Craigduff is a bit of a weird one. There is no such distillery and calling it a proper ‘brand’ is a stretch of the imagination too.
It’s a peated Speyside whisky from Chivas Brothers, but I find sources stating it was made at Strathisla, as well as Glen Keith. Somehow I was only aware of the second option, but The Whisky Exchange seems pretty sure of themselves in this case.
The interesting bit, or the case for a bottle of this costing more than € 500, is that there have only been five single cask bottlings by Signatory. That’s all there is from this ‘make’.
Luckily, in a recent sample trade I was able to get my hands on one to see whether or not there’s something to this, or that Chivas made the right call to stop producing it!
Some light smoke, with some sourness to it. Or acidity, as that is called in a more culinary world. Slightly ashy with hints of smoked eel. Charcoal, and burnt herbs. Strange scents, but still quite simple.
Initially the palate is a tad thin, but it starts to tingle and get more intense with a few seconds of swimming. Some pepper, smoke and ash. Charcoal and oak, with a hint of barley husks. Grass and some light herbs.
The finish is consistent with the palate. Some more focus on the barley and the intense, albeit light smoke flavors are somewhat toned down. Still I get hints of ash and smoke, but a bit more sweet and less herbaceous than on the palate.
So much for me thinking it was consistent towards the finish…
Anyway, this is a weird whisky. The light spirit doesn’t really mingle well with the salty, fishy smoke on the nose. The palate is a bit more balanced, as is the finish.
I think this whisky is more of a curiosity than anything more than that. I’m glad I’ve been able to try it, but I’m also glad I’ve never been tempted by getting this for a bottle share or so.
Having said that, it’s not bad. I still score it 86 points. But it’s nowhere near a € 500 quality level. Also, I never guessed this was from a sherry butt…
Craigduff 1973, 04/04/1973 – 03/11/2005, Sherry Butt 2514, 53.9%. Available for 530 from Best of Whisky