Having been fortunate to taste these two big boys in the initial round of judging for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards in January, I was looking forward to doing my own wee ‘face-off’ with them again after the winner had been announced. So my wife Nunsy and I settled down tonight to compare and contrast; and it is nothing new that there was discord in the Cameron household!
The judging panel placed these two heavyweights in the final and the public chose the Glenfiddich 21 as the winner; but did we agree with the general public? Well, yes and no!
I agreed with the public, but Nunsy didn’t. I have to be honest and say I really wanted to like the Cragganmore 25 more than the Glenfiddich 21, but then old loyalties take a long time to die away, and I have some great friends still working at Cragganmore (mind you I have some friends working at Glenfiddich as well).
They are both excellent drams, however the Glenfiddich came up trumps for me this time. The nose was fantastic, fresh and fruity, with apples, pears and grass, but also dried fruit and coffee. The Cragganmore nose was a bit too woody for me, however Nunsy loved it with the rich toffee sweetness and white chocolate.
The Glenfiddich also did it for me with taste. It was again fresh and fruity, with a light vanilla and sweet finish. I agreed with Nunsy that the finish was short, too short for her. The Cragganmore was also full of flavour, more rich and fuller in the mouth as well, with a longer finish.
I am really moving towards favouring lighter and fruitier whiskies, and I think this is why I preferred the Glenfiddich 21, but believe me when I say I would never turn my nose up at a Cragganmore 25; both winners in the Cameron house!