Whisky Review: Cragganmore Distillers Edition 1998
Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
Origin: Cragganmore Distillery
Bottling: Diageo; Distillers Edition
Cost: £57.83 for current (2003) DE at Master of Malt
What they say:
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.
Age: 12 years old
Strength: 40% ABV
Place of Origin: Ballindalloch
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.
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.
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.
Light to medium, with rich undertones.
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.
Pink amber (11/20) medium tears with fine legs
Sweet jammy red fruits; plum, strawberry, raspberry and hints of brambles, malty cereal barley with a biscuit and baked quality, vanilla cream, oak wood
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
Medium, sweet fruit, barley and woody
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.
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