Only a handful of Cragganmore releases appear each year. This one was distilled on the 8th of March 1991 and bottled by Master of Malt 20 years later. This is a sister cask of the Bladnoch forum bottling released last year.
Cragganmore 20 yo 1991 (54,2%, Master of Malt 2011, refill hogshead, 274 btl.)
Nose: fresh and invigorating, almost a benchmark for middle-aged Speyside whisky. Juicy fruits (apples, peaches, oranges) with sweet malty notes and mint. More and more floral notes developing. A spicy layer, mineral notes and freshly cut oak add some depth. Typical and very good.
Mouth: starts on vanilla. Sweet and fruity (apples and citrus again, hints of pineapple) which develops into zesty notes. Then it grows towards grassy notes, with quite some oak spices, ginger, tonic and finally a lemony twist with a faint suggestion of flowery soap. A bit hot and tangy, not as easy-going as the nose suggested.
Finish: lengthy, on aniseed and citrus. Drying green tea in the very end.
Releasing a Cragganmore is not a common thing, and this particular cask had a few tricks up its sleeves: a mineral aperitif‑style nose and bursts of spices and citrus zest on the palate. A 20 year-old for less than € 60, nice.