Crabbies Yardhead

What they say

John Crabbie was a pioneer and a rule breaker, he was one of the first to blend whisky in the 1800s in order to create consistency – something that was quite elusive in those days.

Continuing that pioneering nature, Yardhead is the first non-age declared single malt whisky from John Crabbie & Co. Distilled in the highlands and matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks, Yardhead is ideal for mixing in both long drinks and whisky cocktails, it breaks the rules of how consumers enjoy single malt Scotch whisky.

Yardhead is named after the original site where John Crabbie distilled and matured whisky in Edinburgh. Archive records show that Crabbie’s whisky was housed in Bond 73 at Yardheads, in Leith and this became the home of the original Crabbie’s distillery.

Official tasting notes

  • biscuit, vanilla, citrus, sweet apple, caramel and toffee apple

What I say

Following our recent tour of Halewood Artisanal Spirits new Crabbie’s or Bonnington distillery in Leith we had the pleasure of a Crabbie’s focussed walking whisky history tour with Justine of Kask Whisky, terminating at SMWS The Vaults to sample through some of their range of whiskies in production and imminent releases. This tasting also included some Whisky and Ginger / Ginger Highball cocktail variations using Crabbie’s Ginger Beer (or Wine) and their ‘made for mixing’ Yardhead Highland single malt. Here I take a look at the naked Yardhead.

  • ABV 40%
  • Age NAS
  • Bottler Crabbies
  • Bottling Yardhead
  • Cask Undisclosed
  • Category Single malt whisky
  • Cost £23.75
  • Origin Undisclosed
  • Outturn n/a
  • Region Highland
  • Released 2019
  • Vintage undisclosed

My tasting notes

  • Appearance 18ct gold (9/20), quick, medium-large tears and oily, medium legs.
  • Nose Soft citrus, vanilla, oak wood, a touch mineralic, custard, apple pie, overbaked or dry shortcrust pastry, nutty hazelnut.
  • Taste Medium-light body, soft, creamy, citrus lemon, some raw spirit undertones, again that minerality, flinty, barley husk cereal, soft brown sugar, sulphury egg custard, mealy, lemon and honey flapjacks.
  • Finish Medium-short, soft, sweet, lemon meringue pie and oak wood.
  • Overall On its own this is a fairly basic single malt. Perfect for mixing but also drinkable in its own right. Their are traces of youthful spirit and a touch of sulphur but also a lovely minerality proving a distinct character that does carry though into longer mixed drinks or cocktails. By no means a neutral base spirit.

Score 78/100

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