Whiskybase

Cragganmore 20-year-old

Overall rating
87.83/100
votes
210
Whiskybase ID
WB164637
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2020
Bottled
2020
Stated Age
20 years old
Casktype
new fresh-charred American oak casks
Strength
55.8 % Vol.
Size
700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
L0147CM013
Barcode
5000281063393
Added on
30 aug 2020 11:18 pm by Likudi
Cask Strength

Average value

£ 171.06

82 × in wishlist

210 × member ratings

497 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Cragganmore 20-year-old

43 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 87.83 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    [October, 2020] I enjoyed last year's "accidentally peated" Cragganmore very much because the combo of the trademark fruity Cragganmore profile with some firm but not too heavy peat flavours worked pretty well. This year Diageo is back to the pure Cragganmore profile and the first sniffs and sips were a complete disappointment to my taste buds...

    ...because this dram needs water like the desert needs the rain! I found the neat dram unimpressive and woody without any highlights to mention - but after adding a fair share of water all of a sudden the flavours erupt and a fine and quaffable profile enfolds. So do not fool yourself with a strict "neat-drams-only" drinking policy and reduce this dram to about 45% abv. It makes a huge difference, as much as 4-5 points in my book (I had the neat dram at 84 points only).
    • Nose
      88 88
      The colour is deep gold and the nose of the neat dram is very closed and punchy. Not so many aromas are detectable at all, mainly wood-driven ones. This is unimpressive and boring, I score it 82 points only. After adding a significant share of water to reduce the dram to about 45% (after playing a little around with watee this turned out to be the most enjoyable abv, to me) the aromas all of a sudden explode in the glass and offer the fine fruity Cragganmore profile as I like it. This balances out the wooden notes almost completely, what a surprise! Now this nose is very enjoyable and it gets even better upon breathing. Wow, this is biggest improvement upon reduction I can remember - from 82 to 88 points just with the help of a little water, stunning...
    • Taste
      89 89
      The taste of the neat dram is alcoholic and wood-driven with just some sweet barley sugary flavours shining through. I have to chew quite a while to detect the trademark Cragganmore fruits but they are overwhelmed by the heavy oaky notes. The neat score is 85 points here, after the chewing. The reduced taste is much, much better and very quaffable. It offers an amalgam of fruits, honeys, spices, floral impressions and waxes in a firm but no longer dominating wooden framework. I like to chew and explore it despite there are no layers, but in the reduced dram a lot of flavours are to catch nonetheless.
    • Finish
      87 87
      The initial mouthfeel is very hot with again significant bitter-drying woody moments. Same with the medium finish, the neat dram scores 84 points here. To reduced dram arrives nicely on the palate with a warming feeling and creamy coating texture, the bitter-drying wooden moments are still there but they do no harm in this setting. The finish gains significantly in length and adds more honey-fruity flavours as well as some drying-herbal impressions to balance the sweetness. It gets increasingly drying towards the end (cardboards) but it is not really distracting (compared to the neat version this is rather smooth).

  2. dRambo scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    I love the style of old Cragganmore so was very curious here ..
    The sample is fresh, the bottle was freshly uncorked, I taste from 2 sniffers, 1 * with and 1 * without water and after the first sip let it go for a few hours with the lid on.

    Résumé - standing around didn't do him good, the fruit notes and flowers, for me the best thing about the substance, evaporated after 2 hours, the whisky is ok, but I don't feel like buying - too much wood, too little fruit, sweetness, Flowers hardly have any charm - I like Ord, Tali and Laga from the last SR much better.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Imho needs water immediately - not because it stings, the alcohol is cautious, but also the fruit notes without water.
      Without water, the first nose is reminiscent of a modern Cragganmore 12 with slightly more sweetness and a few cooked overripe fruits and shortcrust pastries - very tasty - but very modern with rather inferior citrus notes (price range 30 €) and a certain mineral floury - that looks young, on the other hand oily, denser, fuller than the 12 of course, I miss the aromas for the age, the texture is fine

