Craigellachie 23 & 31 Year Old

By Joe Burns Tuesday 1st Aug, 2017

Craigellachie reached out to us and thought we might enjoy two of their whisky’s – they were right, so into the Dapper Chapper Bar arrived the 23 and 31 Years Old single malt Scotch Whisky.

Steeped in history, like many other distilleries in the Highlands, Craigellachie creates a whisky with strong heritage, tradition, and incredibly specific rituals – all in order to maintain the bold, muscular aroma and flavour their fans expect.

Established since 1891, Craigellachie use spring water from the Blue Hill dam and malted barley from a oil-fire kiln in Glenesk. To distill the spirit, they’ve chosen to ignore the cheaper and much easier modern processes, and continue to use the old “worm tub” method, with narrowing copper pipes snaking back and forth through cold water. Together, the rare ingredients and tried and tested methods are said to create a whisky with distinctive, extra flavour, rivaling whiskies twice their age. It’s fair to say then that we were expecting big things, and we certainly weren’t let down.

The 23 Year Old was a fantastic way to start – we chose to taste this neat and with a small measure of water for variance, no ice thank you. Immediately, there’s a malty sweetness with fruity notes on the palate. On top of this, we tasted an oaky flavour combined with mild citrus, and finally, a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. Smooth and gentle at the back of the throat, this whisky is a very enjoyable way even for novices to experience the balance of different flavours in a spirit.

On the 31 Year Old, and, well, this may be one of the best whisky’s we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. Again, neat, and with water to ease the flavours onto the palate, it was incredibly enjoyable to sample another great spirit but one that was so very different to the last.

An indulgent smokiness opens up the senses to the smooth, well balanced rich flavours of this whisky, with exotic fruits blending beautifully with oak notes, it’s like walking through a Moroccan spice souk.

On the finish, the fruit flavours linger for a moment, and invites you for another taste all too soon. This is a beautifully crafted whisky that should be savoured and respected, ideal for special occasions or a heartfelt gift. Christmas can’t come soon enough…

Craigellachie also have 13, 17, and 19-year-old aged whiskies, so if you’re keen to explore their creations, you’ll have plenty of choices to enjoy and compare.