This quarter we are featuring a delectable release from Craigellachie. Founded in 1891, this distillery opened as part of the original Scotch boom, alongside heavy-hitters like Glenfiddich and Ardmore. Despite its legacy, Craigellachie has remained solidly under the radar until recently winning gold at the International Spirits Challenge in its category, Distillers’ Single Malts between 13 and 20 years old. Resting in hand made oak casks for a minimum of 17 years, the whisky leans towards a rich, full-bodied whisky ideal for any time.
Craigellachie is one of the Speyside distilleries in the Northeast of Scotland, where roughly half of all Scotland’s whisky is made. You may think of a typical Speyside single malt as more floral and delicate; Craigellachie, however, prides itself on standing apart from its neighbor distilleries in producing whiskies that are fuller-bodied, hefty, with hints of tropical fruit.
As one of the oldest Speyside distilleries, Craigellachie spent most of its existence as a little-known workhorse distillery, with limited distribution and no tasting room to satisfy tourists on the Scotch circuit. In fact, Craigellachie is not even the most famous distillery in its namesake town, Craigellachie (it loses that honor to Macallan).
It was only in 1998 when the company sold to John Dewar & Sons, that Craigellachie started gaining wider reach. Most of Craigellachie’s barrels go towards Dewar’s blended scotches, but since 2004, the distillery has also focused on producing a small number of high-quality single malts. The whisky you’ll be tasting this quarter is their 17-year, which debuted in 2014.
Tasting Notes: This non-chill filtered whisky shows a light honey like color. Aromas of subtle honey, white flowers, vanilla ice cream, apple pie, and soft cinnamon spice. On the palate, rich and heavy with honey, apple crumb cake, cinnamon spice with touch of oak. A whisky that checks all the boxes. Malty, dessert-y, and spicy, this whisky is one of the best values on the market in terms of price point and quality.