A & A Crawford was founded in Leith in 1860 and released this 3 Star Special Reserve (they went on to add a 5 Star in 1920). In 1944 it was the most popular brand in Scotland. DCL took notice and bought the brand, only to fade it out to make more room for their Johnnie Walker, Dewar’s and White Horse. In 1986, however, the brand was sold to Whyte & Mackay, but they did not give it a second lease on life. Today, you will be hard pressed to find a bottle. I will try from a 1960s release at 70 proof.
Supple and light nose on honey, apples, sweet malt and mild spices… with a sour touch that I attribute to the age of the bottle.
It is feisty on the palate, with a nice oily texture. Now I get toffee, nuts and orange peel with a nice bitterness. There is even some smoke that I really appreciate.
It’s said oranges and smoke that linger in the medium long finish.
Lovely old blend. Pity about the sour note on the nose, but easily forgiven after more than half a century in the bottle.