Last month’s sherried Craigellachie (44.100) really did blow me away, so this one has some big shoes to fill. 13 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead with a 1st fill PX finish. View SMWS
Nose: Waffles coasted in burnt toffee sauce sit with plums reduced with pastry – tart tatin – and caramelised pan sugars. There’s a top layer of spiced hedgerow berries – cinnamon and allspice sprinkled over cranberries and redcurrants. In the background, a much more umami angle – leather sofas, hessian cloth and eggy bread. Dilution brings macerated cherries in to the mix, whilst also adding lime juice and additional fabrics – cotton and sack cloth.
Taste: Rich, sweet and mouth filling on arrival. Cherries and boozy redcurrants sit with potpourri, cinnamon and cloves. Chocolate pralines and toffee sauce is livened by vanilla pods and tart grapefruit, whilst tanned leather and wet soils add additional depths. Reduction particularly highlights the leather – soft but highly polished as well as bringing out some sharp sappy wood.
Finish: Long with cinnamon and cloves sitting with damp wood and moist earth.
A well-judged Pedro Ximenez finish has given this Craigellachie a sense of opulence – the sweetness and spices sit well over the top of the spirit’s rich caramel and chocolate character. Good stuff.