Monday, August 28, 2017

Whisky Review: Craiglodge 8 Year 1998/2006

Loch Lomond is hands down the most peculiar distillery in Scotland. With a wide array of pot, column, and the eponymous Lomond stills, they produce a wider range of products than any other distillery. This has put them on the outs with the SWA, but it doesn't appear to have affected their business as they've recently released a wide array of single malts, blends, grain whiskies, and silent malts that have generally been well-received. But they're still one of those distilleries that tends to be looked askance by many single malt fans because of how downright peculiar many of their previous bottlings have been. This is one of those from an earlier era when they didn't get much respect.

This whisky was distilled on March 26th 1998, filled into a Spanish oak hogshead, then bottled on June 12th 2006 at 45% without coloring or chill filtration.

Thanks to Michael Kravitz for the sample.

Craiglodge 8 Year 1998/2006 Cask #139

Nose: lots of oak, charred wood, ashy peat in the background, savory sherry, cured meat, vanilla. After adding a few drops of water, the oak and peat integrate, while the sherry becomes sweeter.

Taste: creamy sherry throughout, charred oak and fruit ester overtones in the middle, fading into ashy peat the back. After dilution the sherry is drier, the oak is more aggressive, and the peat is a little more assertive.

Finish: ashy peat, sherry residue, moderate oak, creamy

While not particularly complex, I have to say that I enjoyed this whisky. The sherry and oak were very present, but not overwhelming, and the peat had a unique character, unlike anything else I've tried before. Benriach is close, but not quite the same. Looking over Michael's review, I have a feeling this mellowed somewhat coming from the end of the bottle, but I wouldn't mind something with a few more rough edges.

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