Two years ago a little-known distillery from the Speysides of Scotland won the world whiskies award for the best single malt whisky in the world for its 31-year-old statement, a dram James sampled at a Sydney tasting last year. Since then nothing has been the same at Craigellachie (pronounced ‘cray-gell-akey’).
Every one of their statements has continued to climb in price and the Craigellachie 17-year-old is no different – in fact, Craigellachie has always been on the slightly more expensive side.
The Craigellachie 17 reminds me a lot of the Sullivan’s Cove American Oak which has won plenty of awards and more importantly it is half the price of its Australian rival. I know this contradicts my earlier statement but more on Australian whisky prices another time!
Craigellachie 17 has been matured in both sherry and bourbon casks. The remnant notes from these casks are certainly present. Let’s get stuck into the notes.
Early scents remind me of baking spices in the form of cloves and cardamom. This quickly gives way to a perfect combination of vanilla and cinnamon. It’s a combination which often exudes from premium ex-bourbon casks.
It’s fireworks of flavours which slowly burst one after another. At the outset, there are fruity notes with pineapples coming to mind along with dried fruits. Then there is a burst of vanilla and cinnamon which gives way to liquorice.
Finish (After Taste)
Just when you think the sweetness is going to take a stranglehold on the Craigellachie 17 there is relief in the form of very light smoke and bittersweet malt.
Very few whiskies can provide such depth of flavours and still keep it balanced. Very much worth trying.
Check out more Whisky articles from Pranil.