      With water, the nose becomes softer, the slight "missing notes" recede and a delicious floral sweetness spreads - reminiscent of the scent of roses, polished wood, is more complex, finer, appealing and alluring, unfortunately the ripe fruits are gone, right after that Thinning reveals delicate notes of banana, melon and removes gossamer mango, biscuits just before they burn in the oven, and coconut warm
    • Taste
      86 86
      Woody - tart and dry, fresh boards, adhesive associations, mineral, citrus, quite thin in the mouth feel - at least in relation to the oily nose, slight alcoholic tingling but lately I've had more of a max. 46% substance.
      Here I perceive very light smoky notes, degraded, delicately ashy, bound to citrus, green banana peel - astringent
    • Finish
      86 86
      doesn't stand out negatively, but doesn't bring me anything new either, it smells much sweeter than it tastes, especially here I'm missing a bit of sweetness.

  3. galg33 scored this whisky 90 points Member Senior

    Nose: A rather underwhelming nose at first, but give it some time and it will bloom… Starting sweet with some fruit – mostly pears and maybe unripe banana, vanilla and a hint of wax, vanilla custard, and Creme Catalan, there’s a mossy/old touch to it as well, and a citrus edge not very lemony more of a ripe orange, maybe a Nectarine, and then a nice amount of oak.

    Palate: Much creamier and vanilla-centric than the nose, a nice start, then moving on to polished oak, some grapefruit pith, lemon rind, wee smoke and honey, then spicy ginger and mint, alongside chocolate and licorice.

    Finish : hints of smoke, wood char, some more wax, and distant dried fruit.

  4. HammerHead scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    The nose is very well balanced. As this dram becomes more and more wood driven in taste and especially development and finish it loses some points in my overall rating.
    • Nose
      89 89
      Grain driven, four grain cookies, buttered toast, clear vanilla, cake, citrus, lemon zest, some dried fruits like apples and apricots, wet pebbles, chipped flintstone and a slight note of wood dust.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Full and creamy, much more wood driven than the nose, spicy and fruity, vanilla, grainy, lemon zest, lime, apricot, still some of the pebbles, a peppery spiciness with nutmeg and bitter wood sap.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium to long: slight vanilla with a whiff of fruity sweetness shining through, then mainly wood driven with pepper, sawdust and a lingering bitter spiciness.

  5. thijs100 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    A bit of an atypical Cragganmore at times, although it does has some trademark features.
    • Nose
      Some soft lemon peel, vanilla custard, a whiff of oak shavings and just a hint of Greek yoghurt with honey. Touches of moss and sweet nectarines as well. Not hugely expressive but enticing nonetheless.
    • Taste
      Creamy vanilla and an oily mouthfeel. Juicy fruits like pineapple and grapefruit, but also a whiff of honey and lemon peel. Touches of white chocolate, spicy ginger and a whisper of smoke.
    • Finish
      A whiff of beeswax, orange marmelade and gentle spices.

  6. markjedi1 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    This Speyside malt slept for two decades on refill and freshly charred casks.

    Wonderfully fruity nose on melon, grass, hint of ointment (!), kiwi and quince. And a hint of green banana.

    Very creamy on the palate. Round and full of taste. Sweet on both white fruit and citrus fruit. Something of Cointreau. Wow!

    Nicely long finish on orange marmalade.

    Tip: this one can cope with a good spash of water. It becomes better still.

    Great and affordable. The surprise of this year’s line-up. Price/quality ratio: unbeatable.

  7. rampah scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Very wood driven for 20 years of maturation.

    I did enjoy it a lot, but it won't be evryones cup of tea.

  8. huangshantong scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    I think it's a bit low on average, it's a very good base whisky and a good choice for a ration. I myself love this strong, malty-based winery style thing. It is the core spirit of Scotland.
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  9. Jimbeau scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  10. tancerz11111 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      87 87

  11. hlz30 scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    To me this one was tropical, benefitting from long maturation in American oak barrels.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Mineral rock, and a clear hint of candle wax. On the fruity side we have ripen apple with wax, orange pulp, coconut, dried apricot. But it also showed the nutty character of walnut, almond. Some bubblegum andn ripen peach after long breathing.
    • Taste
      90 90
      Medium body that grew richer with chewing, with plenty of candle wax, coconut oil, wood polish, orange juice, and evident tropical fruitiness (mango). Ended with moderate oak spices and bitterness.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Slightly drying and medium to long finish, with the candle wax and coconut oil staying still. Creamy, milky finish.

