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Cragganmore (12 years)

With the constantly increasing price of all barley malt products (such as beer and whisky), Oban has become ridiculously overpriced. While it is the best one I know, I can’t justify paying 500 SEK per bottle any more. So, what to do?
Well, why not try my way through the other similar ones with a more reasonable price tag? It has been a couple of years since I last went through them, and my taste buds have undoubtedly grown more sensitive since. First up is Cragganmore.

Name: Cragganmore Single Speyside Malt
Aged: 12 years
District: Speyside
Distiller: Cragganmore Distillery (Ballindalloch, Banffshire, Scotland)
Alcohol: 40,0% ABV
Price: 369:00 SEK per bottle (527:14 SEK per litre)
Packaging: 70 cl bottle
Serving: Tulip-shaped sniffer glass, room temperature with a small amount of cold water

Colour: Yellowish with a brown tone
Aroma: Fiery and smoky, lots of peat, a nice honey tone
Taste: Initially fiery, but the strong smoke and peat that becomes apparent straight after are clearly the dominant flavour. Slightly sweet.
Aftertaste: Dry and smoky

Afterword: A very nicely composed whisky, but the slight sweetness is lost on me and ruins the balance of what would have been an awesome wild and fiery single malt. It might be because they have used caramelized sugar (E150) as a colouring agent, or perhaps that is completely unrelated? Among the top “standard price” single malts, I’d consider this to be in the second tier.
Short version: Good, but could be better if not so sweet.