Craigellachie 17 Year Old Single Malt Scotch: Last time round we looked at this 13yo Craigellachie and as mentioned before, Craigellachie, like most distilleries, had spent its life providing fillings for blends. This isn’t unusual. After all, 90% of the Scotch whisky sold globally is blended. Malt distilleries, by and large, exist to provide liquid for those blends. However, this doesn’t mean that the whiskies they produce are inferior to those who have gained fame as single malt brands. In fact, you could argue that the whiskies which blenders revere because of their character are the ones which are the least well-known. They have been ring-fenced, guarded, protected. They are rare in terms of their character and Craigellachie is one of those. This 17-year-old scotch bears similarity to its younger brethren but you can smell and taste its maturity.
On the nose: you’ll be greeted with intense notes of pineapple and marzipan, closely followed by maple syrup. Spicy notes will start to emerge followed by toast, butterscotch, a tang of orange zest and some pear drops. And in true Craigellachie form, some meaty notes and a hint of sulphur. On the palate: those sweet pineapple and marzipan notes will hit you, along with sherry and almonds. The palate starts to get quite peppery and spicy, with hints of cinnamon. There are notes of aniseed that start to emerge and some rich oak, with the slightest hint of smoke. The finish: is medium to long, a little sour but rich and oaky.
The verdict: Like the 13yo we tasted a couple of weeks ago, a very enjoyable, meaty, full-bodied dram though its maturity is clear. A drop that didn’t need any water – though if you do need to then only add a very small amount. If you don’t feel the urge to add any water then allow the scotch to breathe for approx. 5 – 10 minutes to open up the nose and palate. They say patience is a virtue and in this case, for this scotch, it is well worth the wait.
Craigellachie 17 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky can be found online at The Whisky Shop for approximately £96