Craigellachie aren’t quiet about the fact that they like to do things differently. For example, while most distilleries remove the sulphur that occurs as part of the distillation, the Craigellachie style actively embraces it: the use of worm tubs for instance helps preserve sulphur notes and create the big, meaty character that the brand is famous for. This 13 year-old has been the entry-level Craigellachie since the relaunch of the range a few years ago, and has probably the best designed label I’ve seen in a single malt.
Nose: Savoury and slightly bitter, with some fruit in the background. In a way it has parts of the familiar Speyside profile but without any of the usual honey or vanilla sweetness. Instead, we get pineapple, rubber, some cabbage, and beer. Water makes it softer and brings out cereal, unripe apricots and more pineapple.
Palate: Slightly sulphury and meaty arrival. Ham, that same rubber again, cereal. It then becomes quite grassy, with some grapefruit in the background. There isn’t a great deal of development, and water doesn’t help in this instance. It’s considerably less fruity than on the nose.
Finish: Quite long and predominantly bitter (beer/cider).
Comments: I find the nose fascinating, but it loses some points in both the palate and finish. Still, can’t take away from the fact that it’s got plenty of character and a unique flavour profile. The predominant notes are mostly savoury and bitter, but not in an unpleasant way. Recommended if you want to try something different.