Cragganmore is Gaelic for ‘great rock’. The Cragganmore distillery was built in 1869-1870 by one John Smith (what’s in a name) who had previously been involved with Glenfarclas, Macallan and Glenlivet. That wasn’t his only claim to fame; John was the youngest son of George Smith, founder of the Glenlivet distillery. John Smith’s trustees continued the operation between 1886 & 1893, after which John’s son Gordon took over as manager of the distillery. The distillery is located in Ballindalloch, close to where the rivers Spey, Avon and Livet meet. John Smith ordered the construction of a railroad track to the Ballindalloch railway station when he built the distillery. In 1967 the number of stills at Cragganmore doubled from two to four. Both wash stills are ‘lantern’ models while the spirit stills are the ‘boiling ball’ type. Both spirit stills have flat (T-shaped) tops instead of the usual ‘swan necks’. This unique shape supposedly increases the ‘reflux’ of condensed spirits inside the stills; part op the vapour trickles down again to be re-distilled. This, in turn, produces a smoother spirit.
Complex, rich mix of flowers, fruit (dried and caramelised), plum, baked apple, currant, honey, roast chestnut, meat and toffee. Phew. A soft start, then dark fruits mixed with light honey and cooked peach. A rich, elegant, silky texture that fills the mouth. Highly complex. The finish is soft with a gentle hint of smoke.