Every once and a while there is a chance to sample a piece of whisky history. In this case from a Lowland grain distillery that shut its doors in 1993. Before that, Cambus produced grain from early 1800s, with a hiatus from 1913 to 1938 when a fire destroyed much of the original distillery before it was rebuilt.
Cambus Single Grain 24 year (1991/2015) Cask 55891 51.9% (Signatory Vintage), Bottle 22 of 447
- Nose – Floral, tempting, subtly complex, honey lemon, shifting between a heady perfume and light ginger, cinnamon, butterscotch and rich vanilla cream
- Palate – Spice, with a great mouthfeel, cream like Amarulla with a bit of a hazelnut too, fruity, there was depth and character yet with a soft touch
- Finish – Lightly bitter, closing on more of that delicious vanilla
- Water – Brings out even more vanilla and toffee, think of a butterscotch ice cream
Overall it was exceedingly tasty… and far far far too easy to drink! It was hard not to say things like “Really nice!” and other happy murmurings.
And that’s just the thing about this whisky – it is simply delicious! A happy companion for a pleasant evening. It doesn’t challenge you but it does have enough substance and spice to make it a sprightly delightful dram.
What else do we know? It quietly matured for 24 years in a single refill butt and was bottled at cask strength.
While I didn’t find any tasting notes from the bottlers, I did check out what the chaps at Master of Malt had to say:
- Nose: Yep, that’s yummy grain – thick vanilla, summer fruits boiled sweets and gentle oak spice.
- Palate: Spicy and honeyed, more vanilla and red fruit, almond pastries and a touch of treacle.
- Finish: Quite long with a fruity tang.
- Overall: Mid-twenties grain with a little fruity cask influence.
This bottle was purchased at Singapore Whisky Live 2017 (La Maison du Whisky) after sampling it at the Signatory kiosk. While not readily available, I paid SGD 203 / USD 150 / INR 10,800 in November 2017 and we opened the bottle in September 2018.
Since then I will admit to taking another nip or two as it is simply a rather enjoyable whisky. I keep telling myself to stop and keep it for others to try a sip of history but it sits in my cabinet temptingly tasty. And did I write more tasting notes? No… it was simply too tasty a treat to do anything but enjoy.
- Haig Club 40% – From Cameronbridge distillery in Fife, on the edge of Eastern Highlands and Lowlands
- Suntory Chita NAS 43% – A key element in Suntory’s popular Hibiki blend which brings together the Chita grain with Hakushu and Yamazaki
- Nikka Coffey Grain 45% – Last sampled in April 2016 and enjoyed its piña colada character
You can find more on a page dedicated just to Grains here.
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