The Scotch brand Craigellachie has announced the first expression in its new Cask Collection: Craigellachie 13 Years Old Armagnac Cask Finish.
To curate this series, Craigellachie — inspired by the distillery’s use of old-fashioned worm tub condensers — has sourced casks for finishing from producers of oak-aged spirits who also use a worm tub in production. Additionally, these producers make a “heavier” style of spirit, which can stand up to this single malt’s specific character.
“Craigellachie is a distinctly bold and brooding malt, full-bodied and meaty, so we are using these cask types to complement and elevate the signature character of the distillery, not mask it, to add an extra dimension of flavor and intrigue,” says Craigellachie Malt Master Stephanie Macleod.
For the inaugural edition in the Cask Collection, the 13-year-old Craigellachie Single Malt, initially matured in American oak — a combination of re-fill and re-char bourbon barrels — has rested in Bas-Armagnac casks sourced from the northernmost part of Gascony, France, for just over a year.
Armagnac is French brandy. It is distilled once through a specially made continuous still and, in most cases, a traditionally constructed Alembic Armagnaçaise: a portable wood-fired still designed to be transported to the small farms who produce Armagnac. Unlike most spirits, makers of Armagnac do not take cuts throughout distillation, retaining volatile elements that are usually removed. Rougher at first, a young Armagnac tastes of fire and earth. After ageing in French oak, often for decades, the spirit is tamed and softened.
Finishing in former French Bas Armagnac barrels has rounded Craigellachie’s weighty style with warming notes of baked apples, dusted with heady cinnamon, the company reports. Flavors of caramel shortcake are offset by signature syrupy pineapples and fiery bonfire night aromas.
Craigellachie 13 Years Old Armagnac Cask comes bottled at 46% ABV. The suggested retail price is $64.99 per 750-ml. bottle.
The new expression rolls out in the following main markets: New York, DC, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.