William Grant & Sons: Rare Cask Reserves – Cruinnich

William Grant Cruinich 21

Nose:  Grape juice, pears, oak, vanilla fudge, brown sugar, and faint notes of paint thinner.

Palate:  Heavy on the oak flavours – quite woody up front, and full of oak spices at the back end.  Pretty sweet, with some slight fruity salad notes.  Hints of vanilla fudge or cake icing.

Mouthfeel:  Fairly light and mellow.  Very dry.  There is no burn at all.  Lacking any significan body for a whisky of its age.

Finish:  Oak spices, and (very) faint traces of vanilla.  The finish is so short it is practically non-existent.

Balance:  This whisky is pretty consistent all the way through.  It is however a little thin – especially for a 21yo whisky – and also a little on the sweet side.



Cruinnich – Gaelic for ‘gathering’, is part of William Grant & Sons new Rare Cask Reserves range, which blends select casks of rare vintage malts and grains from Grant family’s store houses.  Cruinnich is a vatting of casks that were chosen by William Grant head distiller Brian Kinsman and a group of Australians that won a competition with national liquor chain, Dan Murphy’s.  This whisky has an age-statement of 21 years, was bottled at 42%, and is a run of 4900 numbered bottles.  This bottle is bottle number 2327, and comes from batch WHV4/2219, which was selected on 22/10/2014.  Cruinnich is the second release in William Grant’s Rare Cask Reserves line, after the Ghosted Reserve from Ladyburn and Inverleven – and is exclusive to the Australian market.

William Grant & Sons label themselves as “independent distillers” in their marketing of their Rare Cask Reserves, which is not incorrect – they are family owned and operated, and has been owned by the same family for its entire existence (since 1887).  That does not mean that it is a small affair by any stretch of the imagination – with the Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Girvan, Kininvie, Ailsa Bay, and Tullamore distilleries under its belt; and the Glenfiddich, Grant’s, Balvenie, Tullamore Dew, Gibson’s, Clan MacGregor, Monkey Shoulder, Ladyburn, and Girvan brands in the stable.  It also has a 30% stake in Highland Distillers (which is run by Edrington as a subsidiary) – which includes brands such as The Macallan, The Famous grouse, Highland Park, and Black Bottle.  Despite being an family owned and operated business, William grant & Sons is the third largest producer of Scotch whisky, after Diageo, and Pernod Ricard; and produces approximately 10.4% of all Scotch – a position it gained from being one of the main pioneers of single malt Scotch after they introduced their Glenfiddich single malts range in 1887.

Nose:  Grape juice, pears, oak, vanilla fudge, brown sugar, and faint notes of paint thinner. Palate:  Heavy on the oak flavours - quite woody up front, and full of oak spices at the back end.  Pretty sweet, with some slight fruity salad notes.  Hints of vanilla fudge or cake icing. Mouthfeel:  Fairly light and mellow.  Very dry.  There is no burn at all.  Lacking any significan body for a whisky of its age. Finish:  Oak spices, and (very) faint traces of vanilla.  The finish is so short it is practically non-existent. Balance:  This whisky is pretty consistent all the way…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish
Balance

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