Tag Archives: Cadenhead’s

Caperdonich 1977 39 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary

Tasting: Caperdonich 1977 39 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary

Caperdonich 1977 39 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversaryDram data:
Distillery: Caperdonich
Bottler: Cadenhead
Distilled: 1977
Bottled: 2017
Age: 39 yo
Limitation: 462 bottles
Casks: Butt
Alcohol: 50,4%
unchillfiltered / uncoloured
Whiskybase link

This is the last one in the trilogy of whiskies distilled in the 1970s at now “lost distilleries”, bottled for the 175th anniversary of the independent bottler Cadenhead’s. Unlike the Convalmore, I’ve got a slightly bigger sample, so let’s give it a thorough taste!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 mahogany
This is the most heavily sherried whisky of this release! The nose is immediately filled with deep, dark, bold aromas. Oak floorboard polished with wax (but not too oaky!), liquorice, cherry and plum syrup, herbal Swiss cough drops rubbed in allspice and forgotten for a few years in a rusty tin box. In fact, can I please call this a fruity cough syrup for grown ups? In a good way, of course! Not much sweetness going on, which is good, but the cask is definitely strong and not much distillery character remains – which is to be expected from a sherry monster of such a calibre. Still a very good balance between oak and fruit, this has not yet gone overboard! Let’s check the palate!  Continue reading

Mark Watt leading the Cadenhead's alternative tasting

2017 Whisky adventures part 3: Campbeltown malts festival Glengyle open day

After enjoying a very sunny, hot, relaxing Springbank open day, the third and last day of the Campbeltown whisky festival was on: Glengyle open day. Boy, what a day it was going to be, filled with events and tasting after tasting! Let’s just say this up front: There were those who had sample bottles (including yours truly) and there were those who didn’t… ahem.

First breakfast

With a whole day’s worth of dramming in front of the six of us, a fully cooked Scottish breakfast, enjoyed outside in the sunshine, was just what we all needed to get going. Okay, we never had anything else for breakfast, but, hey, any excuse, right?
Soon enough it was time to call a taxi (no walking this time!) for a ride into town – for the first event of the day:

Second breakfast – alternative tasting

The folks at Cadenhead’s are well-known for bottling fine whisky, but they’re also bottling Gin, Rum and Cognac, and that’s what the (m)alternative tasting with chief booze flogger (inofficial title I just made up!) Mark Watt was all about. After tasting the standard Old Raj gin (which went very well with the tonic water on the table – kidding, it’s a very good gin!), we were in for a treat: A cask-matured gin! They filled a firkin with very high ABV gin (someone ignored or forgot orders to dilute before casking…) which apparently led to a bizarre situation when Mark poured samples straight from the cask for a few visitors. Whilst Mark thought it had “a bit of a kick”, allegedly some of the guys were gasping for air… Sadly we did not get to taste this 92,3% ABV version, but a “slightly” watered down one – which was still very impressive – and didn’t agree with tonic water at all. A gin for sipping on its own!
Moving on, we got two samples of a 30yo and a 50yo Cognac from the Distillerie Charpentier in the Petit Champagne. Both were very excellent “Cognacs for whisky drinkers”. Personally, I liked the 30yo a tad more – it just had a bit more going on, but both were really, really good and have since been released (and probably sold out now).
At the end of the tasting we finally tapped into the Rum supply, with the first one being the “Classic Rum” (which I thought was okay, but it didn’t really connect with me), and the second one an 18yo Caroni. Such a gritty, dirty, oily, greasy (think tampered-with German diesel engines) dram – but in a really good way! Also probably sold out worldwide by now, sorry. This tasting highlighted the quality of “malternative” distillates out there – it definitely pays off to look at other (and, these days, more affordable) spirits as well. I mean, a 50yo Cognac for 135£… that’s a steal!

Sniffy and Islay enjoying the (m)alternative tasting

Sniffy and Islay enjoying the (m)alternative tasting

Mark Watt leading the Cadenhead's alternative tasting

Mark Watt leading the Cadenhead’s alternative tasting

Continue reading

Convalmore 1977 40 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary

Tasting: Convalmore 1977 40 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary

