Craigellachie 17 year old
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
£81.95 from The Whisky Exchange
Thick, rich vanilla fudge is the first thing that strikes me. This has a more luxurious nose to the 13, the aromas, deeper and more refined. The citrus notes are becoming stewed and sweetened with the extra time, still lemons and oranges, but more boiled down and squishy. The vanilla spices are also very clear, with some light pepper and cinnamon. There is more of a cake mix intensity to this nose, just lovely.
There is a more oily mouthfeel to the 17 compared to the 13. The whole experience is more integrated and steady to the 13. We get a lot more vanilla softness and cake notes upfront, it’s a silky, smooth experience which is clearly much more matured and easy going. Lots of vanilla, soft citrus notes and gentle spices throughout. There is an addition of some gentle aniseed. A very easy drinker.
The vanilla, fruit and spice combination hangs around for a while with the added oiliness making every nook and cranny of the mouth fulfilled. Dries out at the end with some gentle oak. Making you thirsty for more sips!
Just a few drops added. The nose has more of the tropics about it now, with the stewed fruit turning pineapple like. The vanilla notes are more of a vanilla buttercream variant now, spices are tonned down considerably. The palate is so smooth, creamy, with all the cake notes intensified, this is a great desert whisky with some water, very thickly creamy. The finish is light, more cream, more sweetened butter, more vanilla. Lush.
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