Whiskybase

Cragganmore 20-year-old

Overall rating
87.80/100
votes
135
Whiskybase ID
WB164637
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2020
Vintage
1999
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

£ 132.38

60 × in wishlist

135 × member ratings

333 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Cragganmore 20-year-old

27 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 87.80 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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. MLE scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      89 89

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

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

  10. 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

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