Glencadam is a highland distillery about which I know very little. I’ve had their 10 yo which presents excellent bang for the buck (or at least it did–I haven’t looked at prices recently) and have unopened bottles of their 15 yo and 21 yo (the newer versions at 46%), and a couple of indies in the stash. Unlike most Scottish distilleries they’re not owned by a big conglomerate–unless, that is, Angus Dundee Distillers is a front for Time-Warner–but they’re not a quaint family outfit either: to get a sense of romance Angus Dundee-style, read this page. None of this, of course, says anything about the quality of their whisky.
This particular bottling is from the independent outfit Blackadder, who are not very shy with the pricing. In fact, some of their prices for their new releases in the US are over on the other side of ridiculous. I split this bottle–and a Clynelish to be reviewed later–with two friends (one got half the bottle, and I split the other half with the third person) and so neither of us absorbed a major hit to the wallet. We also got it at a discounted price offered to my friend Rich. As this discount was something I took advantage of second-hand I feel that it does not contravene my protocols to review the whisky. If you disagree please feel free to call me out below.
Glencadam 21, 1991 (56.3%; Blackadder Raw Cask, hogshead 4767; from a bottle split with friends)
Nose: Honeyed malt with lime–just a touch to start but then it expands. Very mild toasted wood with buttery vanilla comes out next. With time the lime gets a little more musky and a touch peppery, and the whole gets a little sweeter. Not a whole lot of change with water.
Palate: Very much as on the nose but much more intense. More honey than lime perhaps, and much sweeter than on the nose; in general, it’s all about the malt and the buttery/vanilla notes. A little hot but very nice texture anyway. On the second sip there’s more wood but it’s not tannic or astringent at all. Water makes the lime punchier and more peppery.
Finish: Long’ish. Pretty much the flavours of the palate fading out. As on the palate with water.
Comments: This is a laid back reminder of why it’s called malt whisky. Its pleasures are delicate and undemanding–a good one to sip on as you read. Very nice but you can get whiskies with the same general profile for quite a bit less.
Rating: 85 points.