I’m a fan of Craigellachie but for some weird reason I keep forgetting how much I enjoy drinking it. Every now and again I try one and I am reminded that I like it.
Whisky writer Greg Dillon of Great Drams fame has recently added another string to his bow and launched himself into the independent bottling arena.
The first batch of releases contained an interesting sounding Craigellachie (and knowing how big a fan Greg is of the distillery) I was excited to have samples arrive. To cut the story short I tried the sample, loved it and then bought a bottle. Which brings us to todays review.
This expression spent 10 years in a first fill bourbon cask before spending 6 months in an Oloroso sherry cask. It is natural colour, non chill-filtered and is limited to 220 bottles.
Craigellachie 11 y.o, IB, (GreatDrams), 46.2%, from my collection (available here)
Instantly it is deliciously grimy and meaty. Demerara sugar, leather, touches of sulphur and cordite all mix together wonderfully alongside a marmite topped slice of buttery wholewheat toast.
The palate is very buttery. It is spiced and chocolatey with big hits of dark fruits and is almost at times reminiscent of cherry cola. The cordite follows from the nose into the palate and mingles in whilst the flavours jump between the influences left from both the bourbon cask and sherry cask. The vanilla undercurrent is present throughout and the drying spices slowly build as we go on.
The finish is like a big plate of parma ham slathered in maple syrup followed by a soft and gooey cinnamon roll.
Mouth drying spices eventually fade to leave a delicious buttery aftertaste.
There has been a great deal of both flavour and colour absorbed from the Oloroso cask and the first fill bourbon influence is also evident which is nice.
It does not obfuscate the flavours imbued by the original cask nor does it mask the distillery character.
A finish done right.
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*Disclaimer: Yes, Greg Dillon (The man behind Great Drams) and I are friends and yes, he sent me a sample but this review is based on notes taken from a bottle that I bought*