Tasting: Speyside 1995 18y by Cadenhead’s

Dram data:Speyside 1995 18 years Cadenhead's Small Batch
Distillery: Speyside
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1995
Bottled: July 2014
Age: 18
Limitation: 738 bottles
Casks: 1 Sherry butt & 1 hogshead
Alcohol: 62,8%
Unchillfiltered, natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
Red gold / light amber
The nose is… overwhelming at first. Yes, the alcohol is definitely noticeable. Sweet cough lozenges, caramellised ginger sticks, orange oil, rubber, wood spices and dark fruit puree in the background. Adding a generous amount of water brings out more notes of orange and ginger and pushes the woody, spicy notes into the background. That one’s a swimmer for sure! The palate is strong on the alcohol as well, but manageable. Oily, warming, coating, gets the juices flowing. Very nice wood-honey background sweetness with caramel, ripe oranges, ginger sticks, old banana with wood-spices lurking beneath. With water it is more manageable but doesn’t lose its oily character. Water tends to enhance the fruity-sweet notes just like on the nose A very hard to differentiate dark-fruit puree (dates, figs, juicy plums, brambles, red gooseberries…). The finish is very oily and sweet in the beginning, coating, lots of orange and grapefruit oil. It just fades until it’s gone – no drying down at all. With water a hint of bitter herbs joins the mix.

Verdict:
Mmmmmhhhhh… yum! This one is right up my alley! The mix of one sherry butt and one hogshead works really well together. This is a well-aged, sweet (but not overly so killing the distillery style), engaging, oily, juicy dram. The silver medal it won at the Malt Maniacs 2014 awards is well-deserved!

Score: 89/100

The sample for this whisky was kindly provided by the Cadenhead’s store in Salzburg. Cheers!

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