June 04, 2017
This week's review focuses on an expression of Cragganmore which showcases some of the distillery's house style while providing some interesting nuances of its own.
While the distillery itself isn't a big outfit, it plays an important role in several of the blends that parent company Diageo produces, with Johnnie Walker being the most significant.
The distillery was also one of the few which wasn't fully owned by Diageo's predecessor, DCL, with the company owning 50% of the distillery in the early years while the other 50% was owned by the MacPherson-Grant family of Ballindalloch Estate, which is also where the distillery is located. This arrangement ceased in 1965, when DCL purchased the distillery outright.
Cragganmore is also one of the six Classic Malts which were released by another Diageo predecessor, United Distillers, in 1988 and the original 12 Years Old expression is complemented by a Distiller's Edition which has undergone a secondary maturation in port pipes.
This week's review focuses on an expression of Cragganmore which was distilled in 1999, matured for 14 years in a single bourbon barrel before being bottled at a standard abv of 46% by independent bottler, Wemyss Malts.
So, let's dive right into the review!
Cragganmore 1999 14 Years Old 'Heather Moorland' (Bottled by Wemyss Malts, 46% abv)
Nose: Initial entry presents green and grassy hints, followed by chewy malt, orange peel and some oak. The malt and oak grow more dominant over time, with the orange peel providing a nice fruity undertone.
Palate: Initial entry presents more of the orange peel coupled with some oak, chewy malt and grass. With time, liquorice root, hot aniseed and heathery honey hints emerge and complement the existing elements nicely.
Finish: Long and lingering on the finish, with hints of spearmint, heather and a touch of aniseed bringing things to a close alongside some drying oak.
Balance: A rather well-balanced and typical representation of a Speyside whisky and the mouthfeel is initially oily but becomes rather drying over time.
This expression of Cragganmore can be purchased by the bottle or the dram for in-bar consumption or by the bottle for retail/takeaway purposes. Please approach our friendly staff for more information and they will be more than happy to assist you.
Written By Brendan Pillai for The Single Cask
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