Craigellachie 51: How to taste the world’s most uncollectible collectible whisky

Global Brand Ambassador Georgie Bell.

Craigellachie does things a little differently.

In the modern world where everything is dialled in and clinical and digital, Craigellachie is a throwback — in fact, it was already old fashioned in its ways back in 1891 when it began its life.

Why? Well, it’s not your typical Speyside single malt whisky. For one, they use a traditional worm tub condenser to cool the spirit, a method which sees the spirit come into contact with less copper. The result? They leave a lot of the robust distillery character in the spirit rather than it clinging to copper and being pulled out, and they’re one of just 19-odd distilleries to do this (there’s more than 130 distilleries in Scotland, just FYI).

They use their own malt, one that isn’t used for any other distillery, and one that is dried using an oil-fired kiln — again, lending itself to a distinctively heavy and robust spirit.

Craigellachie has been crafting this malt since 1891, but has only recently started making waves under its own name — for years every drop went into the blended whisky world, and stood at the core of what make Dewar’s distinctive among blends.

And the decision to release the single malt under its own label was proved correct in 2017, when Craigellachie 31 year old was named Best Single Malt in the World at the World Whisky Awards (the 13 year old and 23 year old are no slouches, either, having picked up double gold in 2015 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition).

Here’s one more reason why they’re a little different: they want you to sample their oldest release yet, the Craigellachie 51.

Why? They believe that whisky is made for drinking and enjoying with friends, not for sitting on shelves collecting dust. And given this one has waited patiently in oak for 51 years, they want people from all walks of life to be able to taste it.

The Bar 51 Pop Up
Boldly going where no whisky has gone before, Craigellachie launches ‘Bar 51’ – a bar within a bar where only a handful of Craigellachie 51 bottles are opened and drams sampled by guests.

It’s a one of a kind experience brought to you by ‘The Bad Boy of Speyside’ and hosted by Global Brand Ambassador Georgie Bell and local legend Georgie Mann. 

To get your chance to taste, you’ll need to enter the lottery, which opens on August 1 and closes on October 11.

Enter the lottery at www.craigellachie.com and follow their Instagram @craigellachie, and in the meantime crack into the rest of the Craigellachie range.

Tasting notes

Craigellachie 13
The stubborn personality of Craigellachie is present in their unusual prime number age statements. Craigellachie 13 has aromas of marshmallows toasted over a bonfire, roasted pineapple and baked apples studded with cloves.

Craigellachie 17
All age statements are matured in a variety of casks, both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry. Craigellachie 17 is smooth and mellow, the aroma opens with vanilla and rich silky notes of exotic fruits. The roasted pineapple becomes dried along side a hint of smoky liquorice.

Craigellachie 23
A malty sweetness and fresh tropical fruit notes begin this sensory journey with elements of citrus and toasted oak. Vanilla and spicy cinnamon emerge, invigorated with a zing of menthol freshness. The pineapple has now been roasted over the campfire leaving a long, lingering sweet and spicy finish.

For more information contact your Bacardi-Martini representative.

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