Distilled 5th November 2003 and, after 15 years in ex-bourbon wood, matured in a 1st fill ex-px hogshead. This Cragganmore is from the Speyside region.
Appearance: Cola brown, very dark and intense. A micro-beaded tide mark quickly forms. The film that forms is sticky and viscous, with sporadic medium trails.
With follow-up swirls, many teardrops form beneath the swirl line.
Nose: Given the ABV and intense appearance I was expecting a lot more on the nose initially, but it didn’t appear, quite light in fact.
Plenty of white sugar, oak, orange zest and caramel. Strawberry and raspberry ice cream sauce.
Next up is mixed chewy sweets, nothing individually identifiable, but all well balanced.
Palate: A lovely oily mouthfeel with plenty of chocolate and caramel. There’s also more of a punch on the palate, which is welcomed.
There’s a sweet BBQ smoke subtly lingering in the background, adding a lovely flavour layer.
Big raspberry jam, with cracked black pepper, emerged after a few sips too and grows and grows, becoming the dominating note, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Pour melted milk chocolate over the berries and it rounds the palate off beautifully.
There’s a real depth, richness and quality to this whisky, showcasing its age and maturation.
Finish: The jam, pepper and smoke linger for a medium to long amount of time. A touch of oak swirls around too.
Overall: Banger, love it, even with the ‘underperforming’ nose! It’s well-balanced, jammy and bold on the palate.