mSecret Spirits Advent Calendar Day 21 – December 21st
1989 “Evergreen Forrest” Cragganmore 23 y.o. (Wemyss Malts)
Cask #2853 Bourbon Hogshead
A whisky from the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar First Edition.
Hearkening back to Day 3 of our little advent journey together, you may recall we tackled a malt dubbed “Samaroli Spey”. It just so happened that that one was actually a single cask from the Cragganmore distillery. It was a 21 year old malt matured in ‘American Oak’ (as per the label). I’ll assume that ‘American Oak’ reference was to an ex-bourbon cask. This one says ‘Bourbon Hogshead’. A hoggy – if you’re not in the know – is just a rebuilt bourbon barrel with a few extra staves added in to increase capacity. In effect what that means is that we have similar barrel treatments. Further…we have malts that are only 1% apart in terms of abv and 2 years apart in terms of bottling age. And are they similar? Well…not really. Both do carry a lovely fresh grapefruit note I’m rather taken with though.
I liked that first dram a lot. I like this one a little bit less, but it’s still in the high 80s when it comes to throwing a mark at it.
As to the “Evergreen Forrest” (sic?) appellation levied at this one? Hmmm…not sure. There’s a little bit of clean wood and a wee touch of Pine Sol cleaning product, but far from what I’d consider overly evergreen. Maybe that’s just me.
Nose: Grapefruit, orange and a bucket of citrus. Hay and wild grass/prairie flower smells. Orange and yellow lollies and orange Dino-sour candies. Fresh scones. Grapes. Very clean woods, lemon furniture polish and Pine Sol.
Palate: Charred woods. Apple. Sauvignon blanc. Bruleed orange. This had to have been matured in very active wood. Slightly tannic and drying. Like the effect of fruit skins. Long linger.
Thoughts: Not a ton of character but a decent showing for Cragganmore nevertheless. There is a slight wine-iness about this one.
Bonus: My mate, Jonathan, and I are gonna blog on these drams side by side through the season. Here’s a link to his notes on the same whisky at SingleMalting.com.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt