Wait…wait…wait some more. Now? No, not yet, wait a little longer. Now? No there is still no wining about all those NAS* bottlings. OK, I’ll wait… Well surely now? Yes, go, go, go! NOW!
This is how I imagine it went down at Bacardi HQ. In 1998 Craigellachie, Aberfeldy, Aultmore and Royal Brackla were sold by UDV (now Diageo) to Bacardi (Martini). Only once before was there an official Craigellachie released by Bacardi, namely the 14yo (and a special 21yo for the Craigellachie Hotel). Finally after a lull of 16 years, and when the whole world only talks about the plethora of NAS Whiskies, Bacardi puts out official releases of all of their distilleries, including Macduff (with Deveron as the brand, so no more Glen Deveron). Today we’ll have a look at the Craigellachie 13yo, one of a series of five. The first stint saw the release of this 13yo together with a 17yo and a 23yo. Not much later we’ll see a 19yo for travel retail and a majestic 31yo.
Color: Light gold.
Nose: Creamy with sawdust and bourbon vanilla. Spicy and fresh-baked bread. Wine gum fruitiness with a touch of sulphur. Dusty flower and mushy apple. The sulphur part (mind you it just a touch), first the spicy part of the oak quite well. Tiny hint of honey, soap and butter. This official 13yo is most definitely less funky than most of the Independent expressions I’ve nosed thus far. Probably the funkiness comes from Sherry wood.
Taste: Sweet and very creamy with again a nice woody spiciness that catches up. Fruity and a hint of burned bread, Buttered toast. Still the whole is not all to heavy and the finish isn’t miles long. The sulphur and the wine gums pop up in the finish and takes a bit away from the balance. Very drinkable and accessible. Nice soft Whisky from Bourbon or Tennessee Whisky casks.
If you ask me, Bacardi made a lot of effort to take the world by surprise by not only issuing five whiskies with an age statement, but also with its design, We’ll have a look at some of the others later, but these five look absolutely stunning. Well done. The Whisky itself was matured in Refill American Oak Casks and that shows. Same score as the Laphroaig Select. Both sweet and different from each other, and will fit together nicely. (Take the Craigellachie first).
*NAS (No Age Statement)