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Another weighty whisky from the Dewar's stable, Craigellachie has long been an important part of the brand’s blends. The distillery is notable for its continued use of worm tub condensers, which produce a meatier, heavier new make spirit. This 13 year old has been aged in a mixture of first fill former Bourbon barrels and ex-Sherry casks, with the result a complex, full bodied dram that stands apart from the crowd.
Like many distilleries that might be called “Blender’s Friends”, Craigellachie has largely been kept under wraps – only emerging as an official single malt in 2014.
The distillery specifies that its malt be dried by oil-fired steam, producing a heavier, somewhat smoky and slightly sulphuric grain. Don’t be put off though – with distillation and maturation, the sulphur mellows to reveal itself as fragrant tropical fruits and full bodied spirit. Long fermentation also enhances the fruity qualities of this dram.
Craigellachie bottles at unusual age-statements, meaning this 13 year old has a touch more age than the standard 12 year old entry-level drams. The combination of unique techniques and maturation produces an old fashioned whisky of a style not usually encountered, particularly in Speyside.
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Rich meaty malt and grilled pineapple greet the drinker, accompanied by fresh green apples, buttered cornbread, vanilla and bright American oak. A little lemon peel comes with time.
Full bodied, with thick oily malt, a wisp of smoke, overripe bananas, strawberries, red cherries, toasted nuts and subtle oak. Craigellachie’s hallmark pineapple is here too.
Medium length with some cinnamon and pepper spice lingering, alongside malty oatcakes and vanilla.