Friday, September 11, 2009
Cragganmore 12 yr old
Speyside single malt scotch is whisky distilled in and around the River Spey, within the Moray, Strathspey and Badenoch regions of Scotland.
Speyside scotch can in general terms be distinguished from Islay scotch whisky on the basis of an absence of peat or at most a minimal amount of it. Speyside scotches are generally non-peaty, sometimes sweet and full of smoke. Cragganmore 12 yr old is a classic example of all that is wonderful in a Speyside scotch.
Add half a teaspoon of distilled or spring water to a shot of this very fine scotch. The water makes the flavors richer, sweeter and the spiciness on the finish to soar.
Beautiful nose. Incredible! Flowers, baked bread and the twinkle or zing of heather upon one’s nose in a most wonderful fashion. This one of very few that claim to have a complex nose.
On entry, malt, honey and marzipan. Moves quickly to smoke with a beautiful sweetness through out. A tapestry of rich, smokey flavors, perfectly in balance, woven such that there are no unsightly seams. Truly heaven sent.
Burnt toast, cinnamon, brown sugar and sea spray woven most intricately with wisps of smoke and gentle spices linger considerably upon the palate. Wow! Having drunk this, I know I am in the presence of greatness!
This is smooth, refined, sophisticated and wonderful beyond its’ mere 12 years of aging. I’d put this up against many 18 yr old single malts, and Cragganmore would come out on top hands down! Pretty much a total absence of peat flavors. If you dislike peaty scotch, then you will love Cragganmore 12 yr old.
If you are a Johnnie Walker Green Label fan, this is the single malt answer to that fine blend. Cragganmore, along with Linkwood, Talisker and Caol Ila form the core of Green Label. If you like one, you will definitely enjoy the other.
I never truly understood the meaning of the term “complexity” with respect to scotch tastings until I tried Cragganmore 12 years old. An impressive tapestry of flavors to consider.
© Jason Debly, 2009-2011. All rights reserved.