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Cragganmore 12 Year Old

Average score from 10 reviews and 43 ratings 81

Cragganmore 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Cragganmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Cragganmore 12 Year Old

I was gifted a 20cl bottle of Cragganmore 12 by my brother. He doesn't share my enthusiasm for whisky so I was surprised he went for a 12yo scotch that isn't a household name around here. Cragganmore is part of the Diegeo portfolio, and is an entry level Speyside whisky bottled at 40%. My expectations are not too high but this is new for me so I'm excited to try it.

Neat in a Glencairn, bottle has been opened for about a week.

Nose: Standard Speyside nose of green pear, apple and vanilla. A slight whiff of smoke adds some depth. No harshness at all. Very mellow, creamy and fruity.

Palate: Very "smooth" as they say. Definitely grassy, with apple and vanilla the 2 dominant flavors. Again a light whiff of smoke to add balance. Very polite and easy going. 46%abv would really help things here in they way of flavor. The flavors here are quite nice and balanced, they're just weak.

Finish: More of the same on the finish. Apple, vanilla, again a slight whiff of smoke to finish things off. It's pleasant enough and I wish there was more of it but it leaves rather quickly.

Overall: This is a very polite, smooth, pleasant whisky that has standard 12yo Speyside notes that are well balanced, but could use even a small bump in abv to help with the strength of flavor.

@casualtorture I tried this in a bar years ago and quite liked it but I think the abv/cost/presentation ratio has always made me hang fire. Thanks for the review.

@casualtorture your review sums it up nicely, there is stuff happening under the surface, light peat, herbal, chamomile thing but the low abv hampers the whole package. I would love to try independent bottles of this but I think they are very little out there.


I’ll gloss over the hyperbole on the label, this is despite Diageo’s long seen through hype, a pretty main stream speyside.

Pale amber in colour, the aromas include orange zest, cinnamon and coriander seed, and touch of cheap sherry. On the palate it’s medium bodied with a background of honey sweetness introducing a range of delicate flavours of orange, papaya and strawberries along with a little more of that cheap sherry. Not overpoweringly flavourful or complex but it tastes like it’s doing you good somehow.

The finish seems to make each flavour more distinct as the sweetness fades, but it’s pretty short. Overall this is a simple well presented speyside malt, but with so many others on the market I do wonder how they all sell.

"It tastes like it’s doing you good somehow."

That's probably my favorite thing I've read about a whisky for a long time. To your health!

Cheers, i'm suffering the after effects of a seasonal virus and this particular dram seemed to help.


The Cragganmore 12 Year Old is the entry level malt of this Speyside distillery and is also the representative of the region in Diageo's Classic Malts of Scotland series. I am trying it from a 200ml bottle that came in a green box with a Talisker and Lagavulin.

Honeysweet and spicy nose. Candied fruit, nuts, apples and caramel. Sweet butter. Honey. Floral. Rosemary and heather. Breakfast cereals. Not much else. Far from bad, but rather simple.

Oily on the palate. Oranges dominate, supported by sweet malt, spices, roasted nuts and hay. Vanilla steps in to replace the caramel. Mildly drying.

The finish is short and grainy with a hint of chocolate.

Flawless classic entry level malt.


Cragganmore 12 YO is one of Diageo's six "Classic Malts of Scotland". The reviewed 200 ml bottle has been open 2 years, is 2/3rds full, and preserved with inert gas for the last 15 months. The review is of the whisky at present

Nose: the barley-malt shows sweet and tart citrus; there is also just a hint of grape fruitiness, and very light wood influence. There is no significantly noticeable smoke and only the faintest hint of peat. This nose is straightforward, pleasant, inoffensive, but not remarkable

Taste: this has gotten a lot richer in the mouth by having taken air for a long period of time; the translation of flavours from the nose is good, but those flavours were not too remarkable to begin with. Long aired, this has become quite sweet, quite citrusy, and with more noticeable fruitiness than in the nose. At first, and for at least the first year, this was a good bit more staid and ultra-restrained. I have to give this at least 2 more points than I would have for the bottle's first year

Finish: for the first year-plus, this would have been quite the continuation of a muted finish of a muted nose and palate. NOW, it continues a very sweet and sour citrusy and fruity-of-grape palate for a medium-long finish. 2 more points for this now, than before,...also

