Craigellachie 12yo 2006 Cask Strength (Secret Spirits)

Craigellachie 12yo 2006 Cask Strength (Secret Spirits)

A Secret Spirits bottling of a 12 year old Craigellachie, distilled in 2006 and bottled in 2018.

This is a series of blind tastings from the “The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 5th Edition” advent calendar. I do not know what is in the calendar, so every one of these reviews is 100% no prior knowledge.

1. Macduff 2003 14yo (Single Cask Nation)
2. Wemyss Wooden Chest
3. Lost Distillery Company Auchnagie Classic
4. Glen Moray 2008 9yo #5764 (Secret Spirits)
5. Craigellachie 12yo 2006 Cask Strength (Secret Spirits)
6. Exclusive Malts Islay Sherry Cask (Laphroaig)
7. Adelphi Breath of Speyside 2006 (11yo)
8. Balmenach 2004 13yo (Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask)
9. Glen Moray 2007 10yo (A.D. Rattray)
10. Royal Brackla 2006 11yo (Secret Spirits)
11. Wemyss Delicious Burst
12. Lost Distillery Company Stratheden Classic
13. Auchinderom - Peated Glenglassaugh (Malt Whisky Company)
14. Knockdhu 2009 9yo (A.D. Rattray)
15. Caol Ila 2009 9yo (Secret Spirits)
16. Wemyss Nectar Grove
17. Glentauchers 2008 10yo (Secret Spirits)
18. Glenallachie 2009 9yo (Secret Spirits)
19. Williamson (Laphroaig) 2005 13yo (A.D. Rattray)
20. Stones of Stenness Orkney Aged 18yo (Single Cask Nation)
21. Inchgower 1995 21yo (Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask)
22. Towiemore Archivist (Lost Distillery Company)
23. North British 1988 30yo (A.D. Rattray)
24. Inchmurrin 1996 21yo (Secret Spirits)
25. Glen Grant 1988 30yo (A.D. Rattray)

Distiller: Craigellachie (Bacardi)
Distilled: 2006
Bottled: 2018
Age: 12yo
ABV: 61.6%
Cask type: Hogsheads
Source: The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 5th. Ed
Setting: Blind

Nose: Meaty campfire smoke, Texas barbecue, black pepper, hot ash, quarry, a soily earthiness.
Palate: Oily capsicum, ash and earth.
Finish: Trails to an umami note with that earthy ash that is all barbecue and pepper. It’s like licking the drip tray of a smoker after a cook.
Overall: A great ashy smoke that alone was interesting, but was great along with the soily earth notes and the oily mouthfeel. A very enjoyable pour.
Rank: 6
Reveal: What. The hell. This is a Speyside? It’s all campfire and ash? This doesn’t match all the tasting notes I’ve read for Craigellachie at all. I actually previously posted this review but I was so convinced this was a bottle mix up, that I deleted it and was about to get in touch with the producers of the calendar, when I saw Daniel at the Whiskey Vault’s review with an equal amount of confusion. Apparently that’s just this whisky. Well, you know what? I think it is damn fantastic. I would certainly pick a bottle of this up if I had the chance, it’s the same class as the classic Islay standards.