Cragganmore Distiller’s Edition 1998

CDE 2.jpg

I totally planned to post this after Diageo announced their special editions for the next year.

And if you believe that, I have some land, under a bridge, in a swamp, that’s on fire, to sell you.

That sentence was so broken it has to go to a therapist once a week and cry its feelings out. At least their lawn looks great (that’s a reference to an old Denis Leary joke).

So I’ve reviewed a few Distiller’s Editions in my time. I find them typically to be nice additions, or interesting experiments that didn’t quite “go the distance”, if you get my meaning. Because I’m suBtle.

However this is my first time reviewing Cragganmore Distiller’s Edition. What’s the difference? Well it’s 14 years old, so 2 years older than the standard, and finished in port pipes. A smarter man/woman/beachball-kin would assume that means it’s finished for two years in said pipes.

A smarterer one would think that’s just making an assumption and who knows how long it really was. An even smartererer person would look it up.

But you want to know what my mouth areas thought of this, so let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

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Price: Not currently available at the LCBO

Region: Speyside

Distilled: 1998

Bottled: 2012

Cask Finish: Port Pipes

Abv: 40%

Colour: 5Y 7/8

Nose: Strawberry, brown sugar, lemongrass, lime zest

One could easily mistake this for a sherry finish. It’s a bit more spritey than other port finishes I’ve had, which I attribute to the citrus nature I fairly or unfairly attribute to Cragganmore.

Nothing too out there. Nice nose, bit light. With this was a higher proof, personally. But I sound like a broken record saying that. So instead I’ll say: I wish this whisky had some brashness and pop.

Taste: White pepper, cherry, cumin, celeriac, lemon, grape

There’s quite a bit of earth to this one. I’m not the biggest port drinker, however from what little I’ve had, I’m going to say that’s the influence, as the last review I did of Cragganmore 12 had only a little earth, and this ups that trend and slaps it down like a prostitute being hit by a fat guy with pock marks on his face.

Nice amount of flavours. It’s too bad earth and fruit get along like all of the Middle East at a gay orgy.

Finish: Vinegar, capicollo, brine, dried strawberry, custard

Very dry and salty. And if that’s your thing, I know a Mediterranean nightclub that’s right up your alley.

Meaty parts are interesting. I made sure that I wasn’t just tasting the Chacuterie board I had by having extra water and re-testing this. Nope, still meat.

Conclusion: I gave the original Cragganmore 12 a 77 because I liked the different citrus and how it mixed with meatier parts.

This ended up quite dry, the fruit and earth aspects didn’t mesh well, and the nose, while nice, was weak. It’s one of those cases where I can honestly say there’s respect and quality here, it just didn’t all work together as it should.

You may feel differently. I know that these reviews are personal by nature; this one feels more personal. So I’d recommend you do like me: Order the chacuterie. Oh, and try this at a bar before buying a bottle.

73/100

Scotch review #476, Speyside review #141, Whisky Network review #779

1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die review #299

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