Whisky Review: Cragganmore Distillers Edition 1987

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Cragganmore Distillery

Bottling: Diageo, Distillers Edition

ABV: 40%

Cost: £57.83 for current (2003) DE at Master of Malt

Cragganmore-1987-Distillers-Edition

What they say:

Cragganmore Distillers Edition

The complexity of Cragganmore makes it an out-of-the-ordinary choice for a second cask finish. However, port-wine casks provide the perfectly harmonious partner.

Information:

Distillery: CragganmoreTM

Age: 12 years old

Strength: 40% ABV

Place of Origin: Ballindalloch

Region: Speyside

Nose:

Jellybabies! Sweet, black ones – complete with powdery sugar. And, of course, malt. A tantalising aroma, much, much fruitier and more mouthwatering than the standard Cragganmore. Just a hint of moke does linger.

Palate:

Firm, arousing stuff. Initially sweet with some deep smoky undertones and a rather off-beat fruitiness. Malt, oak and smoke seem to rumble around the base of the palate. An intriguingly two-tiered malt.

Taste:

in brief… Sweet fruity aromas with malt, oak and smoke.

in a sentence… Sweet, intensely fruity fragrances and a deep oak-smoked malty taste, then a longish drying finish with plenty of oak character showing through.

Body:

Light to medium, with rich undertones.

Finish:

Medium to long with a breathtakingly fine explosion of oaky expressions, running from bananas and vanilla to cocoa. Much drier than that very first sweet burst.

What I say:

One of my first whisky loves was a ’92 or ’93 distilled version of the classic Cragganmore Distillers Edition, at the time I was unaware of the complexities of Cragganmore and thought of it as just another soft and simple Speysider which was absolutely transformed by additional maturation in ex Port Casks. With time I came to really appreciate Cragganmore 12 year old and recently had a chance to sample several Cragganmore DE editions from a range of decades!

Appearance:

Rose gold (11/20) medium tears leave fine legs

Nose:

Sweet, love heart sweeties, fruity; cherry, plum. apple. pear, floral roses, sherbet fizz, citric, gentle cereal barley, vanilla, strawberry and vanilla cream or custard, dusty icing sugar, berry fruits and light honey

Taste:

Light bodied, sweet and fruity, honeyed fruit, gentle cereal barley malt, berries, strawberry and raspberry with a hint of spice; white pepper, citric sherbet acidity and a little tannic oak wood

Finish:

Medium, gentle fruity, honeyed, barley and light oak

Overall:

What a wonderful expression, this DE really transforms Cragganmore into something very special yet remains light enough to compliment the original flavours in the whisky prior to it’s Port finishing. I would count this as one of those whisky expressions everyone must try – I’d be surprised if you don’t like it.

Score: 89/100

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