Convalmore 1977 40 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversaryDram data:
Distillery: Convalmore
Bottler: Cadenhead
Distilled: 1977
Bottled: 2017
Age: 40 yo
Limitation: 522 bottles
Casks: Butt
Alcohol: 56,8%
unchillfiltered / uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Another whisky in the stunning lineup to celebrate Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary! I only have a very small sample left, so I’ll make the best of it to get my first tasting notes for a Convalmore up!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 gold
The nose is still surprisingly vibrant and alive for a 40 yo whisky! Definitely not an overoaked, dead dram (hey, I’ve seen it happen, they usually come in crystal decanters and expensive lacquered boxes!)! A massive waft of orange peel up front, mixed with gooseberries, apricots, mangos, sweet grapes, pickled ginger – let’s call it a seasonal (summery) fruit basket. But there’s more to it! A few mint leaves rubbed onto a lacquered oak box (ahem) held together by a leather belt, a cinnamon stick and a pinch of ground allspice. Noses more like a 25 yo whisky at first, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, does it? Give it time and time and time again, and it settles down, with the fruity notes getting darker / more condensed. Continue reading

Jura 1986 30 yo by Cadenhead's

Tasting: Jura 1986 30 yo by Cadenhead’s

Jura 1986 30 yo by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Jura
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1986
Bottled: 2016
Age: 30 years
Limitation: 66 bottles
Casks: Bourbon Barrel
Alcohol: 42,5%
unchillfiltered / uncoloured
Whiskybase link

That sample took a while to reach me! It went from Salzburg to Vienna, was forgotten and finally found its way into my hands at its bottling place, Campbeltown, this May, only for me to bring it back to Austria to finally taste it. Apparently, it’s a very good Jura (which you can’t say of all whiskies by this distillery), so I’m very much looking forward to giving it a go!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 gold
The nose is rather promising. Rich and properly aged with quite a noticeable oak influence, but not too much. We’ve got an oak storage cupboard with a slight layer of waxy varnish and quite a few kinds of fruit – dried bananas, dried peaches, dried pineapple, tinned lychees, sweet red apples, rhubarb some pickled ginger. Add to that a hint of orange peel, honey and a box of tutti frutti. This is unlike most Juras I’ve tasted – the spirit has been taken over by the cask in a very advantageous way. Continue reading

Banff 1976 40 yo - Cadenhead's 175th anniversary

Tasting: Banff 1976 40 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary

Banff 1976 40 yo - Cadenhead's 175th anniversaryDram data:
Distillery: Banff
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1976
Bottled: 2017
Age: 40
Limitation: 192 bottles
Casks: ex-bourbon hogshead
Alcohol: 51,2%
unchillfiltered / uncoloured
Whiskybase link

This 40 yo Banff, distilled in 1976, was part of the 175th anniversary bottling by the independend bottler Cadenhead’s, and we got the chance to try it during the matching tasting with Mark Watt during the Campbeltown whisky festival 2017. I liked what I tasted (I had it at a tie with the Rosebank), so I brought most of the sample home for a proper tasting session. Let’s do this!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 coppery gold
The nose is anything but weak – still going strong after 40 years in a hoggie! What did they do differently in the 70s? Many drams from that era (even ones bottled at a relatively young age) have such a rich, fruity, waxy palate that has rarely been produced since. We’ve got orange peel, waxed red apples, tinned peaches and tangerines, brown banana, banana bread, strawberries in milk chocolate. In short: a complex, rich summer fruit salad served on sweet bread. (Please, hipsters, don’t make that a thing!). Oak, you ask? Well… just a smidgen of oak influence and a light generic herbal note holding everything together in the background, but this is mostly distillate and age talking here. With extended time in the glass, the herbal notes intensify a bit.

Continue reading

Springbank 19 yo 1997-2017 (warehouse tasting)

Tasting: Springbank 19 yo 1997-2016 (warehouse tasting)

Springbank 19 yo 1997-2017 (warehouse tasting)Dram data:
Distillery: Springbank
Bottler: hand bottled
Distilled: 09.05.1997
Bottled: 2016
Age: 19 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Recharred Sherry #606
Alcohol: 58,8%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

To mentally prepare for the Springbank festival in May, which I’ll attend, I think it’s time I tasted a “wee toon dram” again. How about this 19 yo from last year’s festival? Let’s take a look – and a sniff and taste!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 mahogany
The nose has a lot of power! wow! it’s a re-charred cask (hogshead?), so there’s no sherry left, this is all Springbank distillate and even more wood! The cask spices are immediately there up front – I’m guessing European oak! Cough lozenges, liquorice, cloves, allspice, gentian and a hint of wormwood. The typical Springbank smoke is there, but it really has to fight through the spices, you could easily miss it! The base is made up of burnt toffee, caramel, a whiff of old cigar box and the freshness of illicit cherry distillate with loads of cracked cherry stones in the mash. An aromatic powerhouse, not for the faint at heart!
Continue reading

