Craigellachie 11yr old, 65% ABV, A.D.Rattray.

craigellachie 11yr old

Bourbon Hogshead #900637

Appearance

This whisky is light gold in colour, it beads up on the swirl line, drops slow thick legs and very slow tears.

Nose

At 65% ABV the nose is immense vapour wise, it’s fizzy up the nose and makes my eyes water a little. Initially it’s a sweet/perfume/toast/dusty fusion. Notes of apricots and nectarines with perfume and meadow flowers come first, they are surprisingly strong. Toasted bread, pencil shavings, a heavy dustiness, breakfast tea and scones with sultanas in them develop slowly. More time in the glass and we’re into glazing putty, linseed oil, stronger toast notes and faint cherryade.

Palate

At full strength it’s powerful, sweet sugar coated lemon jelly slices, apricot jam, and some cocoa straight in with them. White pepper and pineapple, a lovely play off. So far it’s a constant tussle between sweetness and spice, not something I’ve come across very often to be honest. Toasted tea cakes and hazelnuts start to push themselves forward, the tea note is here too. I need to drink some water at this point, calm the palate. Going back in its not as hot, and I’m getting tobacco leaves, cream soda, ginger, cinnamon and there’s a touch of salt too. With a drop of water it becomes tutti frutti/opal fruits/starburst sweets forward.

Finish

The finish is nice and long, the sweet and spiciness still wrestle with each other initially. Slowly they come together, married as such, much like the nose when I started this tasting, a lovely fusion of flavours.

My thoughts

Wow, at Cask Strength this is a monster of a dram, 65% ABV! As expected, the nose and palate are both full on. Considering the strength, the aromas and flavours are quite easily accessed, which genuinely surprised me, the addition of water did make it a more fruity drop, but there’s loads going on without it to be honest.

Would i buy a bottle?

Absolutely i would. At that strength you could play around forever (or until the bottle was killed) with water finding sweet spots. You could also enjoy it as the cask and environment intended, as a bold and beautiful beast of a scotch single malt whisky. I don’t usually suggest people buy a whisky that i review, but in this instance i would suggest that whisky nuts who know their stuff and enjoy cask strength whiskies might want to try this bottling.

Note – This whiskey is presented in it’s natural colour, is non chill filtered and at natural cask strength.

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