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Glencraig (pronounced: glen-KRAIG) was a single malt produced separately on Lomond Stills at Glenburgie distillery between 1958 and 1981.
Production Dates: 1958-1981
Location: Glenburgie Distillery
Stills: 2 Lomond Stills
Owners: Pernod Ricard
Lomond Stills were developed by Alistair Cunningham and Arthur Warren of Hiram Walker and they chose Glenburgie as a testing ground for them. Lomond Stills are similar in construction to standard pot stills but with a few crucial differences. Inside the neck of the still are three separate copper plates known as rectifier plates. These plates are adjustable and can be cooled separately thus allow the boiling distillate vapours to be cooled at different rates. This effectively controls the levels of reflux. Reflux is the process where the evaporating vapors condense within the still and fall back to the bottom to be redistilled into vapor again. Reflux is crucial to providing purity and character to a malt whisky. The more reflux there is then the more copper contact a spirit will endure thus creating a lighter spirit with more accentuated fruity aspects. The greater level of reflux control in a Lomond Still means that, theoretically, a distiller can create different distillates through the same pair of stills. The lyne arms on Lomond Stills are also adjustable thereby dictating the angle at which the spirit must rise. A sloping lyne arm means less work for the vapors and therefore encourages a heavier style of spirit whereas a sloping arm means that more energy is required to force the vapors over the copper, this means more copper contact and more lightness. Lomond Stills have not been widely used in Scotland and there is debate about how much control they actually afford the whisky maker but they are capable of making good whisky as Glencraig proves.
Glencraig, like Mosstowie another Lomond Still malt, was an oily but quite delicate distillate. It commonly displayed lots of floral aspects with lighter fruit qualities, cereal notes, green elements and many dry, citrusy complexities. There are not many bottlings but you can still find examples from several independent bottlers including Gordon & MacPhail and the SMWS. Although the best examples were aged expressions by Duncan Taylor and some excellent casks by Cadenheads. Try it if you can as it is a very interesting and pleasant drinking experience. Not to mention a rare drop of liquid history.