After yesterday’s notes for the younger Craigellachie (13 and 17 – here), comes the older more mature expressions. I was hoping to find a better malt here, and I was not disappointed.
Let’s try the 19, which is a travel retail first, then the 23 year old. I am really not sure why they chose odd numbers (13,17,19,23) which are really not that common in whiskies (unlucky?)
Craigellachie 19 y0 , 46% abv (Travel Retail only) , €119 (1 litre)
Nose: Nice deep wood, coconut and some flinty notes as well, that become more apparent with time in the glass, sulphur some will say, but it’s not a huge sulphur like rotten eggs or the such, it does very much complement the nose. This is definitely deeper , showing age, and the wood is lovely, on top of fruit (dried pineapple, and some dried mango)
Palate : Getting the sulphur notes more strongly now, with whisky sitting in the glass, at first, then off to fruitier (a bit of exotics) and creamier, with dryness from the oak, and a hefty oaky feel too, waxy even, a bit dirty.
Finish: Long and lovely, with waxy notes, as well as the sulphur and fruit, oak and malty sweetness to connect them all. dirty and lovely. A manly dram.
At first I got softer sulphur notes, but with time sulphur gets stronger. I dont mind that as I am quite fond of it, and not very sensitive to it. So, This is really a step up. A very good dram, you should really consider getting a bottle when you fly, if you’re into that sort of dirty sulphur profile.
Now, the 23 year old is has a strange story, when it comes to pricing, I won’t get into the entire story in length, but there are MAJOR price differences between the UK and EU. as you can see, you can get this one for under 160 EUR in Germany (and NL and maybe other countries), and in the UK it costs 330 quid, which more than 400 EUR, or 260% more!!! that is insane, so if you’re interested in the whisky, make sure you buy it from the right shop (link on the price). you can buy two bottles for the price of one!
Nose: Yes, We’ve arrived. this is a stunning nose. Old wood, feels older than its 23 years, and in a good way. This is the real deal so far. Nice and nutty, with pepper and a wee bit of smoke, some of that dried pineapple and spice.
Palate: Ah, the smoke is here to stay it seems. gentle but quite pronounced It’s not an Islay kind of smoke, much gentler. barley sugar and exotic fruit on top, with macadamia nuts in the background. I feel quite at home with this one, it’s engulfing and the smoke is soothing, and deep without being too much, a touch of citrus (orange, grapefruit) too.
Finish: Long, smoky, sweet and waxy, with tanniny oak, very dry towards the very end.
This is a superb malt, a few levels higher than the others in the range. The pricing differences is really an issue, and I’d recommend you get one for 160 EUR, but I am not sure 330 GBP is an attractive price, if you think about what amazing other whiskies can be had for that amount or less… Still, 90’s. It’s a really great malt.
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