Glencadam 30yo 1975/2006 (54.4%, Dewar Rattray, Cask Collection, Bourbon Cask #7588, 216 bottles)

Why not make it a double bill, and review our third Glencadam. Both Glencadam’s I reviewed earlier managed to score a nice 85 Points, so let’s see if this one does better. This particular on is 30 years old, and by itself it’s older than both previous examples put together. This is another one from the attic, since it was released back in 2006. The difference couldn’t be greater when comparing it to the Glencadam I just reviewed. It is twice the age and this one comes from a Bourbon cask, surely it will do better?

Glencadam 30yo DRColor: Full gold, and only slightly lighter than the 15yo.

Nose: Half sweet and nice biscuity barley. Slightly spicy and reminds me of old Dutch Jenever. Definitely some Bourbon influences. Some waxy elements, but not much. In fact the Whisky smells quite young and vibrant and not at all would you expect it to be 30 years old. Fresh, hints of citrus and only mere hints of vanilla. Dusty wood completes the nose. That’s it, not much more is happening. After a while more fruit comes to the fore. Sweetish yellow fruits. Some unripe banana skin. Adding to the structure of banana comes powdered coffee-creamer, in the smell a creamy variant of vanilla. Dusty and slightly dried out ice-cream after you spilled it and didn’t clean it right away. Given some time the freshness takes a back seat and the whole is nice but also rather dull. Not a very active cask I’m afraid. Having said that, it does smell like something from the past.

Taste: Wood, paper and cardboard and after that a short, sharp attack, quickly followed by a short sweet note. After the sweetness comes some woody bitterness. Distant dull vanilla. Waxy again. Cold candle wax. So the body is present and almost chewy, yet surrounded by dry paper and woody notes. A nice old Bourbon matured Whisky, but not a stellar one like 1972 Caperdonich or 1976 Tomatin, to name but a few. Here also some fruit emerges, but again a bit dull. Dried bits of pineapple and some old broken almond bits, you sometimes find in the couch. Luckily the sweetish and fruity note dominate the body, not leaving much room for the woody bitterness. The finish has medium length, but there isn’t much happening afterwards. What stays around for the longest, apart from general (cardboardy) creaminess, is a sour note you get from (new) oak.

Not bad, quite nice, but also not spectacular as well. No real off notes and nothing (bad) overpowering the whole. Still a nice one to pick up when all of its distant relatives are sold out. Definitely a lot better than most of the modern Whiskies though. I’ll have fond memories of this nevertheless.

Points: 85


Glencadam 15yo 1989/2005 (58%, Signatory Vintage, Cask Strength Collection, Sherry Butt #6014, 578 bottles)

Another one I found in the attic. Although this hasn’t been bottled ages ago, this time around I have a Signatory Glencadam bottled back in 2005. That’s already 11 years ago. Time flies. This is just the second Glencadam on these pages and it seems not to be a Malt with a big reputation. Having said that, the “new” 10yo I reviewed last time around, was something of a nice surprise for me. Quite impressive for an officially bottled 10yo. However, I have seen it before that the first release of something is better than most subsequent releases. Just sayin’…

Glencadam 15yo SigVColor: Copper gold.

Nose: Creamy and strictly Sherry. Smells like a Red Wine cask actually. Whiffs of stale Beer. Wow, where is this going? Hints of caramel and licorice. Creamy and perfumy. Definitely more floral than most Whiskies I recently tried. Floral pudding. Sure some dried apricots underneath, but not enough to call this fruity as well, although the fruit aroma becomes stronger with prolonged breathing, so it may be more fruity then I initially thought. Hardly any wood. Fruity and floral it is and dry warm wind blowing over the top. After even some more time the floral part seems to have disappeared. Interesting effect. It’s all about what evaporates the first. It becomes nicer over time, and better balanced as well.

Taste: On entry again the feeling this comes from a Wine cask. Apart from the slightly harsh winey note, a lot of paper and cardboard notes. A Beer-like carbonation taste (not saying there are bubbles in this one, an effect I know from a certain Teaninich, also bottled by Signatory (not reviewed yet, but I do have a bottle of that somewhere). Lots of pronounced Italian laurel licorice. Cumin and slightly minty. Hidden sweetness and a nice bitter (hoppy?), and slightly soapy, edge well into the finish. Well this one seems to have it all doesn’t it?

If you work on this a bit it is quite nice and wonderfully complex. For some it may be an acquired taste. You need to let this breathe for quite some time though, although seeing it change with time is quite nice as well. Interesting Malt. Recommended for aficionado’s. I liked the feel of the 10yo I reviewed earlier, and this one doesn’t disappoint as well. However, I’m not that positive about some of the other regular releases by the owners themselves, so be careful with buying those without trying.

Points: 85


Glencadam 10yo (46%, OB, 2008)

Glencadam is a rather unknown Single Malt and this 10yo is marketed as ‘The Rather Delicate’. Never before has a Glencadam been featured on these pages. Did that happen for a reason, or have I missed out on something? The 10yo we’ll be reviewing here, was first released in 2008. Yes, this is the first batch of this new 10yo. This 10yo has seen no colouring nor has it been chillfiltered ánd it has been bottled at 46% ABV. So a lot has been done to make this the best it can be.

Glencadam was founded in 1825 and since than it has changed hands many times. Dark clouds formed above the distillery when in 2000 the distillery was mothballed by its owner Allied Domecq, wanting to close it for good. Luckily in 2003 the distillery was sold to Angus Dundee Distillers. On the premises of the distillery there is also a blending and bottling facility, as well as five dunnage warehouses. The majority of ageing casks are ex-Bourbon casks. Obviously also some Sherry casks are there, and the third flavour of choice are Port pipes. Glencadam fills its casks at the unusual high strength of 68% ABV.

Glencadam 10yoColor: White wine

Nose: Floral and fruity sweetness. Full of aroma. Quite a surprise (I’m trying this right after the “neutral” Inchmurrin 15yo). Creamy vanilla, honey and fruity, stewed apples, and warm apple sauce. The nose has a rum like quality, but also a nice fruity acidity to it. Lime maybe. Quite complex and full of aroma, I didn’t expect much, but this sure delivers some goods!

Taste: Sweet and nutty, almonds. Very creamy and actually very nice. Vanilla ice-cream but again with a fresher acidic citrussy touch. Did I already mention this has a lot of apples in the taste too? Well, there is! Again it also has a little rum-like quality to it. Clay and sweet and spicy vanilla from probably first fill Bourbon casks.

I wasn’t expecting this. Full aroma, nice body and an interesting bouquet of flavours thrown together. Well made stuff and a nice addition to the list of standard 10yo’s. The label states “The Rather Delicate” but that was probably written by a copywriter with a cold or someone who looked only at the color of this Whisky. I disagree. It is a nice creamy, fruity (apples and lime) Single Malt full of flavor. Not light nor delicate. If they call this delicate I’m really intrigued to try the rest of the series. Nice!

Points: 85