Tag Archive: Glencadam

Glencadam 21 Year (Scottish Highland Single Malt Whisky: 21 Year: 46% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold.

Nose: Cherries. Brandy cream. Sherry soaked sponge to trifle. Pencil shavings. Custard slices. Water makes little difference.

Body: Thick. Honey. Raisins. Very clear sherry. Soft lime. Sweet lemon. Slight alcohol. Oak. Water brings more raisins. Vanilla fudge. Red grapes.

Finish: Raisins. Creamy lime. Dry oak. Malt chocolate. Fruitcake. Water adds red wine. Dry sherry. Dry spice. White grapes. Mildly waxy.

Conclusion: This is very sherry dominated. Very red wine heavy. Very fruitcake solid body. So the first thing to get out of that way, does that idea appeal to you? If not that this is not the one for you.

Still with me? Cool, let’s dig deeper then. Initial impressions is very sherry trifle, and wine soaked fruitcake. Very much heavy, sweet desserts that are appropriate to this winter season. Surprisingly, even at a nice 21 years of age, this still has a touch of alcohol character present. Nothing too bad, probably just a sign of the touch higher than normal 46% abv. Thankfully a touch of water clears that up nicely without hurting any other element of the whisky.

It is a tad simple without the water. It is nice, and big in the flavour but slightly closed. Water helps round it out as dry spice grows out adding more savoury elements around the sweetness. The sweetness also spread out with red wine and a mix of red and white grapes that provide extra elements over the stodgy fruitcake middle.

Now admittedly none of this is new to the whisky world, nor unusual. The base whisky provides the weight and a mildly waxy feel in the finish. But generally most of the character here seems to come from the sherry ageing.

It is very enjoyable, very solid, with Highland weight meeting sherried flavour. Nothing is unsual, but no complaints, and no off notes evident from the spirit – so a good job if not stand out.

Background: Only tried Glencadam once before, that was initially weak but had my attention by the end. So when I saw an aged 21 year version in minis at Independent Spirit I thought it would be nice to give it a go. Not much else to add on this one – Had just grabbed Miracle of Sound’s “Level 9” album from bandcamp – a very varied in style bunch of video game themed songs – so put that on while drinking. Goes from light pop punk to moody epics, so at least one song would probably match the whisky!

Glencadam 15

Glencadam: 15 Year (Scottish Highland Single Malt Whisky: 15 Year: 46% ABV)

Visual: Pale grain to gold.

Viscosity: Slow medium thickness puckering around the glass.

Nose: Heather. Toffee. Light alcohol touch. Roasted nuts and sugared almonds.

Body: Nutty. Custard. Lime touch. Heather. Toffee. Apples. Coffee cake. Water makes much sweeter and adds sugared almonds, and also cinnamon to the apple flavour. Very smooth with water. Late on gains Madeira cake and spice.

Finish: Alcohol air initially. Malt drinks and nuts. Light raisins. Pears. Coffee cake comes out with water.

Conclusion: What is the defining element of a whisky? Well in this case the defining element is one that barely shows up on first sip. On first examination this seems a pretty standard Highland whisky, heather, lightly sweet and nutty. I wasn’t too excited to say the least.

As time went on a light fruitiness in a speyside style came out, apples and pears into a raisins finish. It was a more interesting whisky but it still hadn’t yet reached the point that was to define it. Now, more fun, but still did not stand out from the crowd.

Them it finally came, dry crumbly coffee cake, a savoury and slightly bitter element that becomes the base which everything else works off. Then, over time, it develops into sweeter Madeira cake. This is especially noticeable with water, and it creates a fruitier, sweeter and spicier end to the dram.

The latter half of the whisky that shows the coffee and Madeira cake is what makes the whisky. It is refined, different and a good point for the other elements to work off. It feels classical, rich and refined and this makes it feel like a special treat.

So a whisky that starts off cutting close to the mould then makes its way to a delightfully different interpretation. A very interesting dram.

Background: Previously untried distillery time! I picked this up a while back, I ordered a bottle of whisky online for a friend, so decided to pick up a miniature for my own enjoyment at the same time. So, really I don’t know much on this one. Apart from the fact their tasting note on the back of the box is very bland, but since I only read that after doing my own notes I don’t think it influenced the review at all.

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