Thanks to Danilo from Diageo, we got our hands on the Special Releases 2020 samples. We’d already tasted the 8-year-old Talisker, which we loved, and over the next few days we’re going to wean ourselves off the whole range – let’s start today with a review of Cragganmore 20 years, one of the most talked about bottles in this batch. Last year Diageo surprised us by selecting a peated Cragganmore, which proved to be one of the highlights of 2019: this year the choice falls on a more traditional profile, i.e. an unpeated Craggy, matured in a mix of refill and recharged American oak barrels.
N: an open, seductive nose that lets itself be approached with ease and quickly clings to you, like the song of a mermaid. Really ingolosente, with rich notes of juicy red apples (lots of them!), peaches, hints of Rossana candies, rarely felt so sharp; creamy pastry and pineapple (to give an account of what a pastry with cream). Lots of orange, in a context of lots of citrus. Butter.
P: we follow the road indicated by the nose, with perhaps even more yellow fruit – apples, pineapples, ripe plums. Lots of orange, in great growth – unsweetened orange juice. It closes with a hint of toasted bread, freshly baked butter biscuits – but also a hint of fresh butter. Vaguely herbaceous (fresh grass).
F: long and clean, again divided between yellow fruit, here more austere, clean citrus fruits and fresh butter.
Really very pleasant and deeply Cragganmore, with such a typical fruity and citrusy scent: the fullness of the palate reminds us that this distillate is particularly full-bodied and ‘fat’ (one day we will talk about the particular stills and worm tubs of the distillery, but not today – settle for the photo), so complex that it was one of the few malts classified as A1 by blenders. It certainly has the wrong price compared to all the other Special Releases… Recommended. 87/100.
Recommended soundtrack: KIDS SEE GHOSTS – Feel the Love.