Tag Archives: Highland Whisky

Glencadam 22 Year Old / The Rare Casks / Release 4

Type: Scotch Single Malt Whisky
Region: Highland Whisky
Distillery: Glencadam
Bottler: Abbey Whisky
Age: 22 Years Old
Alcohol: 55.3%
Bottled: 2014
Initial Price: GBP 76+

Review

To be honest when Mike from Abbey Whisky sent me a sample of the Glencadam 22 Year old along with one of my purchases I was as excited as a little kid who noticed an extra gift below his Christmas tree. However I have to admit, up until then, I was fairly ignorant about this distillery and the spirit that came out from their stills. This obviously made me very curious and impatient to crack it open get down to spending some quality time with the whisky. Unfortunately though this date took a bit longer to come by then I’d have liked, the experience that followed was pretty spectacular. This particular expression is the 4th release from the Rare Cask Series by Abbey Whisky and was distilled in 1991, laid to rest in refill bourbon casks for 22 long years and then just 96 bottles of this spirit were filled in at 55.3% ABV. For all those folks who are sailing on the same boat as me when it comes to knowing more about this distillery, Glencadam is from the Highland region of Scotland and is the only existing distillery from the Angus region. It was mothballed in 2000 and reopened in 2003.

Now finally to the spirit itself:

Nose: This was one whisky where I really had to push myself to go beyond the nose simply because the wonderful medley of sweet spices, apples, lots of sweet barley notes and oodles of honey just kept me wanting to stay there and enjoy them for a wee bit longer. Surprisingly and rather strangely I could also get some rather strong sherry notes coming through too …no complaints though.

Palate: Once again it all began with those sweet notes of honey which continued from the nose, followed by some peppery spice notes. Two simple words that describe the palate are powerful and creamy. That fear of having a disappointing palate after a fantastic nose had definitely vanished. There were a lot of orangey citrus notes along with other tropical fruits too. I also found some caramel and nuts thrown into the mix too.

Finish: A honey comb from the start to the very end with the honey making its distinct presence felt at each stage. A velvety smooth and fairly long finish with more fruit notes along with strong, unmistakable traces of caramel and sweet barely. Wow that was one impressive first time experience!! Top grade whisky… hard to find any shortcomings at all…moves straight up into the list of one of the best whiskies I’ve had in the past few months. Enough said I guess. Saying thanks to Mike would never be enough for this.. I had to get my bottle!!.. And that’s exactly what I did!

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Brora 18 Year Old (1981/200) – Signatory

Type: Scotch Single Malt Whisky
Region: Highland Whisky
Distillery: Brora
Bottler: Signatory
Age: 18 Years Old
Alcohol: 43%
Single Cask: Yes (Sherry)
Natural Cask Strength: No
Bottled: 2000
Initial Price: No Info
Current Status: Scarcely available on auction sites

Review

A distillery that has been shut for over 30 years now.. and yet has people willing to pay crazy sums of money to get their hands on just about any bottle that is floating around in the market… definitely one of the signs of a legendary whisky brand…. well that’s what I thought.. so I decided to find out for myself..

Given the fact that getting your hands on almost any expression from this distillery would set you back by a few hundred pounds to say the least was a major factor in not having a dram of this whisky earlier. But to finally manage to get a hold of a miniature from Signatory was enough to get me all excited and curious.. and trust me when I say this …it was worth every bit of hype that surrounds this name.. ‘Brora’!! This is going to be one long review but that is the least I could say to express my appreciation for a dram from this gem of a distillery that has been lost to time.

Here’s a spirit that was distilled more than 30 years ago, left to mature for 18 years in a Sherry Cask and then bottled in a tiny 5cl bottle following which its been sitting in there for another 15 years..Just imagine how much this whisky would have to talk about after being silently cooped up for such a long time..

Nose: Your nose is instantly greeted with a lovely sweet aroma mixed with some really delicately spice notes.. ripe juicy orange and some faint but unmistakable peat notes. As it breathes and opens up further a second layer of fresh wood shavings, grass and sweetness coming from a fresh honey comb come straight at you all the while gently caressing your nose… Leave it a bit longer and you can get some light vanilla notes and some distinct caramel toffee in there as well.

What makes this expression so fantastic is the multiple layers of aromas that keeps coming out the longer you kept it..and each layer is absolutely perfect! Leaving it for another hour.. and nosing it gave you the impression of being in a supermarket which a lot of grains.. detergents ..toothpaste and some perfumes all stacked next to each other.

Maybe I’d go on to say on the basis of its complexity and near perfect balance I’d rate this as one of the best nose’s I’ve come across till date..

Palate: With a nose like that you are bound to expect the moon and the stars on the palate so with great anticipation I had the first sip.. sadly the tip of my tongue was greeted with a sugary sweet taste.. which wasn’t too pleasantly smooth enough to be honest.. there were some spices in there as well but that was nicely tucked in with only their heads popping out to give you the right doses of flavor.. and some mild peat and smokey notes as well.

The second sip after a short while.. was almost like the whisky had sensed my disappointment and decided to make it up with a power packed performance.. a much more mellow, smooth sweetness like honey flowing down on your tongue.. followed by the perfect spice notes and a dash of citrus in the mix was what was in store taking the overall score for the palate up by quite a few notches.

The final sip after an hour had a lot more lemony citrus notes, grass and some dry chalk all of which were pretty evenly balanced out..

Finish:

With a super duper nose and way above average palate.. the finish had to be perfect for this one to be a hit and yes it did deliver.. once again over two sips.. the first sip having a slightly shorter finish with some wood and vanilla notes and the second bringing out a lot more of the wood and the vanilla with a tiny bit of spices and this staying back a lot longer before finally bidding adieu!!

Balance wise.. this one would have a perfect score.. each note came out in just the right doses and was in complete harmony.. Alas this probably the first and last time I ever taste this silent beauty…