Age does not denote quality in whisky. Don’t take this as a statement of support of NAS, as I’m pretty vocal about my opposition to the practice. Not because it’s necessarily bad whisky, but because the consumer has a right to know all there is to know about the whisky he buys. Young whisky can be great, but tell us about it. If you need proof, just look at Kilchoman who successfully sell three to five year old whisky for £70 a bottle.
In our case, the 19 year old Craigellachie is a step back from the 17 and is a close relation of the 13 retaining the sour and vegetal notes. While not surprising, given the distillery character, I’d expect more from an expression priced at €120.
Appearance: Gold with thin legs and lots of residue droplets.
Nose: Somewhat sour at first, the warm honey and vanilla are found right under the sourness. Retaining the sour nose, there are floral notes and a baking lemon meringue. There is a vegetal note of crushed leaves.
Palate: Citrus spice and open meadows with a sour note throughout.
Linger: The sourness is long on the sides of the tongue, where the center has a sweet spice and artificial sweetener notes.
Pretty similar to the 13, which can be had for less than half the price, this expression is superfluous in the range. It’s a step back from the 17 and not in the direction of the 23.