This little Cragganmore caught most people off guard, as far as I know, because it’s a peated Cragganmore. While it is fairly safe to assume that most distilleries do some experimentation with peating their whisky, I didn’t know they did so too at Cragganmore.
It’s a bit of an overlooked distillery, from a fanatic’s perspective. I think this is mostly the case since there are virtually no bottlings available except for the regular 12 year old and the annual Distillers Edition. And, honestly, I wasn’t overly impressed with either when I tried them years ago.
Then this one came along. At a whopping 58.4% ABV, and peated. That I found interesting and luckily, RvB bought a bottle to share, and I got 10cl from that.
A warm barbecue grill, with some stewed apples, and lots of sweetish smoke. Earthy, woody, slightly grassy, but ultimately quite flat.
The palate starts off a bit thin, but it gets very strong and fiery, very fiery. A tad grassy, with apples, smoke and oak.
The finish highlights the smoke even more, without much regard for the other flavors.
I’ve done my best but without exaggerating and getting overly lyrical I couldn’t really make more of it. It’s bit like they dialed up the regular not-so-interesting Cragganmore, and added some peat.
Also, it’s just too thin, too fiery. These two factors push out almost all other flavors and therefore I quite dislike this whisky, to be honest. Gimmicky, but apart from that it’s not much. If you really want to try this, I suggest finding a sample, or a shop with an open bottle.
Cragganmore 12, Diageo Special Release 2019, 58.4%. Regularly available for around € 85