Whisky Review: Cragganmore Distillers Edition 1998

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-1998-bottled-2012-port-wood-finish-distillers-edition-whisky

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:

Another Cragganmore DE example distilled in 1998 and Bottled in 2012, sampled during one of our after-hours tastings at Robert Graham’s whisky shop in Edinburgh. I had a partial hand in selecting this one though with Tom (of Tom’s Whisky Reviews) there also it wasn’t a difficult choice as Tom loves a Port-cask influenced whisky or pink whisky whenever he finds one. Sampled independently of the 1987 DE edition we last reported on.

Appearance:

Pink amber (11/20) medium tears with fine legs

Nose:

Sweet jammy red fruits; plum, strawberry, raspberry and hints of brambles, malty cereal barley with a biscuit and baked quality, vanilla cream, oak wood

Taste:

Light-medium bodied, fruity and sweet with strawberry and raspberry jam, malty and gristy cereal barley, jammie dodger and custard cream biscuits, a hint of cinnamon and white pepper spice and oak wood

Finish:

Medium, sweet fruit, barley and woody

Overall:

Remarkably reproducible, I have tried several of the Cragganmore DE expressions and have loved them all. The Cragganmore/Port finish formula works very well and turns an already great malt into something sublime. Top marks for continuity too.

Score: 88/100

Don’t take my word for it:

TOModera’s Whisky Reviews Cragganmore DE 1998

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