Craigellachie is another distillery that produce a heavy ‘meaty’ style of malt, like the Edradour 12 recently reviewed. This is due to the use of worm tubs in the distillation process and helps keep some of the sulphur compounds in the spirit that results in a ‘meaty’ style. Sulphur notes are not always a good thing in my experience and this is mainly due to the sulphur you get from casks and not from the distillation process. This Craigellachie 17 year old is next in the range from the 13 year old, there is also the 23 year old which I have yet to try. The 13 year old which I have already reviewed did not appeal that much to me at the the time but now that I look back on my tasting notes it sounds like something I would really enjoy at this part of my whisky journey. The 13 year old was quite complex and challenging to decipher so I expect this 17 year old to be no different.
Whisky: Craigellachie 17 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46%
Nose: Sweet stewed berries, citrus oil, peat, vanilla, solvent, chilli, tumeric
Taste: Vanilla, cream, malt, hay, herbs, cinnamon, honey, cola drops, black tea
Finish: Bitter black tea, dark chocolate, black pepper, sea spray
Summary: Another bold malt just like the 13 year old but with more complexity. There are many flavours that evolve with time and some water. There is something about it that reminds me of the Ben Nevis style. Sweet and spice, oily and a rugged earthiness in abundance along with a touch of solvent notes. Some describe this as meaty. There is also a coastal element to this which is probably the pear influence which gives it a touch of a Glen Scotia 15 feel. Towards the latter end of the development it does become a touch tannic and winey but the rugged spice, earthiness and sovlent notes keep them at bay. A very complex, characterful and interesting whisky but also quite bold too.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com