Cragganmore 2003 Distillers Edition

Cragganmore 2003 Distillers Edition (40%, OB, CggD-6567, 2015)

  • ABV: 40%
  • Age: 12 Years Old
  • Bottling: OB, Diageo
  • Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
  • Cost: £59.83
  • Origin: Cragganmore distillery
  • Vintage: 2003


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.

Official tasting notes:

  • 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: 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, this time from 2003 and bottled 2015. I was mostly sampling this as a foil against The Lakes Colheita to compare and contrast port cask influences in the final maturation of both. Contrary to the last DE (Glenkinchie) we sampled I think both the DE and standard Cragganmore 12 yo bottlings are of exceptional quality and I would probably err on the side of the standard 12yo as a regular drinker.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Dark rose gold (11/20), medium-large tears, thick legs.
  • Nose: Sweet, fruity, strawberry tarts with icing sugar, vanilla, soft malty barley, strawberry shortcake biscuits, touch of cherries, mixed berry jam on toast.
  • Taste: Soft on the palate, medium bodied, well-baked fruits, sugary cereals, more strawberry biscuits but with a touch of woody spices now, some cinnamon and a hint of clove, proceeds with fruit and gentle spices, a little spirit heat and a wisp of smoke.
  • Finish: Medium, soft and spiced, thin jam on ryebread.


Feeling a little thin in texture at 40% ABV but otherwise lovely soft fruits and cereals and that gentle suggestion of smoke & spices.

Score 83/100

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