Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Craigellachie 13 Year Old

Patience is Key

1 1489

@vrudy6Review by @vrudy6

25th Sep 2015

0

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
    ~
  • Overall
    89

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Craigellachie 13 claims to be an old fashion made product. They boast about their worm tubs used in their process-- supposedly creating a spirit rich and full flavored. However, this is not exclusive to them. The likes of Old Pulteney, Springbank, Oban, Talisker, Craggenmore and a few more, also use worm tubs. Sounds to me there is a bit of marketing trickery afoot.

I was really curious about this SM because of the good reviews I've read online and the simple fact that is natural color, non-chill filtered and 46% abv. Everytime I hear that I just gotta have it.

The bottle has been dumped in a wide bottom decanter for two and a half days and the tasting is with a half teaspoon of water added.

Nose: Fresh, Lemon, pineapple, vanilla, ginger root tea, peppery, Granny Smith apples, apricots, traces of maple and butterscotch, dusty, quite earthy.

Palate: Bitter-sour arrival. The distillery describes it as "meaty", but to me it's chewy-rich barley. Semi-dry. Nutty sherry. Heavy spices at the apex like pepper with a touch of... Habanero? Now the fruits arrive like the nose suggests: Apricots, pineapples, green apples also a solid dose of vanilla extract with a bit of honey. As you get closer to the end it drops into low bass notes of dark chocolate and expresso coffee. As you can see its all bitter and sour. A touch of barley sugar balances all out anchoring the bitterness and preventing it to become a runaway freight train.

Finish: Medium to long. Earthy. Bitterness peaking again,but not as dominant as mid-palate. A slight caramel and maple appears and tapers off at the finish.

When first opened, it was very, very tight. No flavors were really tasted. It was bitter- sour with loads of pepper, and spirit dominated. After decanting, it opened up drastically. There is a ying and yang going on here. I've never had an experience like this with any other SM. It's light and vibrant, then turns deep and chewy to then finishing light and vibrant once more.

Patience is key with this one. This is certainly not a beginners whisky. It's definitely challenging, but with some patience, it is certainly rewarding.

Related Craigellachie reviews

14 comments

@mscottydunc
mscottydunc commented

Great review! My dad has a bottle of the Craigellachie 17 that has yet to be opened and I am hoping it is similar to the 13 after reading your review.

Cheers.

4 years ago 0

@vrudy6
vrudy6 commented

I've heard that age makes a huge difference with this one. The 17 is better, but the 21 is intense, outstanding.

4 years ago 0

@vrudy6
vrudy6 commented

Since a week being opened, now is at its peak. It's gotten creamier and nuttier

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Frost
Frost commented

I really like the nose and tasting notes on this one, seems rather unique. About time it got an OB.

4 years ago 0

@Newkophile
Newkophile commented

Still getting used to this after having bought it less than a week ago. Definite astringency upon initial opening, less so a day later. Will hopefully enjoy this in due time.

3 years ago 0

@vrudy6
vrudy6 commented

The sherry will become more prominent after a week or so, and definitely more complex. Cheers!

3 years ago 0

@jerryclyde
jerryclyde commented

Thanks for the nice review. I loved the nice sweet/bitter interplay mid-palate, but found that the growing bitterness in the finish was too much - perhaps some suspicious casks? It's hard to compare tasting experiences when discussing whiskies that are not confined to a single cask. Who knows what the bottling schedule might be for this 13 yo. I wish that the bottling codes (something I always look for, but hardly ever understand) were more decipherable. Cheers.

7 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@jerryclyde bitterness on the finish of Craigellachie 13? No surprise whatsoever. They brag about using insufficient copper in their stills to take out the sulphur. I did a Craigellachie nine-whisky class with celebrity brand ambassador Georgie Bell in which she went on and on and on about how proud they were of their sulphur.

The long-aged, viz. 20+ yo Craigellachies eventually lose almost all of that sulphur from the long wood aging. The younger Craigellachies, definitely to include the 13 yo, still have the sulphur present strongly.

7 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound you smell it and you taste it, unless your physical apparatus is totally sulphur blind.

7 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor I am not sulphur blind at all, unfortunately. But is Craigellachie’s sulphur a “meaty” flavour or is it more “eggs/matches/onions”?

7 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Probably closer to 'meaty'. You may like it. It is not for me. Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy a glass of Craigellachie 13, but I would never consider buying a bottle. Now that 30 yo stuff of theirs...that is something else. I'd love to own some of that, but I'm sure it's quite expensive.

7 months ago 1Who liked this?

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in