Craigellachie 13 Years Old (46%, OB, 2015)
- Speyside single malt scotch whisky
- 46% ABV, £41.95 for 70cl
- Score: 84/100
What they say:
Craigellachie distillery sits nestled in the heart of Speyside atop a rock overlooking the confluence of two great rivers, the Fiddich and the Spey. The distillery was built by Peter Mackie and Alexander Edward in 1891 and still uses traditional worm tubs giving the resulting malt a distinctive meaty, sulphury character.
Flames. Flared Light. Fireworks. Breathe in Bonfire Night. Clove-studded baked apples. Sulphury cordite. Hefty, malty, mazy in the mouth. Bonnie Sweet, but with fire in its belly.
What I say:
Sampled in the Bacardi Last Great Malts whisky snug at the Edinburgh Whisky Stramash 2015
Straw gold (6/20), large slow droplets leaving thick trails
Vanilla egg custard, a little sulphury, blossom honey sweet, sparkling apple and pear juice, crips and fresh, a little boggy, sulphur and copper, slightly meaty, tarte aux pomme or poire pastries especially the sweet clear fruity jelly on the top
Light and smooth, vanilla, cereal barley, blossom honey, crisp green apples, a spiced bite to it, like a light dusting of cinnamon on said apples, a little green malt
Medium-short, sour apples balanced by sweet creamy vanilla and caramel
A great start to the entry-level stable from Craigellachie, the heavy copper influence of the distillation and especially the condensers has been well presented here in amongst some honeyed fruit (i.e. Speyside style) and nice ex-bourbon matured (vanilla and cinnamon) influences. Well balanced if a little thin in places, revealed as a little too green and spritzy in the apple flavours – if anything this lets the meaty, copper and sulphury elements be revealed. This has been described as both old-fashioned (i.e. whisky made in the old style with plenty of copper influence) and traditional/adhering to Craigellachie’s founding principles. In many ways this ticks those boxes adequately, it may not be to everyone’s liking, but for an entry level whisky this is palate-challenging in a good way and ideal fodder for tastings as a Speysider with a lot of individual character.