My review of the Craigellachie 13 was quite unequivocal about how much I disliked that expression. Today I’ll be reviewing a 12 year old single cask bottled by Wemyss Malts that is one of the most interesting Craigellachie expressions I’ve had, even though it’s somewhat untamed and sits right on the cusp of losing its “baby fat” and becoming a properly matured whisky, and therein is the strength of this bottling.
Craigellachie stills create little reflux, and thus produce a spirit that’s rather rough, oily and sulfuric, effects which the official 13 year old does not mitigate well. In sherry casks, however, younger Craigellachies do quite well, as does this expression:
Wemyss Malts Craigellachie 2002 “Dark Treacle Fondant” – Sherry Butt, Yield 804 Bottles (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Apperance: Bronze, thin and long legs.
Nose: Somewhat untame with sour wood spices, cinnamon, chocolate milk, quite a bit of malt, deep sweet notes. Classic sherry notes follow after time with Sultanas and dark berries with bittersweet chocolate and a latte coffee.
Palate: That sweet and sour note from the nose is first, then come the spices with pepper and cinnamon with a sprinkle of brown sugar, with touches of oak.
Linger: Spice, namely cinnamon and clove, chocolate and light sour notes on the palate. Light spice comes in on the back of the throat and a light tartness inside the cheeks.
This Craigellachie is two faced – on the one hand it’s youngish, malty and fresh and on the other is a spirit that has a lot of respect for the sherry cask in which its been maturing.
This is a very interesting whisky, and my only concern is its price point. At €85 in the Netherlands, it’s priced at the higher end of a level more appropriate of cask strength bottlings, not expressions watered down to 46%. For comparison, the same store sells the already overpriced OB 13 (also at 46%) for €50. At €60-65, I would have gladly added a bottle of this whisky to my cabinet.