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Craigellachie 13 Year Old Speyside Scotch Single Malt Whisky with Gift Tube, Sherry & Bourbon Cask Finish, 46% ABV, 70cl / 700ml

£9.9£99Clearance
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The finish is fairly short and dry with some more minerality, the cubic chalk from an old-fashioned puncture repair kit. The team at Craigellachie should be applauded for releasing special bottles in large numbers, as it puts off the flippers and rewards the drinkers.

The current range as we know it has only been around since roughly 2013-14, when owners Bacardi began to make the distillery more widely available as a single malt. With notes of rich fruits and a whisper of smoke on the palate, making it a delightful tipple for whisky lovers. The nose follows suit, with sweet floral and fruity notes, a touch of pineapple and mango, while the palate opens up into symphony of sweet, creamy notes balanced by smoke and leather with a dash of crisp acidity. I tried 2 different bottles of this stuff over the period of a year or so and had to conclude that it is not for me. Soon the proprietor, Steve, was free and we struck up a conversation about whisky from the perspective of availability in Perth.Initially matured for 13 years in American oak, in a combination of re-fill and re-char bourbon barrels, this Speyside whisky is then transferred to Armagnac casks from the Bas region to round out the muscular spirit. It begins promisingly on the front palate, but the development and finish has some notes that I find really unpleasant. I’d fallen off the love train with Speyside owing to a slight fading of my interest for big sherry bomb drams, and my Speyside stash features mostly big sherry bomb drams, such as the Aberlour A’Bunadh, GlenAllachie 10yo and the indie Glenrothes Alistair Walker Whisky Company “Raisin in a Glass” 11yo. Spirit within the still will increasingly become purer as heavy compounds continue to break down due to the extended interaction with the copper.

From Arran through to Signatory, Edradour, Caol Ila and even Daftmill, this was a place that clearly had the good stuff at the forefront of requirements. It’s all caramel waves intermingling with sharper fruit notes for a while before a tropical, coconut pineapple thing appeared but left before I’d really taken it in. This is a great option if you have tried a few whiskies and want to start experiencing different styles, or as a gift for the whisky drinker who thinks they have tried everything. This may affect factors including the product style and allergen information, and we would advise that you always check the label and not solely rely on the information presented here.With each question posed, the information was being collated quickly and authoritatively enough that, when we’d reached a certain point, the suggestions of what I might like to try began. Craigellachie has long been a malt set aside mostly for blending apart from the odd independent bottling and the illusive Flora and Fauna bottling. You’re there as a whisky enthusiast with a budget to spend and an idea of what you like in whisky, but both of those things are fluid entities. Graham is at the consumer end of the whisky world; constantly seeking out a bargains and generally very cautious with his limited budget.

The palate offers notes of freshly-baked apples dusted in cinnamon, caramel shortcake, pineapples in syrup and summer bonfires that linger in the finish. The opposite turned out to be true - this was a brand new bottling of the core range 13 but finished in a Bas-Armagnac French oak cask. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.Gold debossing and shoulder bands really make this whisky feel like it’s straight out of the roaring 20s - it wouldn’t look out of place inside Gatsby’s drinks cabinet, that’s for sure. I got the impression that no matter what budget I arrived with, I’d have received the same attention anyway. This official bottling (one of three from the distillery including a 17-year and a 23-year, all new in 2014 after Bacardi assumed ownership) comes from a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, and is bottled at 46% ABV without added coloring and without chill filtration. I am completely content floating inside this amber prism, for when I’m in there the world, and all its complications, are refracted away in the mirrored undersides.

There are hints of rechar cask, and a few notes shared with Tomatin Legacy, which has a lot of rechar casks in the recipe. The distillery's copper worm tubs, used in the condensation process, contribute to the whisky's distinctive profile, imparting a depth and intensity that sets Craigellachie apart.

As the last few drams transferred from bottle to glass, I flicked open my laptop and punched in Craigellachie to Google. While interesting and different, my issue with ex-Armagnac cask finishings is we tend to not find out from which producer the casks came from.

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