Craigellachie 13 year old
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
£41.95 from The Whisky Exchange
Vanilla, lots of it. Sweet citrus of lemon oil and oranges, a few apples. Malty biscuits. Oatcakes. Light pepper and a touch of cardamon. It’s a great, traditional malt whisky nose. Feels old fashioned and that’s a good thing. There’s a touch of herbal savoury, in the form of lemongrass.
Immediately creamy, buttery arrival, with the development taking a spicy turn, some hot chilli pepper, turning into some tart citrus lemon juice, then turning back to the creamy light vanilla cream cake notes. Some tannins remain through at the end of the complex development.
Warming, gentle creamy vanilla sponge cake stays for a medium length, with some oak tannins, and a gentle buttery fade out.
Just a few drops added. A reassuring scotch mist is well and truly formed. The nose is gentler, more relaxed. Very malty indeed. Everything in harmony and well balanced. The palate reflects this, some lovely creamy grain, soft vanilla, and gentle citrus fruits are all present without the veering into the overly tart bitter notes from the undiluted. The finish is gentle and creamy, with a touch of tannins at the very end.
Conclusion and comparison (13yo, 17yo, 19yo & 23yo)
First and foremost I would like to commend Craigellachie for going with a craft presented, aged range of whiskies. We face the days of more and more NAS, some good, some bad and it would have been easy for a very different approach to their releases. I’m glad for the aged tradition. I’m also especially happy at the 46%, colour free, non chill filtered releases. They make a great difference, and I wish other producers would see this and do similar. I’m also hopeful other whiskies in the Dewar’s range will take this approach. Time will tell.
So, what did I like. I liked them all. The traditional style of these whiskies are really a credit to good quality whisky production. That aside, which will I buy? The 17 is my personal favourite, with the 13 being a very fine every day drinker with some complexities to challenge the more experienced whisky drinker. The 19/23 are also excellent stuff, but I cannot easily get the 19 and cannot afford the 23. Simple maths takes them out of the purchase equation.
Many thanks to Craigellachie for the review sample