Interesting cask choices for this Cragganmore – 12 years in ex-bourbon and 2 years finishing in a new oak hogshead. View on SMWS
Nose: Wooden furniture with a heady mix of Indian spices – cardamom and curry leaf livened with reduced fruits – figs, dates, raisins and plenty of orange peel. In the background, more exotics with Turkish delight, toffee sauce, golden tobacco and processed brown sugar. The addition of water adds a ton of batter mix – waffles, pancakes – not quite Yorkshire pud thankfully, as well as emphasising the orange aromas with – tangerine and mandarin.
Taste: Boldly flavoured and impressively deceptive –you’d swear this was a sherry cask! Chocolate, raisins, figs and plenty of toffee sit with Black Forest gateaux and brown sugars. The mid-palate offers some punchy sappy wood – young trees, park benches and wood chips – it’s really the only sign this is not from ex-sherry. Water introduces cola cubes and gingerbread, offering a great balance between sweetness and spice.
Finish: Long with reduced pan sugars and prickly cask spicing.
I find this quite compelling – particularly because of its new oak camouflage, which, other than some overt oakiness on the palate genuinely feels like sherry influence – there’s a ton of reduced fruits, sugars and deep flavours here. Good at 56.1%, but verging on great with a drop or two of water.