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. Continue reading


Glencadam 15

I’m still on the ex-bourbon trail. The last stop was at Clynelish in the Highlands. I’m still in the Highlands today but all the way over in the east—past the Speyside—at Glencadam. The distillery is owned by Angus Dundee—who also own Tomintoul in the Speyside—and is on no one’s list of the greatest Scottish distilleries. What this means is that their whisky is still quite reasonably priced: even after recent increases, their 10 yo (which I quite like, though I have not yet reviewed it) is available for £35 in the UK and this 15 yo is currently going for just above £50 (inclusive of vat). This is particularly gratifying given that in the late 2000s the lineup got an upgrade to 46% abv and a lack of chill-filtering. They’ve since added an 18 yo (which I have not tried); previously the next up from the 15 yo was the 21 yo (also priced reasonably—in today’s world—at just above £90). They’ve also added some jazzed up sherry and port cask releases (which I also haven’t tried). Prices in the US are a little higher but at this point we should just be glad that they are putting out age-stated whisky. Which is not to say that they’re not putting out any NAS whisky: they also have something called the Origin 1825, which costs about the same as the 10 yo in the US (it’s cheaper in the UK). Anyway, let’s see what this 15 yo is like. Continue reading

Glencadam 37, 1974 (Whisky-Fässle)

Glencadam 37, 1974
I recently reviewed the official Glencadam 21. Here now is a much older Glencadam from the German bottler Whisky-Fässle. I purchased it in 2012, which may have been the last year that it was easy to get older bottles, especially from 1970s distillate, for reasonable prices from the independents. These days teenaged Laphroaigs are going for close to $200, and probably for more (oh yes, quite a bit more: I just saw a 18 yo Laphroaig 1990 listed for 230 Euros!) It is for this reason that I’ve been slow to open the not very many older bottles I have left—it’s all but impossible now to find any now at non-extortionate prices. This is from a refill sherry cask and its strength has dropped naturally in the cask to just over the minimum 40% required for whisky. I’ve had a number of similarly low strength malts from similarly aged whiskies from this era that have displayed wonderful fruity characteristics (see this G&M Longmorn 40, 1971) and so I was expecting this to be very good when I did open it.  Continue reading

Glencadam 21

Glencadam 21
The only Glencadam I have reviewed so far is also a 21 yo—this from Blackadder. This one is the official 21 yo. I don’t really know much about Glencadam—it’s another of the distilleries whose output I have tasted very little of—and so I can’t really speak to its general profile. I bought a bottle of this 21 yo in the summer of 2012, along with bottles of the 10 and 15 yo. I’d planned to organize a blind tasting of the three but here I am almost four years later and I’m yet to open any of the bottles; this is what happens when you buy too much whisky (this review is of a sample I got from Michael K—who presumably purchased a full bottle at some point: his own review is of a purchased sample. Man, this is a complicated parenthetical aside). I have recently opened another, much older, independent bottling so maybe I’ll get around to doing that vertical at some point soon after all.  Continue reading

Glencadam 21, 1991 (Blackadder)

Glencadam 21, BlackadderGlencadam 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. Continue reading