Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Scotch Review: Craigellachie 13 years old Single Malt Scotch

What time is it?

Damn, it's gotta be five o'clock somewhere.

I gotta leave work.  Leave this soul crushing drudgery behind till tomorrow.

You ever get that feeling that you were meant for so much more in life and one day it dawns on you that . . . shit . . . this is it!  WTF?  I didn't sign up for this.  But, actually I did.  Ahh well, life's regrets and before we know it, we got bills, overhead, whatever we wanna call it and a guy can think he is kinda trapped.

I have a real button-down type of occupation and some days I think, how did I get here?  And, I know I am not a victim because I put myself here.  Some good decisions and some bad ones.  But, if I have learned something, I can tell you this:  every time I do something for the money I always regret it.

Ok, enough of the rant.  Just had to get that stuff off my chest.

I have left work now.  I am on the Woodstock Road that snakes next to the St. John River.  I am half tempted to pick up Roger and just drive west!  West to where?  I dunno?  Just drive man and we will find the answer on the road.  Eventually, I discard that idea as I pull into his dusty blue gravel driveway.  It's about 5pm with the sun in the western sky slowly sinking behind his red brick ranch style house.

"You look like you could use a drink," Roger opined from behind his smoking barbecue.  He leisurely turns over some chicken legs and reaches for the water spray bottle to shoot down the flames.  Santana's Soul Sacrifice plays on an unseen radio.

I head into the house through the back patio screen door and open the liquor cabinet.  I survey the most eclectic collection of spirits ranging from Swiss absinthe to Croatian plum brandy.  I am not that adventurous, but I do want something different.  I scan in search of something new, strange, unpredictable, unsafe, but from Scotland.  My gaze comes upon:  Craigellachie 13.

Aged 13 years?  What kind of a single malt is aged 13 years and then released?  In the marketing world 13 is regarded as unlucky, which is why there are so few whiskies with a 13 year age statement or 13th floor elevator buttons in nearly all hotels.

The Craigellachie distillery has been around a long time, like back to 1891 I think, but the reason I had never heard of it is because up until about 2014 the distillery's output was sold almost entirely for blends like Dewar's and even some White Horse.  Alright, maybe an independent bottler or two prior to 2014 managed to pinch some stock and release it, but the bottom line is that there was not a lot of single malt available from this distillery.  That all changed in 2014 with the release of a 13 year old, a 17 year old and some others.

Region
Speyside

Category
Single Malt

ABV
46%

Chill Filtration?
No.

Artificial Color?
Depends on what source you consult.  Some say yes, some say no.  I don't have a definitive answer.

Price
Very reasonable!

Nose (undiluted)
Sweet notes of dandelion and hay.

Palate (undiluted)
Creamy body builds to a weighty delivery of honey, butterscotch and golden barley.  Buttered toast with brown sugar.  Grassy notes with white pepper!

Finish (undiluted)
Bacon smoke, drying, malty, marmalade, chilli powder and a slight but distinct sulphur note that strangely works!

General Impressions
I gotta hand it to Roger.  He always teaches me something new.  I never heard of this single malt.  It's an odd malt in the sense that it is non-chill filtered but I am pretty sure it has artificial color (e150a) added, and at the same time has a great above average ABV of 46%.  Speaking of 46% ABV, it really calls for some water.  I recommend a teaspoon to a double pour.

This is a classic Speysider.  Golden honey with spiced marmalade.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird is playing now on an old transistor radio.  Maybe it is a sign.

Cheers friend!



Jason Debly

7 comments:

  1. You know..... maybe that's why it didn't click with us when we tried it (about 1-1/2 years ago)...WATER! We didn't try with water like we do now with almost every tasting...
    And we all have those feelings of "hhhmm what's down this road" when driving to places. Did it when I was single... had a blast.. took the camera with me... Whoa Jason ... This isn't the start of your mid-life crisis is it Ha Ha !!!!

    AL (from OZ)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nah, no midlife crisis, just the midlife realizations of what one will achieve and what one won't.

      In any case, water is really a must for this single malt. I forgot to mention in the review that this whisky has really improved since its launch in 2014. Back then it was hotter and spirity. Not so now. More controlled and refined.

      Best,


      Jason

      Delete
  2. Okey doke mate ...
    I will re visit.
    thanks,
    AL

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Yup! And that price is really quite good. And! Distribution is excellent. I think this distillery is pushing out a lot of these.

      Delete
  4. Had this whisky a few months back and really enjoyed it. From memory the colour was quite pale which suggests to me no artificial colouring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to say. It is light in color for sure. Sometime the artificial color is used not so much to darken the spirit but to ensure a uniform color from batch to batch. The drinks company fears slight changes in color from batch to batch that can occur without e150a would be regarded by the consumer as impacting taste. Not the case for flavour and so to combat that perception artificial color is used.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Delete