Special Releases 2016, Cragganmore

door | november 9, 2020

This múst be the best hobby ever! That’s how I felt when a very special package was delivered in november 2016. The content? A complete Special Releases 2016 sampleset accompanied by a nice book and a flashdrive with the official photo’s. This kind of “homework” is the best gift a whiskyblogger can get. Christmas seems to be early this year. Thanks Diageo!


Where to start with this blogging project? That’s the easy part. Sharing the samples with Peter because these special releases deserve a special approach. We’ll both review the whisky’s and put our individual notes in the blogs.

The first whisky we’re tasting is the Cragganmore. This Speyside distillery was founded in 1869 by John Smith. In it’s long history it has only been closed between 1931 and 1934. Since 1987 Cragganmore represents the Speyside in the Classic Malt series. This specific Cragganmore is the sixth to make it to the Special Releases.

This must be a very special whisky. It was bottled at cask strength (ABV 55,7%) without an age statement, limited to 4932 bottles worldwide. The casks were selected by master craftsman Keith Law. To create this special release he chose from reserves of different ages, using three cask types. Both refill and rejuvenated American Oak hogsheads were selected as well as ex-bodega European Oak sherry butts. I’m very curious about this one!

Notes by Jeroen:

  • Nose: Citrus fruit, oranges, tangerines. A bit nutty, almonds, marzipan. Very nice!
  • Taste: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Sweet, a bit malty like cereals. Initially the citrus fruits are very much present too. Then there’s the marzipan again followed by a sweet hint of creamy white chocolate.
  • Finish: Nice length. The smooth mouthfeel remains together with a hint of toasted almonds.

Notes by Peter:

  • Nose: Fresh, orange, marzipan , banana and some soft spices.
  • Taste: Creamy, sweet, malty, oranges, nuts, liquorice en chocolate and charred oak.
  • Finish: Long, sweet oranges, malty, later a bit dry and salty. The soft smokeyness stays forever!A very nice Whisky it is, one of the best Cragganmore I’v ever had!

This sure is a very nice Cragganmore. I would have liked it to be bit more complex though, maybe a bit more of the sherry influence. Not knowing the age doesn’t help me understand the pricetag either. Having said that, I am very glad we got to taste this Cragganmore expression and we’re looking forward to reviewing the other samples!

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