A neat, strong and characterful Craigellachie with pretty sharp corners and edges - for all who like "the rough trowel", a clear recommendation! For my personal taste, however, I would have preferred a more effective balance and smoother integration of the alcohol and perhaps let the barrel rest for a while ;-)
Dutch caramel vla and marzipan greet the nose with a dominant sweetness. The gooseberries, always present to me at Craigellachie, join in, still slightly green strawberries and currants as well, all served in a fruit compote with cream, cognac and cinnamon powder - and on the floral side a hyacinth blossom, somehow fruity and dusty at the same time. There is a distinct pang like lemon-pepper on the nose, leading to more savory flavors: a malt beer on Grandma's oak table, the smell of yesterday's roast beef and the open door of the horse stable in the yard - Craigellachie's delightful "positive muff" ! In addition heavy walnut oil and balsamic vinegar, a fingertip iodine ointment and a spice, which I would most likely associate with an air-dried salami. Yes, I would say there was a nice sherry influence in the game ...
At almost 67 percent by volume anything but surprising, the first sip of the mouth first dries out sweet astringent, almost by itself the liquid seems to fly away. Phew, you have to breathe deeply before a sweet invasion of milk chocolate, caramel pudding and acacia honey with a mouthful of cognac is announced. Marzipan with strawberries and gooseberry tart with cream also play a significant role, as do leathery, grainy and herbaceous notes, almost a grilled fish in herb breadcrumbs with a lemon balm leaf. And always the alcohol sharpness always burns with everything.
In the reverberation, which is rather short although the throat burns for two more three moments, the Craigellachie character sets in again in pure form: rotten wood, malt, grated herbs and iron as well as some earth and gooseberries remain on the palate , Somehow I imagine such a malt beer with 67%, if there was such a thing.
Here I try the addition of some water in view of the sharpness of the alcohol: the fruitiness then increases significantly in the nose, rum marzipan and the berries become more dominant, heaviness and spiciness noticeably decrease. Malt and hazelnut biscuits are now more pronounced in the mouth, more bitter overall and still biting. The chocolaty notes are almost completely submerged. After all, the finish remains as hoped comparable to the horse stable. Overall, the particularly attractive proportions unfortunately drown for me in the water, because I prefer the cask strength despite the sheer sharpness.