Malt of the month for November. Polite, yet full-flavoured malty fruitiness with a peppery smoke.

The Crabbie name has been famous for whisky for a long, long time. Since the early 1800s in fact, although the Crabbie family line can be traced back even further, to the ’45, the Jacobite Rebellion and Culloden, the last battle on British soil, where the Highland charge faltered and failed for the final time.

John Crabbie blended his own range of whiskies from the middle of the 19th century, distilling his own whiskies as well as procuring malt whisky from around Scotland.
Since being sold by Glenmorangie in 2007, the brand is part of the Halewood International stable who have bold plans for its future. After a 40 year hiatus, Crabbie’s are again producing whisky and have opened a new distillery in their historic home of Leith in Edinburgh. In these days of tariffs and treaties and trade wars, their commitment can only be applauded.

Tasting Notes

An amber lightly peated Islay malt bottled at an ABV of 43%. The 12 year old does a wonderful job of balancing the sweet and buttery notes with hints of organics and green tea.
The Nose: Fresh and malty with a hint of citrus buttery brown tea.
The Palate: Sweet and buttery balance, lightly fired brown sugar, peaty notes of honeyed green tea and grilled orange.
Mid-Palate: light peat.
The Finish: Prompt, light spiced smoke.

With ice the experience changes:
The Nose: Fresh, lightly sugared, with honeyed butter notes.
The Palate: Sweet and buttery tannin, toffee following, notes of green tea and grilled orange.
Mid-Palate: Dryness of tannin mixed with sweet butter.
The Finish: Lingering tannin and bitter green tea, evanescing dry sweetness still buttery at the close.

I roadtested the Crabbie 12 year old in the same afternoon as the 8 year old. I found the character of the two bottles to be markedly different yet in their own way each was an excellent dram. Both had their strengths and I found it hard to choose between them. The Pot Still in Glasgow obviously had a similar dilemma so had both the Crabbie 8 and 12 years as joint malt of the month. It’s a carefully crafted whisky, carving out its own niche in a market of traditional titans and impressive new challengers.

A Crabbie double. Twin malts of the month.

Roadtested at the Pot Still, Glasgow, Scotland.