I penned an article a few weeks ago with the Best Whiskies to Sip in 2017, and on the end of that list considered dropping in the Craigellachie 31-Year-Old, a dram that has just earned the prestigious Best Whisky in the World award. I opted not to include it because I’d tasted every other whisky on the list and not the Craigellachie 31. Fortunately weeks later I was invited to the Dewars Scotch Egg Club to taste the very whisky in question. Suffice to say, it’s a corker.
If you haven’t heard of Craigellachie, part of the Dewars family, don’t worry, they only released their first Single Malts in 2014. The ‘bad boy’ of Speyside as it’s affectionately known across Scotland was co-founded by Alexander Edward of Aultmore fame, and Peter Mackie of the blending company “White Horse” and their first collection of unique age statement whiskies are wildly intriguing and utterly delicious.
I was on deck at the Dewars Scotch Egg Club, a pop up running throughout May showcasing the Dewars portfolio and the famous Scotch Egg as interpreted by ACME’s Mitch Orr, to taste the range, with age statements of 13, 17, 23 and 31 years old.
As a man who prefers my whiskies peated, heavily, Speyside isn’t a region I’m often drawn to which made my impressions of the Craigellachie range somewhat surprising. Straight away the 13 leads you away from your typical Speyside dram with big melting mouthfeel and uncharacteristic smoke. From there, the drool-inducing journey continues. The 17 and 23 are formidable expressions and phenomenally priced for the quality, texture and flavour profile delivered. I’m tasting exotic quince paste, cigar leaves, sweet vanillas, the zing of citrus and sulphured meaty tones from the use of worm tubs. Both are wonderful but the 23 is extraordinary. Of course, the Craigellachie 31 follows, a bottle worth roughly $3000, if you can find it. The nose is pungent and the palate is seamless. There’s an astounding combination of complex flavours, so smooth it’s hard to differentiate between them. For my undereducated palate, the Craigellachie 23 was the pick of the bunch, just because there was more I could discuss, however, the 31 was a truly astounding whisky.
For the enthusiasts at heart, Dewars will also be offering a series of masterclasses where you can learn a lot more about whisky. Here, you will have the opportunity to try all the Dewar’s blends (12, 15 and 18 years old) as well as the distinctive and award-winning single malts that are used to create them – one of those being Craigellachie! The whole range including the Craigellachie 31 will be available to taste but come at a price, $310 a nip for the 31-year-old.
Dewar’s Scotch Egg Club – Sydney:
Address: Laneway between 152 – 156 Clarence St (directly across from Baxter Inn and Barber Shop)
Date: 3rd May – 27th May (open Wednesdays – Saturdays nights)
Cost: General admission is free with a complimentary sample of Dewar’s 12-year-old on arrival. No bookings required
Whisky Masterclass: $30 pp (plus booking fee), tickets can be purchased here
From the TVG Store:
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