Craigellachie 'Fire' 12yo, 2006-2018, Old Particular
ABV: 54.3%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Douglas Laing (The Elements Collection)
Cask type: Sherry Butt (366 btl.)

 

Colour: Bright amber.
Nose: Starts with crispy breadcrust and caramelised sugar, followed by burnt caramel and mocha. Then fruity notes shine through with juicy apricots, followed by vanilla custard, white pepper, subtle cloves and a whiff of oak. Needs some time to develop its full aroma profile.
Palate: Bold, sweet and intense on the palate. Fruity notes of apricots complemented with orange zest and burnt caramel. Then a warming spiciness arrives with allspice, pepper and charred oak in the back.
Finish: Long and creamy sweet on the finish with barley sugar, mocha, some leathery notes and a touch of dry oak on the tail.
With water: There's more fruits coming through when a splash of water is added. Lots of apricots, peaches and passion fruit. The burnt notes are slightly tamed. Still intense on the palate although the warming spiciness is pushed in the background bringing more fruity and sweet notes to the fore. The finish is still long and creamy with honey, apricot jam and mocha.
Comments: This first release of Douglas Laing's new Old Particular Elements Collection represents a well-aged Craigellachie matured in a fired sherry butt resulting in a delicate fruitiness, nicely mixed with spicy flavours and decent burnt aromas. Rich, intense and well-balanced. Opens up with a splash of water while retaining its appealing sweet and fruity notes.

 

I thank Douglas Laing for the photograph!


Craigellachie 9yo, 2006-2016, C&S Dram Collection
ABV: 65.4%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: C&S Dram
Cask type: Hogshead (#900615, 282 btl.)

 

Colour: Straw.
Nose: Not unexpectedly, the nose starts off with a pungent alcohol smell due to the high abv of more than 65%. Behind that, however, lots of vanilla along with fresh notes of apricots, green bananas and citric fruits emerge. Tartish with a touch of bitter orange peel in the back.

Palate: Unsurprisingly, a reluctant start on the palate. Sweet with vanilla, barley sugar, creamy and fruity notes of apricots, peaches and tinned pineapples. Then, however, the beast shows its claws. The mouth's getting warm, even hot, with an intense, almost brutal hit of alcohol, along with cracked black pepper. This is what I call mouth-coating!
Finish: The finish is medium long and sweet at first with tender apricots and barley sugar. Becomes drier on the tail with subtle oak and slightly bitter lemon peel.
With water: There's an urgent need for a fairly amount of water here. The malt nicely opens with more citric fruits, along with apricots, pineapples and toffee. Still lots of vanilla present. Less alcoholic warmth but still lots of spices on the palate with pepper and prickling oak. The fruitiness is slightly tamed but tender notes of apricots, pineapples and creamy vanilla still shine through. The finish is medium long, warm and noticeable dry with more prickling oak and bitter lemon peel.
Comments: Surprisingly palatable neat where you get a full-bodied mouthfeel. However, in order not to overstress your taste buds water is highly advisable and brings out a delicate, creamy, fruity, spicy and lovely quaffable summer whisky with a good value for money, too.

 

I thank Caminneci - Wine & Spirit Partner for sample and photograph!


Craigellachie 14yo, 2001-2016, The Whisky Chamber
ABV: 62.8%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: The Whisky Chamber
Cask type: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead (#46/2001, 266 btl.)

 

Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Fruity and floral on the nose. Mix of ripe yellow fruit with apricots and peaches. The alcohol is present but well integrated. Very complex with a touch of oak in the back.
Palate: Sweet and deliciously fruity on the palate with apricots, peaches and a touch of vanilla. Notes of sticky acacia honey emerge, nicely accompanied by a significantly warm and spicy load of oak, pepper and ginger. Very strong and intense.
Finish: The finish is long, significantly warm and sweet with sticky honey on the tongue. Becomes slightly astringent on the tail with a touch of bitter orange peel.
With water: Still complex on the nose with a delicate fruity core. The alcohol is a bit tamed with a splash of water but still very present. The palate is sweet and fruity with sticky apricot jam, subtle acacia honey and crisp oak towards the finish. The finish is long, sweet, fruity and warm with notes of honey and crisp oak on the tail.
Comments: This is a bold, intense, rich and very complex dram! Lovely notes of ripe yellow fruits nicely intermingle with an intensively warming spiciness and sticky honey sweetness. A splash of water underlines the fruitiness of this delicate malt. A model of balance and elegance.

 

I thank Thomas Ide from The Whisky Chamber for sample and photograph!