Campbeltown Blend, ca 2014 (Cadenhead)


Alright, we’ll begin the month with a week of blends. But they won’t be widely available blends—what do you think this is? A useful blog? No, it is not.

Getting us started is a whisky bottled by the Cadenhead store in Edinburgh in 2014. The store always has a Campbeltown cask on the go and this was the one they had when two friends and willing mules, D & B, visited it in 2014. The store was then managed by the renowned Jolly Toper who I knew from the Whisky Whisky Whisky forums. I’d asked him to put together a selection of interesting whiskies they could bring back for me. He selected a 21yo Allt-a-Bhainne and a 22 yo Tamdhu and also their current Campbeltown and Islay casks. When I visited Edinburgh in 2018 I purchased a few more of their exclusives including the then-current Campbeltown cask—almost entirely 15 yo sherry cask Springbank and rather good (review here). I have to confess that I’d forgotten that I still had an unopened 350 ml bottle of a 2014 incarnation of that cask; but I found it earlier this year and opened it a month and change ago. Here now are my notes.

Campbeltown Blend, ca 2014 (%; Cadenhead; from my own bottle)

Nose: That very Springbank complex of brine, coriander seed, earthy peat, burlap and leather. Bursting through it comes a big wave of fruit: charred pineapple and peaches rubbed with rock salt. More acid on each sniff and then some melon and tart-sweet mango. Sweeter with a few drops of water: orange juice, toffee

Palate: Everything from the palate in one compressed package that expands as soon as I swallow. A nice bite from the alcohol, salt and peat but very approachable on the whole. The salt expands with each sip and there’s quite a bit of lime now to go with the other fruit. Okay, let’s add a bit of water. Quite a bit of orange now rather than lime and more sweetness here as well.

Finish: Long. The fruit and salt and peat keep uncoiling together. As on the palate with water.

Comments: Quite a bit of sherry cask Springbank in here, I’d guess, and a fair bit of what would normally become Longrow. And most of it not young. Well, that’s all conjecture. What’s not conjecture is that this is great stuff—and I like it even more than I did the 2018 cask. Wish I had a full bottle of it too and not just a few more pours of those 350 ml. Hmmm I should open that 200 ml Islay cask bottle as well.

Rating: 90 points.


 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.