley and light treacle. Subtle wood spice comes through on the middle. Long and malty with a touch of herbal, almost sherried notes in the finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Craigellachie 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Quarter Cask Finished/ Code: HEP0117/ Dist: Apr 2008 Btl: Apr 2016/ Tasted: May 2016

Quite estery and fruity on the nose with apricot, banana, apple and pineapple. What ever is going on here? Craigellachie? Estery and fruity? Whatever next! Hints of lime, gooseberry and creamy oak follow.

The palate is full and fruity. Like the nose estery with pineapple, apricot, apple and white fruit. Good intensity with a touch of oak, grass and minerals. Long with lingering Alsace-like fruit and sweet barley. Is this really Craigellachie?

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Craigellachie 2004 (9 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: HEP0041/ Dist: Oct 2004 Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

Aromas of crunchy barley and juicy dried fruit mingle with hints of licquorice, tobacco and herbal Oloroso notes.

The palate is moist and succulent, opening with some slightly sweet barley and dried fruit. Relatively straightforward but pleasantly deep with lingering dried fruit along with herbal and granity notes.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Craigellachie 2008 (9 year old) 46%

Wine Finished/ Code: HEP0288/ Dist: Mar 2008 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

The nose is hard and slightly acerbic with plenty of industrial character. Late hints of strawberry jam jar and makes the nose feel distinctly odd.

The palate is hard, bitter and industrial with hints of toffee, barley and burnt spice. Short, hard finish with a confected strawberry jam finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Craigellachie 2006 (11 year old) 46%

Sherry Butt?/ Code: HEP0289/ Dist: Jun 2006 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

The nose is quite treacly with plenty of dried fruit cake and hints of barley and vanilla. Pleasantly balanced.

The palate is fresh and aromatic with dried sherried fruit, herbs and a subtle barley note. Like the nose the palate is pleasantly balanced and displays a good mineral character. Medium length with lingering spice.

Berry Brothers Craigellachie 1991 (20 year old) 55.8%

Bourbon Cask 2715/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2011/ Tasted: Apr 2013

Somewhat high toned aromas with hints of grass and honey. Quite an alcohol prickle but it gives the nose a pleasant freshness. With time some honeyed barley and sherbet lemon appear. 

The palate is dry and quite alcoholic. There are hints of grass, citrus, spice and some honey but the alcohol is masking any development. 

With water the nose settles down to show a touch of wood spice and lightly sweetened honey. On the palate a little creamy oak can be detected but it shows the spirit to be pretty simple and straightforward with a touch of toasted caramel on the finish.

James MacArthur Old Masters Craigellachie 2000 (11 year old) 57.3%

Bourbon cask 156/ Dist: 2000 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2012

Soft aromas of straw like barley and summer flowers with hints of juniper and berries. Lightly perfumed with a touch of creamy oak.

Light And quite elegant with hints of barley and grass. Gently fruity with again a straw like demeanour. Piquant alcohol masks but there is a touch of oak on the finish.

With water the nose becomes slightly oilier with a light honey sheen to the barley. Slight more in the way of earth and grass. The palate is slightly fuller with a touch more caramel oak. The middle has opened up pleasantly to show a soft citrus and spice. Good length with a fresh, spicy, juniper abnd grass finish.

James MacArthur Old Masters Craigellachie 2000 (11 year old) 57.3%

Bourbon Cask 150/ Dist: 2000 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Dec 2013

A lovely, softly oaked nose, displaying an effusive herbal-honey character, fragrant barley and summer flowers. Beautifully fresh and spicy with hints of perfumed white peach, pear, lychee, squashed banana and grass.

The palate is fresh and citric with sweet barley, apricot and grass mingling with some lovely creamy oak. Slightly toffee’d on the middle as the oak and malt begin to come through. Lovely, mouth-watering, citrus and grassy finish.

A drop of water freshens the nose, emphasising the citrus and lightly salted notes as the oak recedes. The palate has become a little simpler as again the oak has receded, but it is a pleasant barley led mouthful with some lightly oiled pineapple and a long, lightly spiced finish.

Duncan Taylor Octave Craigellachie 1999 (11 year) 54.8%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1999 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: July 2011

Very alcoholic without water but there is some reasonably mature honey along with hints of manure and peppery tequila-esque notes. Water emphasises the manure notes along with some earthy peat.  

Straightforward with peppery tequila notes and some old wood. Water makes it rather soft and innocuous, bringing out some burnt caramel and citrus. Short and slightly sweet with lingering pepper, water lengthens a bit.  

Conclusion: its ok, an average youngish Spey