So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Cragganmore, Friends of the Classic Malts 2013 bottling, 48%




Cragganmore circa August 2014

Not an obscure distillery – it’s original spot on the Classic Malts lineup as the Speysider should indicate <if nothing else!> the conviction Diageo has the in character of it’s spirit.

Micheal Jackson once described it as having ‘the most complex nose of any malt whisky’, the phrase being picked up and kneaded as seen fit by the marketing guys, now adorns the neck capsule which reads: “An elegant sophisticated Speysider with the most complex aroma of any malt. Astonishingly fragrant with sweetish notes and a smoky maltiness on the finish.”

All this is not undue praise, the few Cragganmores I have sampled have usually been good and quite fragrant. No surprise that this has always been good stuff for blending. Its history with Diageo’s predecessors is traced back to 1923 when ownership of the Glenlivet Distilery Co. Ltd was split between Ballindaloch Estate and White Horse distillers.

A worthy mention now, look at the different still shapes:

Thank you http://www.scotchwhisky.net

This particular 2013 NAS issue for the Friends of the Classic Malts comes at 48%. Previous iterations had a 12 or 14 year age statement, but of the times. Anyway this has seen maturation in 3 different casks: It was first filled into refill bourbon as is common practice for Cragganmore, then it went into a recharred hogshead for an unspecified time, and then into refill ‘European oak’ casks which seems to be Diageo’s way of saying refill sherry. Unrelated note – in my recent trip I learnt that when Diageo says Bodega European Oak, they mean first fill sherry.

Blurb on the bottle: “This expression is as unique as any friendship. Three separate encounters with casks have shaped this spirit’s character, each leaving it’s mark in colour and flavour. A tale of chance meetings unfolds to reveal a truly special dram exclusive to out Friends of the Classic Malts.”

Cragganmore FOTCM


Nose  Nose: Thick Christmas marmalade, and hot toast. Followed by malty notes, white pepper, new wood, brown sugar and toffee. More aromatic citrus peel. A rich sweet and fragrant nose.

Taste  Palette: Malt and sugary sweet, lots of orangey tanginesss, orange blossoms plus big spiciness with some wood smoke. Followed by more jam and tell tale new wood. Turns earthier and drier towards finish.

Finish  Finish: Medium short, dry and malty with a jammy fragrance.

Score 70


I know it’s young, and carefully matured to give this precise profile. But it’s enjoyable, and very drinkable without being too simple or showing it’s youth. Dare I say it, NAS done well? I tried this next to the 12yo and the distiler’s edition and walked away with this one, so there.

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This entry was posted on October 2, 2014 by in Cragganmore and tagged .
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