Craigellachie is a brand that we love. A quirky and cool brand of whisky with immense quality, and never too far from controversy. The Speyside distillery is located in the heart of whisky country in Aberlour, Banffshire, among some of the biggest names in the industry.
Built and previously owned by a group of merchants led by Alexander Edward, the ownership of the distillery changed hands to Peter Mackie, (Yes! The same Peter Mackie who owned Lagavulin distillery) which is why we still see Edward & Mackie on the labels of today’s Craigellachie. It was sold again to White Horse Distillers, who was then purchased by Diageo, and eventually sold to John Dewar’s & sons, who are principally owned by Bacardi today.
The malt produced in Craigellachie mainly went into the production of their flagship blended whisky brand, Dewar’s, with some single malts making it to the market via independent bottlers. It was only as recent as 2014 that they started officially releasing their single malts, with a core line up of age statements comprising of 13 year, 17 year, 19 year, 23 year and 31 year old expressions.
Quirky as they are, they believe the additional year in their age statements (13 year and 19 year old age statements instead of the industry standard 12 and 18 year old) would give drinkers more value for their money. Controversially, they decided to discontinue some of their most beloved expressions, the 19 year, 23 year and 31 year, after the latter two won some high profile awards. Much to the dismay of its fans, they introduced a 33 year old with an eye-watering price tag, as a replacement to the 31 year old.
After a short sabbatical, we kicked things off with a session of celebrating our new members and friends with a dinner cum whisky session at C’s Steak & Seafood restaurant in Grand Hyatt Hotel Jakarta. And what better way to kick things off for 2019 than with a vertical tasting of Craigellachie single malt whisky accompanied by fine Argentinian fare.
Andrew started off the night with a brief introduction of Craigellachie’s history, their prominent use of worm-tub condensers and the resulting weighty and fragrant character and style of the whisky, and the night commenced with Yutaka Nakashima of D.Classic Jakarta giving us a demonstration of how to best make a whisky highball using Craigellachie 13 year old.
As the night went on, whisky was drunk, food was polished off, and conversations were had. My favorite of the night was the 19 year old, which really highlighted the weighty character, while still remained impeccably balanced throughout. Furthermore, it had an incredibly floral, fragrant, soapy, candle wax nose, which is what I look for in a Craigellachie.
Our Craigellachie Whisky Appreciation dinner took place in C’s Steak & Seafood restaurant on the 22nd of February 2019. Follow us on Instagram or keep reading our humble blog if you are interested to be a part of the next one!
Thank you for joining us in this session, and we look forward to meeting you all again in the next one! Sláinte mhath!