The Cragganmore distillery is situated in the heart of the Speyside region, near to the village of Ballindalloch. It has a capacity of just over 1.5 million litres per year and was opened in 1869. Cragganmore is currently owned by multi national drinks company, Diageo and much of the whisky produced there is used in a number of Diageo's different blends. The Cragganmore single malts have a good reputation and there are two main distillery releases - the 12 years old, which is one of Diageo's six 'Classic Malts' representing Speyside in that collection and this 'Distiller's Edition'. Other bottlings are occasionally released and independent bottlings are fairly common. This 'Distiller's Edition' is bottled at 14 years old and is the regular 12 years old that has then been transferred into a Port wine cask and matured for a further two years.
The colour is dark and golden, like caramel and the nose is really good. It is rich with lots of fruit present (it reminded me of stewed fruits like figs, apples and prunes) plus dried fruit (imagine raisins and sultanas) and a hint of burnt sugar coming through. It also became more woody and herbal (grassy almost) with time. The taste was slightly disappointing following the promise of the nose, which was sweeter. Again, there are the dried and stewed fruits, the burnt sugar/ caramel and these are joined by alot of vanilla and fresher red fruit and grapes that must be coming from the influence of the port cask. Considering that this whisky is quite creamy and rich, the finish is quite short. The flavours are intense but disappear quite quickly and right at the end, it leaves you mouth feeling dry and something bitter comes through (similar to the woody, herbal element from the nose). This is a decent whisky and it is interesting to try different cask finishes and see how they influence the final product. It would be very good as an after dinner drink or as a replacement for dessert. This is a limited release and is available in specialist retailers only for between £35-40.