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Cragganmore 12 vs Dalwhinnie 15: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Cragganmore 12 vs Dalwhinnie 15 in this head to head comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Cragganmore 12

cragganmore-12
NoseCitrus, caramel, almond, smoke
PalateCitrus, cereal, honey, oak spice
FinishMedium, oak
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toGlenfiddich 12, Macallan 12

Cragganmore has a nose with a warm fruity scent, with orange and lemon and a faint peaty note.

This whisky is full-bodied, smooth and sweet with a bready malt character. The mouthfeel is well rounded, a bit spicy and sweet with a hint of biscuit.

The finish is gentle and smooth with an oaky note and pleasantly warm.

The Cragganmore is floral and sweet as most Speyside whiskies but comes with a gentle hint of peat making it stand out.

This is an easy drinker and great for someone just getting into single malts and interesting enough for those who have already tasted the “rookie-level Single Malts“.

The best way of drinking the Cragganmore is with a dash of water as it opens-up becoming sweeter, fruitier and less spicy.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Cragganmore:

  • Aged for a dozen in second-fill bourbon casks.

  • Earned 94 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

  • The San Francisco World Spirits Competition gave Cragganmore 12 two double gold, one gold and three silver medals between 2005 and 2012.

  • Cragganmore is a Speyside Scotch located in Ballindalloch in Banffshire, Scotland.

  • The distillery was founded in 1869 by John Smith an experienced distiller having managed Macallan, Glenlivet and Glenfarclas.

Dalwhinnie 15

NoseHoney, pear, apple, smoke
PalateRipe fruit, nutmeg, cinnamon
FinishMedium length, toasted malt, roasted nuts
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBalvenie 12, Glenfiddich 15

The nose hits with a honeyed aroma with hints of pear, apple and just a subtle whiff of smoke.

On the palate, Dalwhinnie feels a bit thin lacking in body. Flavor comes with a ripe fruit note, along notes of nutmeg and cinnamon.

The finish has a decent length, leaving a pleasant aftertaste of toasted malt and roasted nuts with very little warmth making an easy drinker.

Adding a drop of water is enough to make the Dalwhinnie better as it opens-up and becomes more fragrant, sweeter while bringing more oak to the flavor.

Dalwhinnie 15 is a sweet and very smooth fruity whisky, with a hint of baking spice. It’s not particularly complex or interesting but drinks without an controversies as it does not have any harshness, smoke, peat or any off-putting note.

Dalwhinnie is an easy drinker and a good option when in the mood for a light, uncomplicated dram and a good alternative for those who want a smooth Single Malt Whisky.

A good and malt, but not good enough to break into my list of the best 15 year old whiskeys.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this single malt:

  • Aged for 15 years in ex-bourbon barrels.

  • Dalwhinnie distillery was founded in 1897 by John Grant and is located in the Highland village of Dalwhinnie in Scotland.

  • It only has 2 stills making it one of the smallest distilleries in the UK.

  • Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland at 1,154 ft (352 m) above the sea level.

  • Dalwhinnie is labeled as a Highland Whisky, as the Speyside region is wholly within the Highlands, the Speyside distilleries have the legal right to use Highland or Speyside in their labels.

What do Cragganmore and Dalwhinnie have in common?

Both are owned by London-based Diageo

Diageo has an extensive portfolio of 200+ brands with Johnnie Walker being the flagship brand.

Cragganmore vs Dalwhinnie: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Cragganmore 12$75
Dalwhinnie 15$80

Cragganmore 12 vs Dalwhinnie 15: Which is better?

Cragganmore is more satisfying

WhiskeyCragganmore 12Dalwhinnie 15
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Cragganmore is a richer, thicker and more tasty malt than the Dalwhinnie which is pretty bland and dull for a 15 year old Scotch.

  • Both are easy sippers but the Cragganmore is more flavorful yet smooth and interesting enough to attract even experienced consumers.

Read my post containing the best 12 year old malts so you consider further options.

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