Whither Cragganmore?

I'm not the only one, I think, who has the idea that Cragganmore isn't what it was ten years ago.

My - admittedly not very systematic - impression was that the spirit had become lighter and less intense. Obviously, this called for a taste test, so I rummaged about the interwebs and came up with a Gordon & MacPhail 1969 Cragganmore from the old brown label Connoiseurs Choice series. Conveniently this was bottled at the same 40% as the Official 12 Year Old I compared it with (which was bottled around 2010).

Neither of these is an outstanding dram, although they are both good single malts. The two were pretty similar, unsurprisingly, but I did find that the older bottling had a little more complexity. It seemed to have rather more woody notes, in an elegant sort of a way, and I was pretty sure that there was a touch of smoke about it (although this could be a barrel effect I suppose). On the whole, there wasn't a great deal between them.

In conclusion, I have to say case not proven. And I hereby resolve to drink whisky with a little less cynicism in future.


Comfort Food

If you got into wine when the Australians were selling us bottled sunshine for not much money, then this will probably take you back most beautifully. (Apart from the money bit. Sadly the Australians will require fourteen of your Pommie pounds if you care to try this one, although they will give you a penny back)

Heggies Chardonnay 2008 is a big buttery whoosh of mushroom cream and lemony zing. It's dry, mid-bodied, and not remotely oily, as the nose had implied might be the case. Not a complex wine, but what it offers, it expresses most charmingly. Nearly excellent.