Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Port
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 65.00
Official website: www.malts.com/en-row/distilleries/cragganmore
When you’re dealing with a giant like Diageo, you can expect a bit of everything with the whiskies coming from its 30 or more distilleries: after all, if they don’t understand marketing…
And among the many initiatives to shake up their rich portfolio (and empty the wallet of enthusiasts), towards the end of the 1990s they decided to introduce the Distillers Edition: a special edition for each of the six main distilleries (the so-called Classic Malts) with ageing in casks that had previously contained fine wine.
Since then, the DE has included other labels in addition to the six classics (Lagavulin, Talisker, Oban, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie and Glenkinchie), which more or less regularly see this edition released each Autumn.
Another feature of this special line is that it emphasises the year of distillation rather than bottling, with the years spent in cask varying from edition to edition.
In particular, the one under review is a bottle of Cragganmore with a whisky distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2016, so a 12 year old like the core range label.
The usual intense (and fake) gold colour of Cragganmore, but the label is noteworthy, baroque yet elegant.
The nose is caressed by a quiet sweetness of red fruit and a hint of sultana, almost a sherried note that complements that of Port. Not very complex but penetrating.
The fruit triumphs on the palate as it did on the nose (in detail, cherry, raspberry, a hint of apple and more sultanas), but the sweetness is drier and with a bitter vibe. A peppery note is added to the company, which is overall a bit disjointed and uneven: the elegance of the Cragganmore 12 seems to be ruffled by this (unspecified in time) finish in Port, which in my opinion doesn’t suit the whisky (at least in this vintage).
The finish is medium, dry and sweet.
I had high expectations for this expression, and I admit I was very disappointed: it’s not a bad dram, but it did leave me decidedly unsatisfied.
It’s hard to find online opinions not only on this bottle but on Cragganmore’s entire Distillers Edition, which as a distillery doesn’t seem to interest most people (unfortunately).