Whisky Review – Craigellachie 19 year old

Craigellachie 19 year old
46% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
Only available on travel retail

Nose.

Lots of vanilla fudge and stewed citrus fruits, it’s a little lighter on the spices although there is still a touch of pepper. The vanilla is more custardy than the younger releases. There is added and enhanced complexity in the herbal and oak elements of this whisky. We now have some liquorice introduced, and the oak has more of a charred base to it, maybe the older barrels were more heavily charred or it’s just the additional couple of years that has changed this. There is also some sweet shop sherbert on the nose. Some boiled sweets also join in and a touch more tropical in the fruit field. Some light pineapple is introduced with this 19 year old to the younger expressions.

Palate.

A little bitter lemon juice on the arrival develops into lots of runny honey. Toffee. Creamy custard. This is a very sweet and desert like palate. Sponge cake. Some aniseed. A touch of poppyseed. A smidge of smoke, some oak, rather chewy and nicely Mouthcoating.

Finish.

Dusty oak, reminiscent of dunnage the feel of a dunnage warehouse! Spicy drying oak, vanilla, a touch of wood sour, warming in the lower chest, really nice feelgood feel to this whisky. The finish lasts for a good while, with some vanilla cream coming back later on!

Adding water.

Just a few drops added. The nose has become more integrated and vanilla intensive. Creamier in the forefront, with the liquorice notes a touch more prominent and pepper spices enlivened. The palate is juicy! More citrus and pineapple juices are evident with a whole new level of creamy custardy backnotes. There is more sweet shop sweeties in the development and confectionary sugars. The finish also retains these sweet shop sugar notes, icing sugar especially and some herbal throat sweets. Very complex and different.

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

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