New Cragganmore expressions rarely hit the market (the last one was four years ago already, not counting the yearly Cragganmore Distillers Edition). This makes it even nicer to find it amongst Diageo’s Special Releases.
Cragganmore 25 Year Old was distilled in 1988 and aged in refill American oak casks.
Cragganmore 25 yo 1988 (51,4%, OB 2014, refill American oak, 3372 btl.)
Nose: sweet with lots of vanilla, heather honey and hints of honeydew melons. Nice bits of dried mango. The fruitiness is balanced (or muted if you like) by green, spicy oak and liquorice. Soft buttery hints (popcorn). Fresh mint and apple blossom.
Mouth: creamy, still rather sweet with some honey and orchard fruits. Nice hints of pineapple and coconut. The oaky notes, ginger, pepper and plenty of vanilla make this one typically American oak, but they also make it seem younger than it is. A lot of distilleries have this profile at half the age and a fraction of the price.
Finish: medium long, fruity with zingy spicy notes from the wood.
Good whisky, but youngish in a way, due to active American oak, which makes it seem even more difficult to justify the price. Readily available. Around € 425.