Sampling Craigellachie 51 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the world’s most uncollectible

let’s begin

Isn't it refreshing when a brand does something monumentally different and unique? Not all that often in my experience, so it was a welcome change to hear what the fine folk over at Bacardi are doing with their Craigellachie 51 Year Old now it is bottled... they are giving it away!

Say what?! No Baccarat or Lalique decanter? No five, nay six figure price tag? No traffic chaos as people clamber to get a bottle in order to drive it straight to the nearest auction house? No auction fodder that gets bounced around from McTear’s to Bonham’s to to to Cristy’s and then round again? Unbelievable, although from this old fashioned brand that prides itself on being obstinate and doing things differently to others it is completely believable.

“We wanted to do the unthinkable. We wanted to make a typically collectable Scotch more accessible. We want to give as many people as we can, the chance to try this incredible whisky, because how often does a whisky of this age and calibre actually get tasted?” – Global Ambassador Georgie Bell

I count myself incredibly fortunate to have had the honour of being invited to the Craigellachie 51 Year Old launch event at Lyle’s in London last night where we tried the core Craigellachie single malt range; the 13 Year Old, 17 Year Old and 23 Year Old, all paired with a wonderful menu that took fine dining to another level.

Malt Master, Stephanie Macleod says of the liquid “51 years encased in oak is an extraordinary length of time. Starting life in 1962 as an aggressive beast, the whisky over five decades has developed a softer side yet still retains the distinct umami, muscular note that Craigellachie is known for.”

So was the Craigellachie 51 Year Old any good? Hell yeah it was!

On the nose I was getting lots of red apples… old school smoke notes as you’d expect… syrupy pineapple… sulphury meaty notes. Like a proper American tailgate BBQ. There was a sweetness there too, a cheeky little wrap of molten brown sugar. Maybe some burnt orange peel too.

Then the palate, at 40.3% natural cask strength, is wonderful. Big, meaty, bacon-y and powerful for the ABV. Creamy, that luscious pineapple note comes through even stronger now, the strength and robustness carries through, as does the sulphury goodness.

Simply put; Craigellachie at its best.

Bar 51 at Milroy’s of Soho is the place to be if you want to try this magnificent whisky

Craigellachie will host a tiny pop up, called Bar 51, as a ‘bar within a bar’ in Milroy’s of Soho’s. The space will be transformed in to the world of Craigellachie where Global Brand Ambassador, Georgie Bell will introduce Craigellachie 51 Year Old to a small number of people.

The opening night is on 26th November, Craigellachie’s co-founder, Peter Mackie’s birthday. Bar 51 will run for three consecutive nights until 28th November 2018.

To be in with a chance of winning free entry to Bar 51, register at from 9am on 29th October. 150 places will then be chosen at random and the winners will be notified one week prior to the event.

I cannot thank the team at Craigellachie enough for the invite, including the slightly cryptic bone marrow spoon that came with it, and for including me in the celebration of the oldest Craigellachie ever released. I am so impressed with the brand that they are giving every drop of the Craigellachie 51 Year Old away for free to real whisky people instead of charging boatloads for a product that will likely never be opened. You’re a credit to the industry.

Tags: CraigellachieFeatured
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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