So I’m at Cadenhead’s recommended bar, having a nice dram, enjoying myself, and I ask them for a recommendation, which is really the only thing to do when presented with that much whisky.
The bartender (great guy) mentioned I should go for one of the IB, as they were specific to the bar. Which was awesome. He picked out his favourite, let me have a wiff, and I ordered a dram of Craigellachie-Glenlivet 18 Cadenhead Small Batch.
I honestly didn’t know anything about this distillery before I tried some. Reading now, it’s currently owned by Bacardi and hasn’t done much at all. They seem to keep their heads down and stay out of the way. Even with their own release in 2004 where they no longer carried the “Flora & Fauna” name, they didn’t really do much else. Now you can mostly find them used by IB.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Colour: Polished Brass
Nose: Lemon, peach, mango, oak, peach pie, little butter/pie crust, jelly worm
Sweet and buttery, like a properly made fruit pie. The smell is actually really nice for a fruitier whisky. I’m quite surprised. This has been aged well.
Taste: Peach, lemon, burn, white chocolate, almond, cherry, floral/quince, peppers (hot), caramel
Took me awhile to really get the flavours out on the taste for this one, they are quite chaotic. The high alcohol needed a few drops of water, even after I waited my typical 20 minutes to drink it.
Finish: Lemon meringue, sweet earth, too much burn, lemon pepper, cinnamon hearts smashed into your mouth, mango, curry
No matter how many drops of water or teaspoons of water or waiting, I couldn’t calm this one down. It’s just insane how strong this is. The sweetness amplies the heat like bellows next to a fire.
Conclusion: I’ve had some high Abv. whiskies before, yet somehow the burn on this one takes the cake. The finish ruined it for me, and no matter how much water or time given, it still was really, really hot. It has potential, and I’d consider buying a mini given the chance, though I think this needs more work.
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