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Bacardi's new marketing of the Craigellachie single malt should be studied in an MBA program. Retro-cool packaging, wide distribution, big presence at whisky events and high quality product combine for what I'm sure is a very successful re-launch. The new expressions are 13, 17, 19 and 23 years old. I've tasted the 13 before, it's quite nice, and I managed to pick up a bottle of the 17 (it's been open for a number of months). The distillery still uses worm tubs, as well as a shallow Steinecker mash tun. The new range is non-chill-filtered.
The colour is a dull medium gold. Malty on the nose, with hints of liquorice, white pepper, light toffee, vanilla, honey, rum-raisin and pineapple. Buttered, slightly burnt toast. Citrusy. A very faint peatiness - this is like a very light Talisker. Be careful with water, it really doesn't need it.
On the palate there is more vanilla, with a fair bit of spice. Green apples. Toasted oak. Water ups the spice factor even more. Slightly sulphured. This is a delicious malt, with slate, slight hint of peat and a grassiness that is very scrumptious.
The finish is peppery with an umami meatiness, and is fairly long, with a pull from the oak tannins. I'm not crazy about the sulphur on the palate, but otherwise this is a very nice dram, quite complex and enjoyable. That both Craigellachie and Talisker still use worm tubs explains a slight similarity I find between them (even though this one is a Speysider). Very much worth picking up.