Usually unpeated, Cragganmore is a highly respected Speyside Single Malt founded by a giant among distillers, Jon Smith. The ethereal aromas are among the most complex to be found in any malt and a fitting match for the ghostly flight of the Barn Owl as it quarters the twilight Speyside glens nearby in search of its prey.
This is a small, experimental batch of cask strength and medium-peated Cragganmore matured in traditional refill American oak casks. In a style never released by the distillery before, it wreathes the elegant, smooth distillery character in a wholly unexpected aromatic and spicy smokiness.
Pale straw, un-oaked white wine. Good beading.
Light to medium.
A mild nose overall, with light prickle. The aroma is initially elusive, both sweet(boiled sweets, apple pie) and savoury (soft leather, sanded wood), and with a wisp of fragrant peat-smoke. Ashy notes, as with a spent fire. A drop of water sweetens and mellows the nose further. Becomes more smoky in the development.
At natural strength, pleasantly smooth in texture; the taste is immediately rich, sweet and savoury, then unexpectedly and appealingly becomes smoky. Adding a drop of water makes it really smooth, and slightly sweeter, yet it remains appetisingly savoury. The spiciness and smokiness still come through, and linger in the finish.
Smoothly smoky, spicy and warming; lightly drying, with a lingering thread of smoke and a pleasing after taste. With water, smoother and longer. Leaves an intriguing memory of smoke on the tongue.