Cragganmore Limited Release 2016 55.7% nv
€ 476,67 (in Vat)
|Serie||Diageo Special Release|
|Distilled date||Not Specified|
|Cask Type||Refilled, Rejuvenated and Ex-bodega Casks|
|Condition||In Original Container|
Serge Valentin (90)
This year the NAS is not the Cynelish, it’s the Cragganmore. Not too sure about the rationale behind that. Maybe is it super-old and the distillers do not want us to have any preconceptions? Or maybe was the stencilling accidentally erased before they started to use barcodes on the casks? Or barcodes stripped away? Or is it just about blenders’ creativity indeed? About breaking them free from their shackles?
Nose: so very close! This is the 1999 at a higher strength, more or less. Same fat orchardy style, same herbal hints… I’m really all for this. With water: indeed, we’re extremely close. This one may have a wee tad more earthy earth. Perhaps cedar wood?
Mouth (neat): totally excellent, and rather different this time. The fatness is there again, and so is the honey, but it’s also got rooty notes, between some kind of beetroot and sweet liquorice. Extremely creamy mouth feel. With water: maple syrup all over the place, plus a slice of pineapple and more honey. The earthy/rooty side is never far away.
Finish: quite long, with a little more oranges, and plenty of fruit syrups. Perfect oaky balance.
Comments: something extra. Really high-class, I’m starting to wonder if that’s not a cunning plan, bottling some perfect 25yo malt whisky, wiping away the age statement, and using these as proof of the excellence of NAS whisky in general. Come on, I’m joking!
Nose: I really like this one. There’s sweet pear with apple, lime and apricot, but in a rather thick, jammy style. Mandarins on syrup. There’s quite some beeswax. Sweet oak. Marzipan. Tobacco. Light herbal notes and an earthy note in the background. Beautiful array of aromas. Mouth: same combination of fruity notes with a savoury, fleshy side and some peppery heat. Fruit tea with honey. Waxy, almost fatty notes. Roasted almonds. Apple pastry. Definitely (pipe) tobacco now. Cocoa. Fades on salty liquorice and toast. Finish: long, almost smoky, more more thick fruits and sweet oak.
This is just a very rich dram and complex dram. It’s robust but with lots of sweet fruits and lots of tiny aromas. The cask combination really works – it makes this Cragganmore the insider’s choice of this year’s Special Releases.