Craigduff 1973-2005, 32yo, 53.9%- Signatory

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!

craigduff1973Sniff:
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.

Sip:
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.

Swallow:
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

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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