Whisky Review: Cragganmore 12 Years Old

Style: Sweet and Complex

Nose:
Honeyed lime and papaya with a distinct touch of smoked bacon from the far side. Cedar wood tracing in, glazed fruits lightly soaked
in vanilla milk. Peppermint hitting a few high notes. White flower confectioneries powdered with white pepper. A rather complex aroma.

Palate:
Vanilla milk spilling on more stewed tropical fruits. Agar jelly coating around what seems like a citrus core. Fresh coconut, nutmeg, cereal and poppy seed notes twisting around each other. Malt slightly roasted with sandalwood smoke. Subdued peppermint sketching across the top, finish with a dry, bitter aftertaste.

Finish:
Orange and co. trying to find a breakthrough from the oak. Nectar quietly beaming from distance.

Thoughts:
Multiple subtle elements revolving around a sweet fruity core.
Cragganmore is quite different to most Speysiders as they are relatively more one-dimensional or have stronger fruity cores which partially hinder the nuances to develop within the spirit. Although in this dram the oak eventually outgrows the others and cause a slight imbalance. Well, this bottle does not show the best of Cragganmore, tricky to get the balance right I guess, nonetheless this dram also shows the potential of this distillery – allowing complexities to grow under a coherent expression. No tick on this one, but I think Cragganmore is rather underrated distillery.

[40% • Distillery Bottling • General Release • Circa 2016]

-Esmond