Glencadam 8, 2011 (SMWS 82.23)

SMWS Highland Glens Week continues. On Monday I had a review of an 8 yo Glenturret bottled at a foolish strength. Today I have a review for you of an 8 yo Glencadam bottled at an even more foolish strength. I don’t have very much more experience of Glencadam, by the way, than I have of Glenturret—this will be my fifth review of a whisky distilled there. And so I will spare you further introductory prattle and get right to it.

Glencadam 8, 2011 (63.5%; SMWS 82.23; second-fill bourbon barrel; from a bottle split)

Nose: Though it is predictably tight, floral sweetness does emerge from under the alcohol. Gets quite sweet as it gets some air with simple syrup and some red fruit in there as well (cherries in syrup). Some cereals and a bit of crystallized lemon in there too. A bit of vanilla emerges with time and the lemon moves in the direction of citronella. With a few drops of water the the cereal note expands and so does the fruit (peach, berries)—there are some rose petals in there too. A few more drops and now it’s really quite lovely with the fruit turning muskier and malt and a bit of buttery pastry crust emerging to join it.

Palate: Leads with the alcohol with crystallized lemon with the floral notes coming up from below. A big bite as you would expect at full strength; oily texture. Not much to report as it sits, beyond some dusty and then spicy oak: it’s still hot and mostly closed. Time for water. A few drops and it becomes more approachable. Sweeter fruit here too now along with the lemon and some cracked pepper. The second addition of water brings malt out here as well and brings everything together nicely.

Finish: Long. As is not unusual with these high-strength malts, the initial impact on the finish is just of alcohol and oak. Let’s hope more emerges as it gets some air (and then water). As on the palate with water.

Comments: The nose is quite pleasant from the get-go but, neat, it’s a bit pointless on the palate. Water opens it up nicely and lets the fruit out fully. I can’t help thinking this is a cask that would have been better if bottled at 55% or so—does the SMWS ever dilute casks at all? Anyway, I quite liked this with water, if not quite as much as the Glenturret.

Rating: 85 points. (Pulled up with water.)



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