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Spirit Type: Single Malt
Bottle size: 70cl
The Craigellachie distillery was built in 1891 by Craigellachie Distillery Co. Limited, a group of blenders and merchants led by Alexander Edward. It is a Speyside distillery in Banffshire that overlooks the little town of Craigellachie. The Gaelic name means “Rocky Hill” and is pronounced Krai-GELLacky.
Colour: pale gold, pale straw. On the nose: a lovely thick sweetness, stewed pears, or the filling you’d get in a cold apple pie. Melon and a touch of vegetative minerality. It feels very bright and fresh, not as filthy as the description of the distillery.
In the mouth: that heavy character becomes very noticeable. It’s got a thick, oily weight that just sits in your mouth. Let it swirl around, chew it, and it’s utterly delightful. The sweetness shines through but very quickly comes forth a lovely game flavor, almost pan-fried grouse, simmering in a berry-like sauce, and with a charming malted undercurrent that blends with an almost charcoal-like finish. The balance between that sweetness and the more industrial notes is nicely played. Combined with that texture, it’s very moreish.
Fruity and funky, savory and sour, Craigellachie 13 is a robust dram with quite a bit of complexity. The sour notes are more pronounced when the bottle is initially opened—exposure to air seems to knock some of these notes out, but they remain to lurk a bit. And I should be clear—this is a suitable type of sour. The type of funky sourness that holds your attention and brings everything together, not the type of sour that makes you think something is wrong with the product.
This whisky has won various awards, including Gold in International Spirits Challenge and International Wine and Spirit Challenge.