  12. Gregorsky scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
      87,5
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  13. zzqfyl scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  14. DimiIkon scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Blind Tasting: March 2022
    • Nose
      Floral, with citrus and some oak wood. With a little water: More fruitiness, beautiful spices and a fantastic honey sweetness.
    • Taste
      Meaty, with citrus, honey, heather and weak oak tones. Nice summer fruits, creamy with a mild spices.
    • Finish
      Pepper and spices, some heather, still very floral and with a nice sweetness. A bitter tone emerges and balances the dram nicely.

  15. Stefan_Hartl scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    I was concerned about the barrel selection, but this Cragganmore is really well matured and delicious.
    • Nose
      Immediately an enormous, velvety, sugary-sweet fruitiness with juicy pears and floury apples. Behind it the hint of a campfire smoke note. After a while, bananas and leather notes are added. A beautiful nose that instantly stimulates the flow of saliva.
    • Taste
      Creamy, mouth-filling and sweet on the tongue. That seems mature and settled. Then an emerging seasoning with a slightly ashy smoke. In addition, citrus notes and again banana.
    • Finish
      An immediately onset, peppery, sweet spiciness with juicy pear stays on the palate for a long time.

  16. Willum scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  17. Killswitch scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  18. Killswitch scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  19. lincolnimp scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    No notes tasted at a show.
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  20. Maltimizer scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
      Tropical fruits, intense alcohol, molasses, hookah tobacco, vanilla, pear and banana
    • Taste
      88 88
      At first mild, after swallowing intense alcohol on the tongue, black pepper and lemon, ripe pineapple and peach, spice sets in, espresso and vanilla, slightly grassy
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium length and dry, espresso liqueur, further grassy and peppery

  21. 67conrad67 scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    Smell: fine wood, throaty, slightly artificial sweetness, aromas very closely interwoven,
    Taste: dry, wood present, warming alcohol in the aftertaste
    Color: deep gold, clear
    Conclusion: Unfortunately not tried it with a little water - should work wonders…. Unfortunately for me, in barrel strength, it was driven far too much from the wood

  22. Heerst scored this whisky 87 points Member Senior

    A high-strength wood-driven Cragganmore. Like eating pastry in a library. Old books, leather, vanilla, sweet baking spices (cinnamon, cocoa). Bitter orange confit. Fresh green melon.

    It's nice, but I wonder if it would be nicer without the fresh-charred casks.

  23. MLE scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      89 89

  24. Calmar scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    A very rich and dense whisky, smoothly turning in development from a wood-grain profile to a mineral-industrial one, well balanced, but the palette of derivatives is rather monotonous.
    • Nose
      Discreet, moist, freshly sawn wood, wood dust, grain, lemon zest, mineral notes - stone chips, wet pebbles, wet brickwork; coated tablets, vanilla, sweet candy shades, some subtle peat and industrial motifs
    • Taste
      Intense, dense, coated tablets, oak, lemon peel, powerful pepper wave, mineral notes - plaster, whetstone, stone dust; dusty cardboard, grain, light peat shades and mineral-industrial colors.
    • Finish
      A very rich and dense whisky, smoothly turning in development from a wood-grain profile to a mineral-industrial one, well balanced, but the palette of derivatives is rather monotonous.

  25. Dram Brigade scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
      Sweet oily grassy pear
    • Taste
      88 88
      Sweet then bitter grassy
    • Finish
      87 87
      Medium

  26. -sAxo- scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      88 88

  27. EvilAFI scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    My review was with water, and yes I think it needed it too. I liked this, it’s simple, but if you like creamy vanilla, oak, light pepper and hazelnut this is a treat.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Sweet hay, vanillas, oak, malt - classic profile
    • Taste
      90 90
      Creamy, tapioca pudding, oak, white pepper
    • Finish
      90 90
      Vanilla and peppery, hazelnut

  28. penumbra scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    So far the most worthwhile wine in 2020SR.
    • Nose
      Honey, quicklime, coconut milk jelly, seem to have extremely indifferent smoke? The honeydew melon, yellow peach, sweet apricot, apple, and yellow lemon leaning towards the candied fruit, behind which are green grass and new plant stems, nuts and woody spices.
      The green jam platter is complex and deep.
    • Taste
      Bourbon juice sweet water, cantaloupe, cucumber, citrus, grapefruit. Some minerals, cream, shredded ginger and salt and pepper ginkgo are nourishing and rich.

