So… I went on a little bit of a whiskey purchasing binge for awhile there in December, as I deal with stress poorly and buying alcohol and then having it around my house, unopened for months is another one of the things I do. It is like I’m only partially an alcoholic, with some of the expense, though without the extensive liver damage or the constantly drinking or the whole life falling apart bit. If that is you, talk to your friends and get some help. Seriously, I know I started that as a crass joke, but don’t abuse alcohol. It will ruin your life. I’ve seen people’s lives fall apart because of it, and that shouldn’t be you. Enjoy it, don’t abuse it.
Back to the joke: If you’re like me, eventually you’ll run low on cash and you’ll run out of space, and you’ll either stop yourself or become a horder, which means it is time to slow down, have some drams, offer some friends a taste, and maybe join /r/scotchswap .
As I’ve since put some dents in the four open bottles I have, I’ve decided I can open up some of the samples I purchased last Christmas. Let’s start with Cragganmore 12, one of the recommended beginner Scotches from the side bar (if you’re new, check out the side bar). Let’s dive in!
Price: $84.95 (CAD) for a 750 ml
Colour: Pale Straw
Nose: Honey, green melon, pollen, orange blossom, cardamom, nail polish remover, marshmallow, lemon filling
This has a very sweet smell. If you’ve been near a beehive, it’s close to that, then the nail polish remover pops up and kinda mars it a little bit. There’s some spice and citrus that tries to save it, but it mostly goes artificial… so I guess I’m saying it’s not perfect? Also I’m having trouble fitting into my diamond shoes, and all these 100-dollar bills won’t fit in my wallet.
Taste: Lemon, Oreo, BBQ sauce, paprika, orange, light mustard, pear
Kinda random. The lemon’s the main stay of this one, with the fruit and mustard/BBQ sauce gives it a nice tangy flavour. There’s a little bit of sweet in there that I really like, though it shows it’s youth with the unbalanced nature.
Finish: Heavy vinegar, chocolate, oak, earth, lemon candy, ginger
Okay, the vinegar kinda hits you hard. I am not a vinegar fan, so that puts me off a little. Medium length, which is nice, and it’s better than the taste, but that white vinegar just ruins it for me.
Conclusion: I could see sipping this as a slight upgrade to Glenfiddich 12. It’s interesting, and there’s some good things going on here. I want to go looking for the 21 or the DE to see if it mellows with age. Maybe the vinegar aftertaste would go well with fish and chips? Or maybe something sweet, to offset the vinegar flavour? Might work out nice. May not. Maybe it’ll fail, and we’ll all be sad.
Scotch review #30, Speyside review #6, Whisky Network review #37