Cragganmore Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey 23 Years Old
What the Bottle Says:
Finally, the return of Cragganmore to the Faultline line up. One of our first bottlings was a fabulous 20 year old Craggy, from a hogshead. That was three years ago and we haven’t seen another Cragganmore from any of our suppliers since, so when this one popped up as a potential Faultline candidate we jumped on it. We were surprised again by both the quality and the incredible price! Cragganmore is distilled from very lightly peated barley. Over the course of 23+ years in a refill sherry butt, that subtle smokiness has morphed into what can only be described as quintessentially Speyside. Imagine a highland shrub recently in bloom after months of dormancy during the long cold winter. Imagine the honey bee attracted to the tiny purple flowers, returns to her hive, which is situated precariously on the outstretched limb of knobby oak tree. The honey slowly drips out of the dense honeycomb on to the damp reeds below. This tiny florally flecked speck of honey trapped on a blade of grass flutters in the breeze to land on a damp stone on the banks of the river Spey. Droplets from the idly lapping river loosen the blade from its sticky perch on the wet stone, eventually releasing it into the meandering river as it twists toward the north sea. Now imagine yourself with a bottle of Cragganmore. You have a very good imagination…
What Richard Says:
Nose: Heather, vanilla wafers, lavender honey, and a balanced sherry note that plays with a little leather and tobacco typically seen in malts of 30 plus years. Stone fruits and a little eucalyptus come out with a splash of water.
Palate: Damn! This is amazing. Sherry, vanilla cream, stone fruits, cherries jubilee, and oatmeal raisin cookies.
Finish: After 23 years the only place the oak shows up is the long lingering tale of the finish. Not too much. Just a slow steady swan song.
Comments: This is bottled at almost 55% alcohol by volume but it drinks much smoother than that. It’s almost a sin to add the water but not quite. Do so sparingly. This is one of only 270 bottles bottled exclusively for K&L Wine Merchants in California. The malt alone makes this a must buy but the price is a damn steal!
Rating: Must Buy