Balance: Cragganmore 12 is a malt which divides people. Those who like the basic, and I mean BASIC, flavours of barley-malt, often like this just fine. I have always found Cragganmore 12 to be quite pleasant and enjoyable. There is really no "WOW" factor present, though, for those who seek one out

I was surprised by how much this bottle changed after being very long open. Cragganmore 12 is a whisky of which I am happy to take a dram, but of which I will probably not anytime in the foreseeable future buy a 700 or 750 ml bottle. I probably would have scored this around 79 for the first year the bottle was open

Being well aware of the colouring and chill-filtration, I must say that I really liked this whisky. Not at all complicated, just a very drinkable and enjoyable bottle. I took this over to a friends house sometime ago and the group of us almost finished the entire bottle!

Certainly not a whisky to keep on the top shelf, but it is a very nice dram you can enjoy at parties and get togethers in my opinion.

@CanadianNinja, I very much agree with you that Cragganmore 12 is very drinkable and enjoyable, so long as one doesn't ask it to be something more complex or more intense than it is. As I recall we mentioned in a discussion that this is the sort of bottle that a group could easily and happily polish off while watching a sporting event on television.


Classic, no sherry. The way a whisky should be. Somehow this malt manages to be everything. Very fragrant, it has both cut grass and fruity aromas, which are normally mutually exclusive a-la Glenkinchie vs. Glenlivet. And it has the perfect, perfect amount of peat/smoke; it's there, but it balances perfectly with the other flavours.

Actually, I meant just NCF and color free. The one I tasted was not cask strength, unless I'm mistaken. Made a believer outa me. 'Shame that Craggan doesn't go more in the craft direction. There's always the future....

Try the cask strength nonchilltered versions without the artificial colors. They will blow you away, dude. Seriously.


According to the Single Malt Flavor Map, this one should have been just right for my tastes. Instead, it is just way too sweet, which ruins it for me. Another one that I ordered at the bar and it saved me from buying a whole bottle.


So thanks to the tax man i was able to purchase some whiskys to try/enjoy, these were Talisker 10yo, lagavulin 16yo, glenkinchie 12yo, cragganmore 12yr, dalwhinnie 15yo and highland park 12yo

So far i have tried the Talisker, Dalwhinnie 15yo and glenkinchie 12 and have enjoyed them all with the talisker being the stand out so far.

Now its time for the Cragganmore 12yo which is the only speyside of these tastings so a little exited.

Nose: Very nice, i get some apples among other fruit, a bit of sweetness and a touch of smoke.

Taste: Similar to the nose with the fruits but the apples dont stand out as much. Bit of spice and sweetness and a very smooth dram.

Finish: Nice and long, very dry making you want to drink more. The smoke on the nose comes back here

Overall a very nice whisky, nice and smooth and easy to drink.


I've tried many, many single malt scotches through the "standard scotch" price point (in my area, something like $30-50/bottle). This is the one I consistently come back to as my "everyday" scotch. The key word here is balance. The nose has nice oak notes, though nothing overmuch. The body of the scotch has some nice light citrus, as well as a little faint hint of peat. It's impressively smooth, but not so much so that it lacks finish entirely.

All that combines for a bottle that's just spectacularly even-handed. It's got hints of everything that makes good scotches great, blended together into a wonderfully balanced mix that is likely to satisfy whatever craving brings you to a bottle of scotch.

If you like scotch, I think you will, with near certainty, like this bottle. And if you're like me, you may find yourself coming back to it quite a few times.


The nose is showing a considerable complexity. It is not a narrow range of flavors. It is convincingly fruity (apple, pears, citrus etc) and lively. The mouth is echoing the fruitiness/ sweetness range, but it adds a pleasant spiciness to it. The finish has a distinct speyside-ness to it… with a dash of smokiness. It is a dry finish. After a while a toffee note seems to grow.

Overall: It is a contemporary classic which is very reasonably priced. However, it is singing a loud E 150 song. The color is much too fake for any Whisky connors… Diageo stop that! Why do you shortchange your fine product with this unnecessary theater?

It is a contemporary classic…that is the reason why I got it… however E 150 and the 40% are a poor choice from Cragganmore… Period! Why not bottle it with higher strength? It would support the quality of the malt. This is the reason why I would not rate it higher… even if I fully understand that some Whiskies receive here often unrealistic high grades… but certainly.. it is a very good Whisky

The Cragganmore 12 year old has one of the most divine noses going around...

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