Whisky Review: Douglas Laing’s Old Particular Craigellachie 20 Years Old Exclusively Bottled for Shinanoya Tokyo, Japan

Style: Complex Sherry Bomb

Nose:
Red and black currants falling into a pool of dissolved muscovado sugar on the nose. Satisfyingly sweet. Peppermint pampered by icing sugar, reasonable heat considering it is a 59.1%. Christmas cake and roasted almonds. Round, waxy tone and earthy spices keeping the shape of the malt. Nice.

Palate:
Assorted red fruits rolling out on the palate. All sorts of currants, sugar plums bouncing around while liquorice and almonds slipping under to form the base notes. Again, restrained heat while the tone runs a bit deep but the rhythm remains fairly lively. Distillate starting to reveal itself as tropical fruits surface and taking a waxy confectionary form. Nutmeg, ginger shreds and peppermint fusing into a thin slab of chocolate, which goes darker and darker overtime. Quite nice.

Finish:
More black currants, it is the main theme here. Milk chocolate purring softly with a touch of summer fragrance to finish.

Thoughts:
I remember trying the distillery bottling 31 years old in Hong Kong and the Mash Tun bottling a while after in Melbourne, both of them have opened my eyes to what this distillery is capable of. Then I bought this as my first bottle of Craigellachie and I did well. Unlike the previous two, this dram is more sherry cask-driven, but the distillate still plays an active role and I like that, as the whisky will not be too one-dimensional. A classy and complex sherry bomb. Borderline 2 stars.

☆ [Recommended]

[59.1% • Independent Bottling • 1995 Distilled • 2016 Bottled • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • 1 of 271 Bottles • Matured in a Sherry Butt • Cask Reference: DL10962 • *+]

-Esmond