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Craigellachie 17 Year Old

Fruity Summer in a glass

6 588

MReview by @Mackstine

21st May 2018

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    88

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This was a generous sample given to me by a very good friend; I decided to pop it open on a beautiful spring day, and boy does it fit for the occasion.. a surprising characteristic of most good whiskies ;)

On the nose: truth be told, based on the color, I initially assumed a bourbon cask, but on the first few whiffs, I'm getting raisins, sun rype bar/fruit roll up, bit of chocolate fudge which tells me that there's a fairly vibrant sherry cask at work here.... bit more time gives me some apple notes and a slight bit of biscuitiness that would hint at some bourbon cask too.... just my guess anyways. Either way, very pleasant and enjoyable nose. great start

Palate: mm this is pretty nice feeling, it's got a good oiliness that seems to ooze into a lot of the crevices in your mouth. I love it when a whisky does that. Palate has some tang - lemon, oranges... citrusy, honey, some high quality papaya (read that as the papaya flavor sans the vomity flavor you get at the tail end of bad papaya), seems to be like some relatively loud vanilla and some ginger. Confusing - where's the sherry my nose picked up? more Bourbon than sherry characteristics. Nonetheless, the bourbon notes are fairly good. I find it similar to some of the Benriach bourbon matured single casks that I'm really fond of.

Finish: this sticks around for quite a while. pleasant bit of fruity stickiness with some "pineapple bun" -> reference to what the chinese call a "boloh bao". yum

Ok, I liked this a lot, this is very good whisky... then I went to check out the price and immediately balked. $190 CAD in Alberta, Canada. As I mentioned, there's some single cask benriachs that this drink makes me think of, but they're a fraction of the price. there's some cheaper bourbon matured Arran which I liked better, and this list of comparables could go on. On that note, maybe my palate's off, but I feel like there should be some more obvious sherry notes, but perhaps I'm just not picking them up, the palate seems like it's more or less all bourbon. If you want a good solid whisky, sure you can't go wrong with this, but I might be able to get my hands on 2x bottles of other stuff I'd like a similar amount for the price of one of these bottles.

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5 comments

Wierdo commented

I've been eyeing up a Craigellachie but like you have been put off by the extravagant price!

4 months ago 0

Mackstine commented

Haha, yeah, I complain about the price, and then I go and buy up a $200 10 yr Kilchoman. I'm a bit of a hypocrite, but then again, this just didn't excite me enough to spend that kind of money

4 months ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Don't sweat it—whisky's about the drinking experience, not the specs! relaxed

If it's worth $200 in your glass, then it doesn't matter what it says on the label.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

The thing that annoys me about the price of Craigellachie is how do they justify the prices they charge?

You look at distilleries like Macallan, Highland Park, Ardbeg. They charge a premium for their whiskies but they have spent years building their reputation. They have a tonne of good reviews and awards behind them. I would argue that in the case of the first two the whisky no longer justifies the hype or price. But they didn't just charge that straight away. They built up to it.

The 17 year old Craigellachie is £100 in the UK. The 23 is £380!!

For what is a pretty bog standard Speysider. They're competing with the likes of Glenfarclas, Benromach and Glendronach all of which are apparently better whiskies at a much cheaper price. Why do they think I would buy their whisky just because it's got a hipster friendly label?

Rant over!

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Wierdo I won't buy THE Macallan because I have yet to taste one that justified its price tag, in my opinion. Ditto for THE Dalmore. I really like Highland Park 18 (or Viking whatever the hell it's called now), but I will NOT pay $200 for it. We all have a tipping point (or point of diminishing returns) with regards to price/enjoyment of a whisky. Glenfarclas and Glendronach continue to be two of the best values in malt whisky, in my opinion. I have tasted Glendronach 12 and THE Macallan 12 Double Cask side by side, and it wasn't even close. I'm glad Glendronach 12 is $20 cheaper, because it's a significantly better whisky. I'm even luckier, as my wife's grandfather has a good number of unopened bottles of Glendronach 12, which he told me he plans to give me, as he keeps getting new ones from his brother. I haven't tried this Craigellachie 17, and at $152 CAD in Ontario, I'm not likely to. That's about the same price as Lagavulin 12....which I love, but still have not purchased yet. That's a lot of money for a bottle of booze.

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

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