This is a 19 year Craigellachie matured in an ex-sherry cask and bottled at 50% ABV.
Nose: Bright sherry with malt peaking through – overripe bananas, slightly foral, strawberry rhubarb pie, and lemon oils.
Palate: Oak stands out quite clearly through the sherry coming off slightly young in profile – tart and citrusy with some pepper.
Finish: Turns a bit bitter and oaky as the sherry notes quickly fade.
Rating: 84/100 – Not bad overall, but seems like a tired sherry cask was used.
Value for the money: This retailed for $90 at K&L when it was available, and I don’t think that’s a bad price, but I wouldn’t buy a second at that cost.
This is a 25 year Craigellachie that was matured in a refill hogshead and bottled at 52.2% ABV.
Nose: Big briny notes up front with a bright malt – strikes me very much like a Talisker on initial impression. Oak quite young on the nose with heavy beeswax and rose petals. Vanilla and a bit of mango emerge after a few minutes.
Palate: Quite woody with some pineapple and peach. Very floral malt dripping with honey with some grassy notes in there.
Finish: Tropical fruits prominent initially as the oak fades – turns slighly bitter once the peach notes fade away.
Rating: 92/100 – This was a pleasant surprise as my experience with Craigellachie has been limited and not that memorable. I’m a sucker for tropical fruit notes in malts and this one has them in the right places. A very well rounded malt.
Value for the money: These are currently $220 on the SMWS shop, and I think that’s a very fair price. I will most likely grab one before they’re gone.
This is an 11 year Craigellachie from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society that was matured in what I presume to be an ex-bourbon cask and bottled at 56.8% ABV.
Nose: Heavy banana taffy with a salty, smoked oak. Fresh cucumber slices with an acidic dressing on top.
Palate: Still banana taffy, but a little less sweet here. Rotten oak, damp dried mushrooms, sour malt with dark chocolate.
Finish: Turns relatively acidic with the oak taking on a younger profile. Fairly dry and short overall.
Rating: 84/100 – This was my first Craigellachie, and overall I thought it was a good dram. The nose was definitely the star for me, but fairly impressive throughout for such a young dram.
Value for the money: This was included in my SMWS membership kit, but I’m guessing a full bottle would retail around $115 or so based on their typical pricing. I would pass at that price however, but I’m glad to have tried this one.