The only whisky in this year’s collection without an age statement, Cragganmore is a vatting of three cask types “chosen for flavor alone,” according to press materials. They include both refill & rejuvenated American Oak hogsheads and ex-bodega European Oak butts. Like the rest of the collection, Cragganmore is bottled at cask strength, or 55.7% abv in this case and retails for $600. This marks the Speyside distillery’s sixth appearance in the Special Releases series. How is it?
The nose has a fresh citrus quality, almost like freshly sliced tangerines. Hints of graham cracker, cinnamon sticks, honey and mint ice cream help round out the aromas. The palate starts sweet and quickly turns dry. Honey and spice cake at first. The citrus from the nose is also here, as well as light touch of brine. Things turn when chardonnay develops mid-palate, along with a touch of herbs. Oak tannins take hold going into the finish, as honey and herbs emerge.
Cragganmore is a nicely crafted NAS whisky, but I just wasn’t blown away by it. 7/10