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CRAGGANMORE 12 YO (2019, ob, 58,4%)

We first met this Cragganmore on October 15th, when we’d tasted it in London during the official launch of Diageo Special Releases 2019; at first it was good but it left a strange feeling, like something unnatural – and on the other hand, that was the preconception we’d approached it with… A peaty Cragganmore? What do you mean, what!? After several months of deep reflection, we went back to taste it, to see if that impression was true or not…

N: at first ones it appears rather pungent, with the alcoholic part that doesn’t remain on the sidelines nor is aggressive – and it’s also quite ‘green’, with clear notes of lime and Persian lemon (black, smoked: the peat can be heard but it appears rather delicate, a bit like Eriksen’s approach to the game in his first months of Inter). Vanilla, unripe pear; overall quite fresh, with hints of… green pepper! Herbaceous peat, not too smoky.

P: the most unexpected sensations that we found on the nose continue, in fact they are almost enhanced: burnt camphor, grilled and toasted fryers. Lemon ice, more black lemon. There’s also a touch of acid, like… baby vomit? Sure, that sounds weird if said on the palate… Sure, even less smoke and more peat here, and it’s peat that’s neither marine nor mineral, but leaves a pure vegetable sensation. Herbaceous.

F: still herbaceous, with evident notes of smoked thyme; also lime.

We have to think again: maybe a peaty Cragganmore remains not so natural, but don’t we want to get caught up in the taste of innovation, of the trouvaille, when they are well made? And what does ‘natural’ mean in this world anyway? We are facing a real ode to raw material and nudity, as if it were a peaty new make delicately chiselled by time, which has not affected its distinctive features. An extra point for the perfect integration of alcohol: 87/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Queen – One vision.

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