A bright, almost golden amber color.
The nose is an extremely light malt with a faint hint of orange zest. Almost no alcohol on the nose, which is somewhat surprising given the solid 46% ABV.
The first flavor is a light citrusy malt, which quickly yields to a vanilla sweetness followed by a gentle, chai like spice with perhaps a hint of anise that lingers softly on the tongue.
Adding a splash of water dulls the color and releases a minimallyincreased amount of the malty citrus aroma. The sweetness of the whisky comes through quicker with the water, but the lingering spice layer is reduced.
Craigellachie is in the Dewar's/Bacardi family of distilleries and has been around since 1891. They cool the spirit in "worm tubs", copper tubes sitting in a tank of cool water that is thought to bestow greater flavor to the whisky. The distillery has 13, 17, 19 and 23 year old expressions. I am partial to the 13 as I believe it gives a very good sense of what this Speyside malt is supposed to be, though the distillery calls it a "meaty" whisky, which I don't get, but It pairs very well with sharp and creamy cheeses alike. I especially enjoyed mozzarella with fresh strawberries followed by a sip of the whisky to get a strong contrast in flavor.
All in all, a good whisky for under $60.