Cragganmore

Cragganmore 20 Year Old Special Release 2020 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 70cl

A Cragganmore of this age has never been released from the distillery, making this elusive malt a much-anticipated expression. In addition, sweet and mellow woody notes emerge from patient maturation over 20 years in refill casks.

Cragganmore is a highly respected Speyside malt founded by a giant among distillers, John Smith. The ethereal aromas are among the most complex to be found in any malt, appearing and disappearing mysteriously like the ghostly flight of the Barn Owl as it quarters the wooded Speyside glens at twilight in search of its prey.

Serving Suggestion: A lively example of Cragganmore at natural strength, with considerable complexity, which benefits from a little water.

Appearance

Full, deep gold. Excellent beading and viscosity.

Body

Medium.

Nose

A mellow nose, with quite some prickle. Deeply wooded, the aroma is complex, with fruity top notes of ripe pear, Ogen melon, and green banana, then soft leather notes beneath suggest kid gloves, on a faint base of sanded hardwood. In part coming from maturation in new, fresh-charred American Oak, the aromas are sweeter than in regular expressions, yet with savory undertones. A little water softens the aroma and confirms its Speyside nature.

Palate

At natural strength, again the influence of the long years in wood is felt. The texture is creamy-smooth, while the taste is rich and sweet, though not as sweet as the nose may suggest. That richness is soon delightfully balanced by a drying and savoury mid-palate. A dash of water (recommended) makes the taste even more delicious without altering the primary elements; it is smoother now, the warmth well-controlled.

Finish

Long, velvet-smooth, dry and chilli-spiced. With water, smoother and longer; sweet-spicy, still with a lingering and now more mellow chilli pepper aftertaste.