A 15 year old Cragganmore from the SMWS matured in an ex-bourbon refill cask for a dozen years or so years then finished for a few years in a second fill Red-Wine Barrique.
I quite like the Cragganmore 12 year old. It's a bit underpowered at 40% abv. But other than I think it's an underrated Speysider. So I was happy to grab this bottle when I was an SMWS member. Especially with the intriguing Red Wine cask finish.
Needs water. A fair bit of water.
Gooseberries, dry oak, limes, kiwi fruit, digestive biscuits.
Quite oily mouthfeel. Fairly quick arrival with a little pepper note and some heat. Development is quite drying with sour gooseberries and under-ripe green fruits. Some yeasty sourdough bread.
Long, starts with some subtle almost smoky oak then goes bitter with tannins.
I'm not getting the wine cask influence in the whisky. In fact I'm not picking up much cask influence at all. I'm not really getting biscuits either. So I'm not sure where the name comes from?
So another typical spirit-forward whisky from the SMWS. Even at 15 years this is very much spirit-forward. Not terribly complex, you'd never guess it was 15 years old in a blind tasting. If asked I'd have gone for 10 years old, tops.
Despite the review I didn’t mind this whisky. It was fairly enjoyable. Just not as good as I hoped it would be. In a good cask this could have been a really interesting whisky.
Every bottle I've had from the SMWS has been very much spirit-forward. Even the 16 year old Aberlour and 22 year Glen Grant I had were spirit dominated.