Cragganmore distillery is located in the Speyside region and specifically in Ballindalloch, Glenlivet, Banffshire.

It was founded in 1869 (or was that 1870?) by John Smith who was the son of George Smith, founder of The Glenlivet distillery.

Cragganmore remained within the family and was even rebuilt in 1901-2 but closed in 1917.

In 1923 the distillery was co-owned by White Horse Distillers & Ballindalloch Estate.


DCL acquired White Horse in 1927 and became co-owner with Ballindalloch Estate, but managed to acquire all their shares in 1968.

Meanwhile, the distillery closed between 1931-4 and was then extended in 1964 when the stills were increased from two to four.

DCL eventually became Diageo who are the current owners.

More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness

Distillery photos by kind permission of Teun van Wel





General whisky characteristics: Smooth, fresh, aromatic


Cragganmore, 29y, 52.5% ABV

'Special Edition' bottle No. 2585

Typical cost of this bottle;


Nose: Faint hints of rubber and germolene over fresh hay and malt.

Palate: Very smooth and gentle, not what I expected (in a pleasant way!) The flavour starts slowly but gently builds on the palate to include marzipan and alpine cheese.

Finish: Long and smooth.

With 3 drops of water: A little more hay on the nose as the palate becomes fresher and more tingly with enhanced marzipan.

Overall Impression: I don't really know what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. This is much smoother than expected and yes, much more pleasant than I expected thanks to a few rumours about this bottling not being so good. Not a great, but I like it.



Cragganmore, Managers Choice, distilled 1997, 59.7% ABV

Bodega sherry, European Oak, one of 246 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle  


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light gold

Nose: Fresh, countryside clean air with a hint of Spring flowers and meadows.

Palate: Quite rich, creamy toffee.

With 4 drops of water: Still rich creamy toffee and butterscotch.

With 5 more drops of water: Sweeter and spicier on the palate, maybe with a hint of nuts too.

Finish: Long. Extremely long with water.

Overall Impression: A most enjoyable whisky. Long and spicy with quite rich flavours.



Cragganmore, 21y, 1989-2010, 56% ABV

'Limited Edition' Matured in US Oak, bottle No. 1809 of 5856

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale (9ct) yellow gold.

Nose: Lightly woody with slightly sweet vanilla and very aromatic grasses. There's a light citrus note suggesting lemon alongside perfumed hay. This is also quite fresh.

Palate: Citrus with a light pepperiness then vanilla and a hint of cherries.

Finish: Long, very long.

Overall Impression: It's fresh, it has some citrus elements with lots of vanilla and aromatic grasses and I really like this one!





Independent Bottlers


Weiser, Cragganmore, distilled 1985, bottled 2006, 20y, 53.7% ABV

'Private Collection' from Weiser

Typical cost of this bottle;


Nose: Mildly herbal iodine

Palate: The herbs burst forth onto the palate with the iodine in the background, but very soon a sensation of warm apricot takes over.

Finish: Medium

Overall Impression: Quite enjoyable, just not a superstar.



Cragganmore 1991, 20y, 54.2% ABV

Independent bottling for Master of Malt

Typical cost of this bottle;

"Dram-atics" live review


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow

I sneaked a quick nosing from the sample bottle as I opened this and was greeted by a delightfully aromatic herbiness which was not initially evident in the glass. This obviously needs some time. It does indeed develop in the glass over some minutes, initially with some herbal grassy notes, followed by quite perfumed wood. This perfume continues to develop further over time in the glass, but still remaining quite gentle and light.

Palate: The palate comes as quite a surprise in that it's much 'bigger' than the gentle nose with butterscotch, banana stem, lightly herbal grasses and even a hint of coconut.

With 4 drops of water: The nose is much more distinct with aromatic herbs and grasses. The palate is smoother, more floral and much more intense.

With a further 4 drops of water: The nose is much lighter and the palate continues to offer herbal grasses and butterscotch.

Finish: Long, even longer with water.

Overall Impression: This does take some time to develop and it also benefits from a few drops of water, but make no mistake this is an excellent whisky.











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