On the nose, this malt offers aromas of rotting magnolia blossoms with a substratum of festering dead crab. This is not to say, however, that this malt smells rotten, but rather that its aroma profile includes, among other things, something playfully rank. The first taste obliterates the nose, both literally and figuratively: the initial burn hits as high on the palate as one of those metal hooks the Egyptians used to extract the brains from a soon-to-be mummy. This is not to say, however, that this malt does violence to the senses, but rather that it just hits that high on the palate, so high that such luminaries as Britney Spears or Russell Brand wouldn’t notice it all, save for the faint sounds of air moving. Then comes a surprising set of flavors: canned fruit salad decanted and slurped from an empty box of Marlboros. This is not to say, however, that this malt is syrupy sweet or smoky in a bad way, but rather that the hints of fruit and sugar are watered down so as to be inconspicuous, especially up against the smoke—and that just about all smoke found in whisky is good. Finally, the finish is ridiculously long, more than long enough to allow one to pick up the mummy theme again and make morbid comments about staying power despite being dead three thousand years. This is not to say, however, that I will compare the finish to a Pharoah who has somehow escaped being disinterred, but rather that I’m tempted, but I don’t see how to fit in the third reference to Egypt or mummies required of comedic writing, so I’ll just leave it there.
The Cragganmore 12 is The Mummy Returns: not nearly as good as the original, sad excuse for an Indiana Jones ripoff, but a world better than the incoherent The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and probably two worlds better than the upcoming The Mummy 4: Rise of the Aztec. Plus, The Mummy Returns features an early performance from The Rock!