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Cragganmore 12 Year 2019 Special Release

Owl have another thanks

10 1390

MReview by @Mackstine

30th Mar 2020


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Pandemic review time. Been sitting on this sample from a good friend of mine. Tried a bit of it and greatly enjoyed it, but only am now taking the time to finish the sample and write up some tasting notes. I am one who loves the packaging Diageo did this past year. Yes, it's different, some bottles are almost garish, but I like that they took a risk. Sure, at the end of the day, it's what's in the bottle that counts, but examining the bottle itself is part of the experience and part of the fun. I like the owl on this bottle. Owls are cool. Owl bet this whisky will be a hoot. After all, hoo's ever had peated Cragganmore?

Nose: This is nice. The peat is there, but surprisingly, it's fresh islay peat.. else maybe I just don't have enough experience with mainland peat. Quality woody smoke - what I mean by that is when you go camping and you burn the nice dry wood that usually costs a bit more rather than what you find on the ground - now that's quality! Soft yummy gummy sweet fruit snacks, pine needle. The peat is young - bold, grassy, herbacious with a hint of dirt (yes young, but not immature), but the fruits suggest some age greater than 12 years imo. This nose is stellar. Worthy buying a bottle on the nose alone.

Palate: Peppery, characterful, feisty, oaky, smoked meat with a sweet rub, eucalyptus(mint?). Drying. Citrus - limes, lemon zest, lemon tea, flowery/herby flavored Saltwater taffy. Honey, Oily mouthfeel. Didn't feel like adding water, don't think it needed it, plus my sink is so far away... ugh. Pandemic laziness at play here.
I like it as it is. Wish Cragganmore released more at cask strength, because I'm all of afeather for this palate too.

Finish; short, bourbon-like, clean and pleasant. just as tidy as you'd need.

If I were to hazard a blind guess at this, I think I would have pegged it as a young, high quality Caol Ila. Since it's not from Islay, clearly this shows I know nothing, unless said friend accidentally bottled something from Islay for me instead. It's delicious stuff. Why oh why didn't I buy a bottle? It's definitely worthy to be judged as a special release because this is quite special. The nose for sure anyways.

Related Cragganmore reviews


MadSingleMalt commented

What a fun review!

7 months ago 4Who liked this?

RianC commented

@MadSingleMalt - yes, I also thought it was a real hoot!

7 months ago 3Who liked this?

Jonathan commented

Thank you for the helpful review. This whisky sounds really interesting.

7 months ago 0

OdysseusUnbound commented

Hoo knew Cragganmore made peated whisky? Owl be a little less ignorant when I go to bed tonight. Thanks for the review. smiley

7 months ago 4Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

Nice review. It provides a little regret for not picking up a bottle. I quite like the standard Cragganmore offering, I have often read that Cragganmore is very lightly peated something like 8ppm but didnt detect much in the regular 12yr old. I think there's a kind of floral, grassy and citrus side to this whisky that I wish I could try more examples of.

That said it is much hampered at 40% and with it's price edging into 80$± I've long since passed it over as something I'd buy again. This sounds like a fun version to try.

No owl puns sorry...

7 months ago 4Who liked this?

RianC commented

@cricklewood - yip, share your regret on not getting one of these. I've had bar pours of the standard and really enjoyed it but never bought a bottle for exactly the same reasons you say - price to presentation ratio is a bit off.

On reflection tion, I like this review so much I want to tweet it, but tweet to who?

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

Owl be darned...

7 months ago 3Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

Does it have a bit of an owly mouth feel?

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

Mackstine commented

Thanks for all the kind comments folks! Being cooped up can trigger some creativity (or insanity). Hope everyone's having some great flights of whisky!

7 months ago 3Who liked this?

Astroke commented

Hmmm, couple bottles of this sitting at an LCBO close to me. $140 seems reasonable for this, despite the LCBO. The Tali 15 CS may be joined by this one shortly and Owls well that ends well.

Lame, I know

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

@Astroke At that ABV it almost controls the virus you might pick up going to the LCBO to get it... They closed an LCBO near me because a worker tested positive.

6 months ago 0

Astroke commented

@Nozinan I will have a shot of 2012 GTS before I go in, at 71.4% I'm covered

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

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