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #21: Laphroaig 1998 17 yo by Cadenhead's

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #21: Laphroaig 1998 17 yo by Cadenhead’s

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #21: Laphroaig 1998 17 yo by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Laphroaig
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: November 2015
Age: 17
Limitation: 192 bottles
Casks: bourbon hogshead
Alcohol: 56,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Indie Laphroaig seems to have become scarcer and scarcer these past years – especially older whiskies in their teens or above. Cadenhead’s to the rescue!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 pale white wine
The nose is typically Islay. Well-matured, refill-cask, heavily peated Islay whisky. Peat smoke, the usual phenolic kind with dirty bandages and iodine, soot, ash and well-used machine oil. Behind all that smoke, a salty sweetness creeps in – salted toffee on custard served on clamshells with lemon drizzled on top. Maybe a green apple is involved as well. The power of great refill casks, allowing the spirit to shine, just rounding out the edges. On to the palate:

Continue reading

Tobermory 19 yo by Cadenhead's

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #14: Tobermory 19 yo by Cadenhead’s

Tobermory 19 yo by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Tobermory
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1995
Bottled: 07.2014
Age: 19
Limitation: 498 bottles
Casks: Sherry Butt
Alcohol: 54,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

What’s that wee dusty miniature back there buried below other samples? Tobermory? Haven’t had one in a while – don’t mind if I pour one…

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber
The nose opens on… aaah! Dirty sherry whisky profile! None of this highly polished, clinically, modern stuff! Burnt rubber and oily rags with a bottle of Manzanilla poured over them on first contact! Not for wimps, that’s for sure. But what else is there? Almost burnt roasted dried fruits (any fruit, really), lovage, burnt toffee (hey, how many more burnt things can you cram into a Sherry butt?), high-octane chocolate and a handful of cloves. Sulphur, you ask? Well… err… maybe a burnt matchstick, but that’s about it. With water: not too much change, just a tad more accessible for people not used to this style of whisky. Let’s check the palate!  Continue reading

Cadenhead Creations Rich Fruity Sherry 36 yo blend

Tasting: Cadenhead Creations Rich Fruity Sherry 36 yo blend

Cadenhead Creations Rich Fruity Sherry 36 yo blendDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: 36 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Sherry Butts
Alcohol: 44,5%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

How can you say no to a sherried 36yo blended whisky, especially a small batch product from Cadenhead’s? Too right – you can’t!

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
red amber
The nose opens on the dark, dense, mysterious side. You might also call it closed-up. But, hang on, it’s a blend, that’s supposed to feature a rather tightly woven net of aromas. A mixture of dark, dried fruits. All the dark, dried fruits you can think of put in a blender and mixed thoroughly – after adding a pint of orange juice with bits, and a handful of orange peel. A pinch of spices – cloves, star anise, cinnamon, pimento – paired with a whiff of peat smoke, cask smokiness and polished oak cupboard. I usually prefer a not so tight and closed-down aromatic profile, but it is a blend after all, and a very good one at that. Let’s see how the palate holds up. Continue reading

William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt

Tasting: William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt (Review #200)

William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt Dram data:
Distillery: undisclosed (see below…)
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1970s
Bottled: 09.12.2015
Age: 40 (stated; actually 43yo*)
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-bourbon (my impression)
Alcohol: 40,2%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Unless I’ve lost the ability to count, this is whisky review #200 – time for a small celebration! How about… oh, a 40yo “undisclosed” Single Speyside malt by William Cadenhead’s? Only they could be so cool as to print the completely unrelated letter combination “Glenfarclas” just above the bottling number. No, I’m sure these letters don’t mean anything to anybody… I love you guys up there in Campbeltown!

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
honey
40,2% ABV – this better not be weak on the nose! Ah…. no! Oh! Ah! Properly aged whisky from a refill ex-bourbon cask, that’s a style I love! Golden honey with a bit of beeswax, majestic oak jam cupboard (just the right amount of oak) with a leather jacket and garden herbs for drying hanging from a hook on the side, sweet summer sunset in an orchard captured in a glass, tropical fruits (dried mangos and papayas ), condensed orange juice, slightly vanilla-flavoured Virginia pipe tobacco (non-vulgar vanilla!), ah, what a lovely, dense yet still elegant and fragrant mixture. Just the dram to pour those “age doesn’t matter” folks, that’ll teach ’em!  Continue reading