Bottle: Classic whisky bottle styling with a double description of the malt (on both the main label as well as the top of the neck) which is a touch odd from a marketing pov. A few superlatives in there, so why make the exact same statements twice?
Nose: Soft and floral with some ginger beer and hay. “The most complex aroma of any malt” as the labelling claims (twice) is probably overstating things a little.
Body: Medium and silky. Nice texture. Coats everything well.
Palate: Ginger biscuits, butter, black pepper, cashew nuts, mixed citrus on the tail. It grows quite big and rich and delivers more than I was expecting from the nose.
Finish: Light smoke, brazil nuts, lime, black pepper.
Neat/Ice/Water: This is a funny one. It’s pretty good either way. Drunk neat it has an intensity that belies it’s 40% strength while drunk iced/watered it really pops in terms of sweetness and just glides down so effortlessly. The jury is out…
Verdict: Quaffable. Things have been quiet whisky-wise for the past couple of weeks as I’ve been on holiday in Portugal with the wife & kids. In fact, the only malt related happenings have been an online purchase for an upcoming 21+ tasting night at Cadenhead’s and this bottle of Cragganmore 12 I picked up locally. Now it’s very rare that I’m separated from my whisky collection for 2 weeks at a time (and a little unnerving I must say), so it’s just been me and the Cragganmore 12. On that basis I’ve been able to focus on it to a level that is seldom achieved under normal circumstances. All in all, I really like it. It’s an easy drinking malt that is comfortable yet engaging. It has subtlety and it does grow on you after a few pours. The flavours are well balanced and it’s got a very nice mouth feel to it. At £35 I rate this as good value. I’m now keen to try an older expression… and to get back to the rest of my whisky cabinet!