This Cragellachie spent 14 years in ex-bourbon hogshead before being finished in a 2nd fill red wine barrique.
Nose: Fruits and sugary rich sauces. Hedgerow berries and apples, are joined by maple syrup on waffles, chocolate sauce on pancakes (decadent stuff) and a hearty sprinkling of demerara sugars. Dark honey sits with wine gums (red and black ones) whilst cinnamon spice and suede leather morph into sweet unsmoked tobacco. Reduction reveals a more overt wine influence – stewed plums, cherries and unctuous treacle.
Taste: Bolder, with a powerful delivery, but just as rich and rewarding – Raspberries and cranberries are reduced into jams and marmalades whilst toffee sauce and treacle sit with brown sugars, and raisins. The mid palate expresses firm spicing with ginger, cinnamon and sharp chilli influences, whilst burnt pastries and clove-studded ham roasts are added to the party. The addition of water reveals some well-worn leather armchairs, chocolate sponge cake and mentholated oak.
Finish: Medium to long with reduced pan sugars, and an oven-roasted Sunday joint with well caramelised fat.
Despite only being a yearlong finish, the red wine influence here is well-integrated and rather layered – offering a harmoniously balanced Craigellachie that ably delivers both sweetness and intensity, with neither outstaying their welcome. Recommended.