Mar 212015
 

Cragganmore (great rock in Gaelic) is a Speyside distillery near Glenfarclas in Ballindalloch serving as one of the “Classic Malts” for Diageo. Cragganmore has the distinction of being the first distillery to have a direct rail connection to the distillery, and is today part of the direct gas line linking it with Glenlivet, Tormore  and Tomintoul.

Active since 1869, the distillery style is a very gentle, lightly peated malt coming out of spirit stills designed for maximizing reflux with a boiling ball and a flat top. The lyne arms lead to external worm tubs, a feature done away with by most distilleries.

Photo Credit: Agnus Bremner on https://www.forwhiskeylovers.com/sites/default/files/user/1968/photos/PHOTO_14233928_9468_21555661_ap.jpg

Photo Credit: Agnus Bremner on www.forwhiskeylovers.com

Cragganmore has a rather limited core range, with a 12 year old and a port finished Distiller’s Edition. In addition, the 2014 batch of the Diageo Special Releases included a 25 year old Cragganmore, which I have not tasted.

Photo Credit: whisky-onlineauctions.com

Photo Credit: whisky-onlineauctions.com

Malts of Scotland Cragganmore 15 Year Old, Cask 14015, Yield 247 Bottles (53.5%, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Straw with thin and slow forming legs.

Nose: Sweet lactic notes hit you first, ice cream, confectionery, toffee and butterscotch, sweet spices. Adding water brings out cinnamon.

Palate: Pepper, some fruitiness, sweet apples, somewhat reminiscent of bourbon.

Linger: Long and spicy, then sweetness and spiciness come in on the center of the tongue.

Conclusion

This expression is pretty lactic, but in a good way. I really disliked the Bruichladdich Scottish Barley for it’s lactic nose, but this Cragganmore taks you into the realm of ice cream and butterscotch, not baby puke.

Who said lactic can’t work for whisky?

 

Dec 292014
 

Yesterday I reviewed a sherry matured 1998 Laphroaig, and today I review a same vintage Laphroaig matured in a bourbon cask, bottled for Aquavitae in 2011.

Photo Credit: WhiskyGospel.com

Photo Credit: WhiskyGospel.com

It’s interesting to note that while the sherry matured Laphroaig has no vinegary notes, this one has them in abundance.

This being the first Malts of Scotland bottling that I’m reviewing, I’ll mention that MoS is one of the newer indies in the market, bottling only for the past five years, since 2009. MoS was established by Thomas Ewers and is located in Paderborn, in north western Germany.

Photo Credit: miniature-bottles.co.uk

Photo Credit: miniature-bottles.co.uk

Laphroaig 13 Year Old Bottled for Aquavitae 2011 by Malts of Scotland from Cask 11002, Distilled 1.3.1998, Bottled 1.7.2011, 135 Bottles + 96 Miniatures (56.4% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Straw Colored, very slow forming thin legs.

Nose: Lots of vinegar, the peat is subdued,  but very wet and dirty. Slight notes of piney sweetness with classic Laphroaig iodine and bandages coming through the vinegar intermittently. Very interesting nose.

Palate: Sweet honey with ash, smoke and tar, with a layer of freshly baked goods under the sweetness.

Linger: Ash fills the mouth and stays there, and a tiny bit of smoked spices linger in the back of the throat for a rather long time.

Conclusion

This one is a very distinctive Laphroaig, with that vinegary note playing very prominently.