Mar 9, 2015

Douglas of Drumlanrig Craigellachie 9yo...

Douglas of Drumlanrig Craigellachie 9yo (46.0%): Am I the only one who is creeped out a little by the new Craigellachie releases? From the 1800's medical cabinet inspired bottle to the uber-stylish label (designed by Stranger & Stranger of course, who else..?), from the super animated and hyper complex website (after half an hour I still don't know where their contact info is) to the Byron-esque tasting notes everything looks a little bit too hipstery... (there I said it, what?) I almost feel like I am not dressed well enough to be seen with one of those bottles, forget about sipping them. I definitely loved the whisky (especially the 13 year old one) but I am pretty sure that I don't represent the target audience here. Anyway last Thursday when we got together with my good friends Brad Jarvis and Charles Tower at The Last Hurrah in Boston to taste some of the new releases from International Spirits & Wines portfolio I spotted this nine year old Craigellachie from Douglas of Drumlanrig on the table right away and got pretty excited actually about how accessible and inviting it was looking... That's me in the photo holding the bottle in full confidence while not worrying about the lack of my clothing or facial hair style. Craigelalchie produces app. 4 million liters of alcohol per year for John Dewar & Sons blends. The whisky is distilled in June 2005, spent its entire life in a sherry butt and bottled in July 2014. It is a single cask release and bottled at 46% abv. Here we go..! Color: Bright yellow gold. Only the slow legs on the glass give a hint of the sherry butt. Nose: Eucalyptus drops, slightly burnt savory scones and dried strawberries. Latex gloves, dill and green tomatoes. After a while a thick beef stew takes over the whole nose: shallots, celery, carrots and rosemary. A pint of Smithwicks and dried mop head. Palate: Now the sherry butt starts to speak out loud: Red plums, Zante currants and golden raisins. Shortbread cookies, pipe tobacco and Oloroso sherry at its best. Finish: Long but gentle with remnants of tobacco leaves in your mouth and rock salt. Overall: Well, the nose didn't give away any distinct sherry notes but the palate came full force. It only spent nine years in the sherry butt but they surely made those years count I have to admit. After we tasted the new line of Craigellachie last Fall I remember how we were surprised about the meatiness of the whisky and this cask definitely brings out this unique character of the distillery very well. It is a good cask and might be a great side by side comparison to the 13 year old official expression. Thank you very much to Brad Jarvis a.k.a The Whisky Professor for the sample.