...and this is a great malt, no doubt (by the way, I taste the first batch from 2014). It offers a bold and flawless old Highland profile with a great complexity and perfect balance. No flaw or off-note, this is just delicious. But is this (close to) 100 points? Never ever, but 91 points is a great score for a 23-years old Craigellachie - no doubt. If only the price were more reasonable I would buy a bottle - but there are too many releases of a comparable profile and quality out there (for just half the bucks)...
The colour is yellow gold and the nose offers an impressive old Highland style profile of a great complexity. There are fruits (grapefruit, limes), herbs, tea, honeys, waxes and a hint of cinnamon. Later some nuts (almonds) and earthy aromas join in without any off-note at all. This is both enjoyable and interesting to explore - let it breathe for some minutes to catch all impressions. The wood is firm but never enters the spotlight. A fine old-style nose, I like it!
The taste is nicely layered on all the flavours which appeared in the nose already plus a delicious mocha impression that grows stronger from the middle of the taste onwards. This dram is greatly chewable and I strongly advice to do so - the spices grow stronger this way and pep up the taste further. Water releases even more aromas in the nose (among them limoncello) and turns the taste more quaffable but the tasty mocha impression is much weaker now. I like this dram both neat and somewhat reduced.
The initial mouthfeel is warming and instantly coating without distracting moments. The finish is long and vanishes slowly in different fading waves, oh how I love that! It offers more waxy-earthy impressions that strengthen the old style character and improve the mouthfeel. No bitter or drying moments until the very end - this was a perfect casks selection (congrats to whoever did this).