John Crabbie whisky revived with new single maltsBy Nicola Carruthers
Halewood International has revived the John Crabbie & Co whisky brand after a 40-year hiatus with the launch of two limited-edition single malts.
The new expressions, Crabbie 30 Year Old and Crabbie 8 Year Old, are the first whiskies to launch under the John Crabbie & Co name since the 1970s.
Once known for its malt and blended Scotch whiskies, distilled in Edinburgh, and green ginger wine, John Crabbie & Co is now famed for its alcoholic and non-alcoholic ginger beer.
The whiskies mark the “first steps” towards the return of continuous single malt distilling to Edinburgh after almost 100 years. They follow Halewood’s proposals for a gin and malt whisky microdistillery in Edinburgh last year.
A single cask release of only 336 bottles, Crabbie 30 Year Old is bottled at 48.6% abv and made using Speyside malt matured in Sherry butts.
Whisky expert Charles MacLean describes it as “a fabulous Speyside single malt, and is the colour of old polished mahogany.
“It gives the overall impression of moist Christmas cake, cooking spice, almonds and crystallised angelica root, with a smooth, mouth-filling texture. Quite simply, it’s sublime.”
Bottled at 46% abv, Crabbie 8 Year Old is based on John Crabbie’s original 8 Year Old, but “brought up to date” as a single malt.
“The nose initially presents breakfast cereals and evolves into fruit loaf with hints of dried apple,” said MacLean of the eight-year-old. “It has a smooth texture and sweet taste, with a medium-length finish. Adding water brings a slight waxiness and fruitiness to the aroma, and a spice to the finish.”
The design of the new expressions pay homage to the brand’s Scottish heritage.
The brand’s roots date back to 1801 at Leith docks, from where pioneer John Crabbie travelled the country to source the quality single malts, but also experimented with blending whisky from different distilleries.
David Brown, the newly-appointed managing director of John Crabbie & Co, said: “From the middle of the 19th century, John Crabbie procured stocks of the best single malt whisky from Scotland’s finest distilleries and, working with the likes of Andrew Usher, became known as a true whisky pioneer.
“With the launch of the new John Crabbie whisky collection we are honouring his legacy and ensuring his impact on single malts will be felt, and tasted, for years to come.”
Crabbie 30 Year Old and Crabbie 8 Year Old will be available from 1 February at an RRP of £500 (US$703) and £30 (US$42), respectively.