Today I’m going to look at the Craigellachie 19yr which is a bottle made exclusively for the travel retail market but first if you haven’t heard of Craigellachie I’m going to cover that first. If you have read my review and tasting notes on the Craigellachie 13yr then you can move straight on to the tasting notes as this will be a refresher. So ‘Craigellachie’ is one of five distilleries in the Bacardi owned John Dewar’s and Sons portfolio. After being used for a majority of time in blended whiskies come late 2014 marked the launch of new ‘Last Great Malts’ range, Craigellachie initially released four bottles which include the 13 year for both travel retail and domestic, a 17 year for the domestic market, 19 year old exclusively for travel retail and the 23 year for the domestic market. However in late 2015 the oldest release from Craigellachie a 31 year was released exclusively for the travel retail market. Craigellachie is known for the ‘Worm Tubs’ which are an old fashioned way in condensing, these look like a giant metal springs that are kept in cold water so when the spirit goes through them it gives it a rich meaty character. So let’s now move into the tasting notes for this Travel retail bottle for the Craigellachie 19 year old.
Colour: Straw Gold.
Nose: The nose you really pick out the tropical fruit character in pineapples and dried mangos. I also find a slight sour apple candy along with a lemon peel somewhat toasted and herbal notes right on the end.
Palate: The palate greets with its meaty chewy character, grapefruit zest with a touch of smoke, spiced oak, sulphur as well comes to mind, ripe plum skins, pineapples + lemon cubes covered in a treacle coating bringing a sweeter note towards the end.
Finish: On the finish a long meaty sulphury finish can be felt along with chewy barley and a burnt grassy notes lingers around on the palate with the presence of spiced oak just faintly drying the palate but still juicy.
AGE: 19 yrs
CASKS: not specified
DISTILLERY: Craigellachie Distillery
REGION/ORIGIN: Speyside, Scotland
EXCLUSIVE: Not Exclusive
Comments: My opinion to summarise the Craigellachie 19yr is different from the younger expressions, more sulphury notes can be felt but the dried tropical fruity notes help it maintain balance. The complexity in this one is also a lot more and is something that can’t be full realised in a few minutes, when I say complexity I really mean almost every flavour profile from the combination in the smoke and fruits to the citrus rich texture all flowing and playing in harmony with one another. If you want a meaty and chewy dram which takes your taste buds on a flavour rollercoaster then this is a dram for you but priced at £120 some will find it rather steep. In my opinion it’s a debate on whether the exclusivity of the product versus the price is the question at hand, but I really did find this as one really complex whisky and something I defiantly enjoyed once left to settle. But if you’ve tried it then let me know in the comment or send me a tweet over twitter. Slainte!