Craigellachie 13

$$ — 46% ABV — 13 Years

People familiar with the dozen or so stalwarts that line the single malt shelves often acquire the misconception that they know just about every distillery in Scotland. But deep-dive aficionados know there are many distilleries that rarely, if ever, become available outside of a blend.

For a long time Craigellachie has been one of those distilleries. Used in Dewar's blends and, no doubt, many other products outside the Bacardi umbrella, this distillery is getting a very rare moment in the sun in 2015. With a full media push and its own glossy website, this is far more attention than Craigellachie has ever seen before.

Perhaps the only distillery to do this, Craigellachie oil-fires their barley, instead of using peat. This makes for a whisky that tastes mildly fatty, almost like pork cracklings. Along with the saltiness of the spirit, this is certainly one of the  meatiest drinks around.

If live oil wasn't weird enough, Craigellachie also uses old traditional worm tub condensers off their stills. The modern shell and tube condensers, apparently, offer too much copper contact, a sentiment shared by Talisker. This makes the fruitier notes leaning more into grapefruit and pineapple, than the bright pear or cherry notes of other kinder spirits. With such an unlucky number, and at 46% ABV and non-chill filtered, this could become a breakout whisky.

Craigellachie is located in Craigellachie, Speyside in northern Scotland. Established in 1891 by Alexander Edward, it is now owned by John Dewar & Sons and Bacardi.

Flavor Notes

salt, grapefruit, pineapple, fat, smoke, nutmeg