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Cragganmore Limited Release Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) - Special Release 2016
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- ABV 55.7%
Since Diageo first commenced the Special releases in 2001, annual bottlings continue to thrill whisky hunters and tempt collectors. Stand out barrels are selected from the company's 28 operational single malt distilleries as well as two closed distilleries, Port Ellen and Brora. (Two grain distilleries are also in the mix).When Cragganmore is good, it's equivalent to whisky marmalade and it's usually cask strength examples that shine brightest. This is a (controversial) departure from previous Special Releases being a NAS edition. Natural strength at 55.7% and limited to 4932 bottles, maturation took place in refill, rejuvenated and x Bodega casks. Expect a weighty whisky. 5 stars from Serge Valentin. Review below. Other reviews... This year the NAS is not the Cynelish, it’s the Cragganmore. Not too sure about the rationale behind that. Maybe is it super-old and the distillers do not want us to have any preconceptions? Or maybe was the stencilling accidentally erased before they started to use barcodes on the casks? Or barcodes stripped away? Or is it just about blenders’ creativity indeed? About breaking them free from their shackles? Colour: gold. Nose: so very close! This is the 1999 at a higher strength, more or less. Same fat orchardy style, same herbal hints… I’m really all for this. With water: indeed, we’re extremely close. This one may have a wee tad more earthy earth. Perhaps cedar wood? Mouth (neat): totally excellent, and rather different this time. The fatness is there again, and so is the honey, but it’s also got rooty notes, between some kind of beetroot and sweet liquorice. Extremely creamy mouth feel. With water: maple syrup all over the place, plus a slice of pineapple and more honey. The earthy/rooty side is never far away. Finish: quite long, with a little more oranges, and plenty of fruit syrups. Perfect oaky balance. Comments: something extra. Really high-class, I’m starting to wonder if that’s not a cunning plan, bottling some perfect 25yo malt whisky, wiping away the age statement, and using these as proof of the excellence of NAS whisky in general. Come on, I’m joking!
90 points - www.whiskyfun.com