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Like many other contemporary distilleries between 1956 and 1981 the old Glenburgie distillery used to host a set of Lomond stills. They produced a single malt distinctive from the main product Glenburgie, named Glencraig after the director Willie Craig. But as with most Lomond tales, by the early 80s the gig was up and they were sent to the scrapyard for recycling. Room had to be made for another set of regular pot stills to increase the production of Glenburgie single malt. It was higher in demand by the blend industry and far easier to produce without the high maintenance Lomond still.
Today Glencraig is one of the rarest whiskies out there: unknown and unloved. But a fair amount of it found its way into the hands of independent bottlers like Cadenhead, Signatory Vintage and Gordon & MacPhail.
Description: a 1970 vintage Glencraig, presumably 25yo and bottled as a miniature in 1995 by Gordon & MacPhail at 40% ABV.
Nose: on the light side and mainly malt driven it seems. I pick up the scent of banana liquor, carrot cake and saw dust with a touch of dish detergent.
Mouth: a short nervous attack of alcohol on the tongue, some bitter orange peel, cloves and rough grind black pepper on the palate
Finish: a short drying fade out on orange and pepper
Verdict: funny thing this whisky: barely noticeable on the nose until it suddenly bites you in the tongue before disappearing again in the shadows. A true hit-and-run whisky! Interesting and very intense for a 40%er but it lacks any depth for a 25yo whisky.