This Campbeltown cask at Cadenhead’s represents my greatest whisky regret from our recent trip to Scotland. This is not because it was a disappointment; quite the opposite. I purchased a 200 ml bottle at Cadenhead’s on my first day in Edinburgh (along with their Islay cask, a Glen Ord 13 and a Tullibardine 24). I opened it on the second or third night and loved it; considered getting a full bottle but didn’t want to lock myself out of potential distillery-only purchases on our upcoming sojourn in the Speyside and Highlands (given limited luggage space). If that didn’t pan out, I figured I’d get a bottle in between returning our car and heading to the airport on our way back.
This plan suffered a mighty blow first when Aberlour turned out to not have any distillery exclusives available on the day I visited, and then a fatal blow when I realized that our flight to London was an hour earlier than I’d thought it was. And so, no full bottle of the Cadenhead’s Cambeltown cask for me. But this wasn’t all to the bad: it left room for an unplanned purchase of the TWE Croftengea in London, of which more soon.
The staff at the store told me at purchase—I didn’t taste this one either before purchasing—that the cask was then comprised of mostly 15 yo sherry cask Springbank. After tasting it, I’d believe that entirely. Which also means that this was an opportunity to purchase essentially 15 yo sherry cask Springbank for £48 for a full bottle. Ah well.
Cadenhead’s Campbeltown Cask, June 2018 (58.4%; from a purchased 20 cl bottle)
Nose: Earthy peat, savoury gunpowder, caramel, toffee. Gets saltier as it sits at first and then earthier. Not much change after that. Let’s see what a drop of water does: ah, all the fruit from the palate pops out here with water and then there’s some milky cocoa as well and more toffee.
Palate: As promised by the nose with some fruit added in as I swallow: apricot, plum, dried orange peel. Again, very drinkable at full strength. The fruit moves to to the top as it sits. Water integrates it all and intensifies the savoury gunpowder and the apricot.
Finish: Long. The salt and earthy peat are the top notes here. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Lovely sherry cask Springbank. Not much else to say. Not sure what the composition of the cask is now but if you’re in Edinburgh, go get a taste.
Rating: 88 points.