Tuesday 20 January 2015

Whisky Discovery #785

Glencadam 22 Year Old Abbey Whisky 55.3% abv 
Highland Single Cask Malt Whisky

£76.95 70cl only available from Abbey Whisky

Whisky Review
This is the fourth release from Independent Whisky Retailer Abbey Whisky's 'Rare Casks' series, following earlier releases from Caperdonich, Bunnahabhain and Ben Nevis. I was supposed to have completed this post a long time ago, as my tasting notes were taken on 30th April last year! However other commitments and a few circumstances beyond my control set me back a little on the blog posting last year and I'm trying to play catch up now as I have two notebooks full of 'discoveries'.

This Glencadam was distilled in 1991, aged in a refill bourbon cask for 22 years, and is a worthy addition to this cask strength series of malts. As one would expect of a cask strength malt, this has been bottled at 55.3% abv, without chill filtering or colour additives. Just 96 bottles have been released.

Checking the liquid log we have had very little exposure to whiskies from The Glencadam Distillery and the only other one listed was the 21 Year Old that was in my Drinks By the Dram Advent Calendar last year.

I decided I needed to find out a little more about the distillery and reached for my Malt Whisky Yearbook along with some older books by Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson's World Guide to Whisky from 1987 tells us that the distillery was founded in 1825, and was bought by Ballantine's and extensively modernised in the 1950's. Most of it's Whisky went for blending at the time Michael wrote this book, but he describes it as having a very fruity aroma and a smooth, almost creamy palate. He also goes on to say that it's a 'most unusual and characterful Whisky.'

His Malt Whisky Companion (4th Edition) from 1999 describes the House Style as 'Creamy with a hint of berry fruits.'

Having previously been mothballed in 2000, the distillery was brought back to life in 2003 and is the only existing distillery in the region of Angus. 

So What Did I Think?
Twenty two years in a refill bourbon cask hasn't imparted a great deal of colour to the spirit during its slumber, but with the colour of a Sauternes wine, it immediately looks light and refreshing. 

The dominant aromas for me were coconut and vanilla. It always amazes me when I find these coconut flavours, I'm easily pleased! It's all down to the right wood conditions you know. This has a very pleasing, fragrant nose, and alongside the initial flavours I was finding ripe barley and some zesty citrus notes. The palate came across with some good malty flavours, biscuity almost, and although initially creamy and sweet, there was an interesting spicy build up towards the end. The coconut remains throughout and lasts right through to the very end, albeit turning a little soapy. 

(I'd like to point out that we eat a lot of coconut in our house, so know what a soapy coconut smells and tastes like. When anthropologists dig up our garden in years to come, they will believe there was once a coconut plantation and processing plant in the Bedfordshire countryside)

The empty glass the following morning gave notes of milk chocolate. Astonishing!

But don't just take my word for it, Jim Murray awarded this 92/100 in his 2015 Whisky Bible

Many thanks to Abbey Whisky for providing the sample, and for their continued patience in waiting for my this blog post! For further information and how to purchase this fine single cask single malt check their website here: Abbey Whisky 

Sláinte! Dave

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