Craigellachie 13 is the second release, and my favorite, of the Last Great Malts. The first being the Aberfeldy 12 that I reviewed, and enjoyed, yesterday. This murky little dram with the name like a monster straight out of Tolkien’s notebook magically captures both the light and dark aspects of Speyside.
Located at the confluence of the River Spey and the River Fiddich, the Craigellachie distillery is smack dab in the middle of Speyside territory and the Craigellachie village is a popular destination for whisky tourists. The infamous Craigellachie hotel sits on a rocky bluff overlooking that meeting of the two rivers and has served as both lodging and a gathering place for whisky enthusiasts since it’s opening.
However those enthusiast are rarely there for the little known Craigallechie distillery and are there for its neighbors The Macallan, Glenfiddich, Aberlour and Glen Grant. Though with how unique and delicious this Craigellachie 13 is, I hope that changes pretty soon.
Craigellachie 13 Info
Region: Speyside, Scotland
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Age: 12 years
Release: The Last Great Malts – Dewars
Craigellachie 13 Review
Rich complex fruit; heavy with apples, pears and apricots combines with some honey, grassy malt and vanilla cream. Hints of cinnamon and a sugary sweetness lounge in the background until a splash of water is added and then they become more active along with notes of butterscotch and an almost swampy sulfuric earthiness. A multi-faceted and enjoyable aroma.
That same rich and complex fruit delivers here as well, but this time it comes with a charred and woody companion. Glazed honey, and a slightly nutty character remind me of honey roasted nuts with notes of burnt toffee / brûlée, malt, smoke, vanilla and cinnamon playing supporting roles. A splash of water brings out a bit more of the wood, malt and earth.
Long with big notes of fruit, woody char and vanilla that moves to malt, earth and apricots on it’s way out.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Excellent balance. I love the way the earthy and sweet notes play off of each other. A thick full body and velvety texture complete a very luscious picture.
Craigellachie is often described as having a meaty quality to it and after trying the Craigellachie 13 I’d have to agree with those folks. The thick tarry nose is a deep well of mouthwatering aromas that perfectly compliment the charred, woody and earthy fruit on the palate till it’s completely faded away on the finish.
The Craigellachie 13 is my first encounter with a Craigellachie OB and I have to say… I’m impressed. There’s just nothing not to like about this whisky and I found myself revisiting this bottle more and more after the review, which is the sign of a good whisky. Definitely recommended.
*Disclosure: This sample of Craigellachie 13 was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Craigellachie 13 Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 89
- Palate - 89
- Finish - 89
- Balance, Body & Feel - 89
Craigellachie 13 is a dark and fruity malt that I find myself enjoying immensely.