Cragganmore 12 Year Old: A Fine Scotch For Two Fine Lads?

As you have likely gleaned, we are two men of fine tastes and gentlemanly disposition. Why, you’ve seen our fine library (of DVDs) and many leather chairs (well, just the one)! You have therefore probably assumed we like scotch. And you would be right.

Neither of us had tried Cragganmore before but we’d heard pretty good things. It was on sale at the local discount liquor purveyor so we thought, why not give it a shot*? These are our findings.

*Pun intended, not sorry.

Brand: Cragganmore Distillery
Region: Speyside (this is important with whisky!)
ABV: 40%
Bottle Description: An elegant, sophisticated Speyside (like us) with the most complex aroma of any malt (oh, it does smell good!). Astonishingly fragrant (it’s really rather potent, but… in a good way!) with sweetish notes and a smoky maltiness on the finish (promises, promises – that sounds incredible).

But first, a little history! According to our favorite encyclopedia (read: Wikipedia):

Cragganmore is a Scotch whisky distillery situated in the village of Ballindalloch in Banffshire, Scotland.

JIM: Ballindalloch in Banffshire.
BRETT: That’s the kind of town name that says, “We make good scotch!”
JIM: And mediocre food.

The distillery was founded in 1869 by John Smith on land leased from Sir George Macpherson-Grant. The site was chosen by Smith both for its proximity to the waters of the Craggan burn and because it was close to the Strathspey Railway. Smith was an experienced distiller, having already been manager of the Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas and Wishaw distilleries.

BRETT: You wish your resume was that good.

Cragganmore was marketed by United Distillers under their Classic Malts brand. United Distillers has since become a part of Diageo.

BRETT: This last sentence sent me down a spiral. Do you know about Diageo??
JIM: …Do you?
BRETT: Now I do! It’s a multinational booze megacorp, man. Let me ask you this – what do Oban, Gordon’s Gin, Veuve Cliquot, Don Julio, Seagrams, Bulleit, Lagavulin, and Guinness have in common?
JIM: They’re-
BRETT: They’re all owned by Diageo. AND SO MANY OTHERS. Check this out.
JIM: That’s cool. Are you ok?
BRETT: Actual photo taken of me when I found this out-
Can we talk about the mail?

JIM: Sounds to me like you could use… a drink?
BRETT: Hell yeah, let’s do this.

Hey Diageo, you make a lot of awesome booze! That’s awesome! 100% Certified Awesomeness.

Now, we’re choosing to do this like a legit whisky tasting. But where we get drunk. (JIM: If you’re not supposed to get drunk at a whisky tasting, I have some apologies to make…) So we’re trying it with no water, then a little, then an ice cube or two. To keep it exciting, we’ll be drinking these fairly quickly once we’ve got our notes down on each phase of the tasting.

Drink 1: Neat! 

Hey, neat whiskey, man!

JIM: Hey, I don’t mind this one bit.
BRETT: This is an easy drinking whisky which is… dangerous.
JIM: Yep. Flavors? I guess… citrus? Toffee?
BRETT: Light smoke.
JIM: It’s a good balance for us because I like it peaty and you like it smooth.
BRETT: And this is sort of neither.
JIM: But still good.
BRETT: Yeah.

Drink 2: With a little water!

Looks sort of brown to me?

BRETT: Oh, that really opened it up!
JIM: Am I going to say floral? Yes I am. Floral.
BRETT: Notes of honey.
JIM: Notes of buzzed.
BRETT: Did you ever see Bee Movie?
JIM: You know, yes. Yes I did. And I thought it was delightful.
BRETT: Except for the part where the bee and the human are sort of in love.
JIM: Yeah, that was… real weird.

Drink 3: On the rocks!

Whisky rocks, whisky rocks, whisky rocks! Ohio-hio-hio

JIM: I really like this whisky.
BRETT: I feel like I’m not drinking anything. Except for the warm feeling and the part where I definitely smell like scotch now.
JIM: It’s kind of sweet. That would be my one complaint.
BRETT: That’s my favorite part!
JIM: Just like Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite part was starring as Barry B. Benson in 2007 hit film “Bee Movie”. He talks about that movie SO MUCH.
BRETT: When you two hang out?
JIM: When I watch him Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee so… yeah. Basically.

Drink 4: Dealer’s choice. 

Buzz buzz, baby!

JIM: Is there anything we missed?
BRETT: Seeing that band we liked in concert before they broke up.
JIM: What… are you talking about?
BRETT: Light show… Polyphonic… LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
JIM: UGH too true. They’re playing together again though!
JIM: Yeah! Anyway, the whisky is good.
BRETT: Whisky: good. Bands: good. Kissing bees?
JIM: Not good.
BRETT: Not cool, man.
JIM: But we do need to save the bees.
BRETT: Yes, bees are very important. So maybe do kiss them.
JIM: If that’s what they want, go for it.

In Conclusion:

BRETT: We had fun. We had laughs. We had a tasty, sweet, toffee-ish…
JIM: Slightly smokey, citrusy, fairly light…
BRETT: Easy-drinkin’, totally awesome scotch. Like gentlemen.
JIM: And then I fell asleep on my gentleman’s couch. Which is just a regular couch.
BRETT: Gentlemen love all couches equally.

Rating: 9/10, only because we each have scotches we like better (blame it on different tastes, we can’t agree which are better), but this is one dope liquor. Seal of awesomeness? Definitely granted.

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