The Diageo Special Releases are back! Always a bit of a feast for whisky lovers, I think. I’ll try one of them, but one that was released several years ago. This Cragganmore 1988 was released in 2014 after a quarter century in the cask.
The nose is very musty, as if I am sitting in the attic. This is not disturbing in the least. After some breathing I get lots of Werther’s Originals, summer fruit (mango, melon) and marzipan. Then some dark honey and apples, a slice of lemon and a green olive. Oak and liquorice are there, but keep a low profile, so you can discover the spirit in full. Some mint keeps things fresh. This is a lovely nose, fairly old school.
It is very creamy, but surprisingly soft. Mostly sweet now on honey, apples and pears, some pineapple, coconut milk and citrus fruit. The spices are very active: ginger, chili pepper and (lots of) vanilla. Mint returns and some grassy notes appear. I’m thinking virgin oak, but suspect the chance is very small that Cragganmore used that type of cask back then. I would never have guessed this malt was 25 years old if I had tasted it blind. But who cares when it’s this good?
The finish is medium long, very fruity and playful, but drying. The wood keeps the sweetness in check. At the death I suddenly get a lovely note of popcorn!
Lovely and balanced old school Cragganore. Good, but expensive. Between 350 and 450 EUR. Thanks, Joey.