      Strong, fair fat, sweet, slightly sour, no tannins, no astringency, less bitterness, very slightly spicy, no alcohol.
    • Finish
      Normal, honey, matcha, vine, fruit candy, sawdust.

  29. Teresa scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  30. The_Independent scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
      Initially sweet and undefined fruity. Needs some water, then citrus notes and fizzy powder, spicy wood notes, occasionally I think I can find a slight trail of smoke.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Sweet, oily, very voluminous, slightly hot, fully ripe yellow fruits - more peach than citrus, strong spicy notes, a little liquorice and slightly dusty.
    • Finish
      87 87
      Medium-long, creamy, sweet and sour, bitter wood notes, again liquorice

  31. Dre73 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Very fruity one, the nose is a little bit modest, in taste it has some more to offer.
    Overall a nice and pleasant dram.
    • Nose
      87 87
      Very fruity, citrus, lemon, floral as well. Alcohol not stinging.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Pretty strong and powerful, fruity, citrus, orange, hints of peach. Later on it gets mouthdrying, pretty full taste.
    • Finish
      87 87
      Still some power, fresh fruits, citrus, orange. Some drying mouthfeel now. A hint of tropical fruits, pineapple. Some bitterness as well, pretty long.

  32. 33rdCASK scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  33. Hvdree scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      87 87

  34. geriud scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  35. gaboruso scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  36. ldcsh scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    Sample 20cl
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  37. Astrid scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    A few drops of water can actually help. Very harmonious and yet powerful. But there is another way to “knock off your stool”.
    • Nose
      86 86
      spicy vanilla and aromatic spicy oak, lots of liquid honey, lots of apple, plus curry and cinnamon, lime, delicate chocolate and raisins, malt and a little caramel, hints of yeast, some berries
    • Taste
      85 85
      Blossom honey and astringent oak wood, very spicy and powerful with cinnamon, oily structure, wonderful sandalwood and malt aromas, ginger, slightly dark chocolate and a bit of plum sweetness, leather and vanilla, hints of ash
    • Finish
      85 85
      also here a lot of honey and spice, cinnamon oak, again some ash and curry, plum and orange, vanilla

  38. InbhirNis scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Sampled tonight at the Good Spirits Co. virtual tasting.

    This one is special indeed.
    • Nose
      91 91
      Lovely hit of oak up front, backed by zingy florals.
    • Taste
      90 90
      Loads of sweetness, great body, complex array of bright, fresh malty flavours.
    • Finish
      89 89
      Long, nicely drying, a little salt.

  39. Tastingbros scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Full review here:
    https://tastingbros.com/2020/11/11/massen-2020-festival/

  40. kimmosuo scored this whisky 82 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      81 81
    • Finish
      81 81

  41. robse211 scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  42. Totoro scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    A (successful) exercise in wood sorcery, albeit with the nose way ahead of the rest of the experience, which tends toward oaky dryness and bitterness.
    • Nose
      90 90
      Thick, sweet, spicy, and oily. Deeply wooded indeed. Herbal honey, apricot jam, caramelized popcorn, straw, with a maize-like sweetness. The wood spices are so heavy (and only increase with water) that it creates an almost oriental impression: baklava, cinnamon, even a dash of curry powder. Very intense, but I like it a lot.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Starts sweet and fragrantly floral / fruity, then at the halfway mark the wood influence kicks into high gear, with spices, peppers, and tannins galore. Does display some oak bitterness and leaves less room for the distillate than I would've ideally liked, but I guess that's the price you pay for the turbocharged nose. Still fun to taste, but I guess I'd tire of this style so soon that buying a whole bottle would be a waste.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Bitter lemon, dry oak (again this straw-like association), tart herbs, grapefruit and blood orange. Basically very little sweetness and fruits left at this point.

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