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The Bladnoch Forum hardly needs an introduction, I think. In a nutshell, Bladnoch is not only a Lowland distillery, but also an independent bottler. They bottle quite a few casks for the members of their forum. This is one of them, a 16 Year Old Cragganmore. The Speysider matured on a bourbon hogshead (cask number 1960) and yielded 313 bottles.
A huge prickle precedes a perfume of grass, flowers, vanilla and a tracé of smoke. Nothing earth shattering, but very nice indeed. Adding water hardly brings any changes to the nose.
Sturdy and oily on the palate with quite a bit of pepper in the vanilla. The freshly cut grass is prominent, with the fresh flowers as a sidekick. Again fairly simply, but very good. Adding water keeps it oily, but a whole lot gentler. I prefer it that way. Much better.
With or without water, the finish remains long and spicy.
This Cragganmore again shows that a dram doesn’t need to be overly complex to be alluring. And it’s a real swimmer, because it gracefully endures water.