Cragganmore 1985/2008 The Single Malts of Scotland

Spicy Blood Orange Cigar

While the rest of the whisky world is flocking towards the Speyside for the annual festival, I am stuck at home… with a so-called metric shit ton of whisky samples from the region.
Today’s pick is the well-known but scanty praised Cragganmore from the Diageo stall. Today’s dram is a 22yo from 1985, and don’t look so surprised, a posh reviewer like myself rarely touches the regular stuff.

Cragganmore TSMOSDescription:
distilled in 1985, matured for 22years in hogshead 2461 and bottled for The Single Malts of Scotland at 56.7% ABV.

Nose: simple but powerful concoction of oak wood and blood orange juice (It doesn’t need 10 different layers if it knows how to deliver with just two).

Mouth: rich bodied, a tad lightly sour at first, however a powerful palate. More importantly, what’s on it? Blood orange once again, a variety of hard to distinguish spices: cardamom, anise, juniper berry? (your guess is as good as mine), blueberry jam and white chocolate.

Finish: lingering infinitely on: cigar tobacco with a salty touch.

The Verdict: simple nose, hard to break down palate and a delayed special finish. Good god after a few weeks of mediocre drams, this is why I started writing my experiences down. A top act, premium stuff, but unfortunately long gone from the shelves and sold at premium prices.

Score: 90

Nose: 22

Taste: 24
Finish: 22 Balance: 22
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house