Craigellachie 2006-2015, 9yo, 64.6% – Hielander Whisky Festival 2016

This year saw the sixth edition of the Hielander Whisky Festival. A nice festival that I’ve managed to go to every year, and I hope to keep that up for a while.

Apart from being in a nice and spacious venue, without too many people crowding the stands, there is also a festival bottling available. So far I’ve never bought it, but with the annual Emakina whisky tasting just one week later, we (a colleague and I who host that tasting) thought it a good idea to pick this one up.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Craigellachie, but I can also not say I dislike them. There’s plenty of it going around but it’s not on my radar and I don’t think I’ve ever spent money on the brand before. Kind of strange how that works out.

This one, most likely from a refill bourbon cask if you ask me, is a youngster and a bruiser. It’s clocking in at 64.6%, so I wonder what it was casked at, but it must be at almost 70% or so.

Because of the young age and the ridiculous ABV I wasn’t sure what to expect. And to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting a lot.

Image by Rob VergouwSniff:
Big and dry and meaty. There’s even some woodsmoke in there. A tiny bit of vanilla and lots of dry barley. It reminds me of barley stores in distilleries I visited. Very light, and the alcohol is not as prominent as expected, by a long shot. Bready too, but generally quite light.

Here the heat came in full strength. Really strong, really hot, quite dry. Dry steak without frying it, pepper and salt too. Very dry and hot. It’s quite insane (and there’s already some water in it).

The finish shows the youth of the whisky with quite some spirit. Not much oak or refinement. Here I suddenly get some red fruit. Sweet strawberries or cherry jam.

A bit weird. Not quite appealing to be honest, with mostly a focus on the alcohol. Quite youthful and there’s some spirit flavors, obviously. Lots of heat from the alcohol that doesn’t dissipate quickly or with a drop of water. I feel a bit like the alcohol is the main selling point, and I’m not a huge fan.

Having said that, it’s not a bad whisky either. I think it should be a bit tamed, or get some additional maturation. Point is, I know quite a few people liked it, but it’s just not for me.


Craigellachie 23/10/2006 – 02/12/2015, 9yo, 64.6%, Hielander Whisky Festival 2016. It sold out before the festival, but came at € 85 (including two Glencairn glasses)


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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