A Night with Glen – Glencadam 15 year 46%

Our Whisky Ladies host found this whisky in New York… her quest was to find something we collectively hadn’t tried… from a lesser known or less accessible distillery.

And its true – you won’t find Glencadam in every local or duty free store… the distillery even halted production – closed in 2000 then re-opened in 2003 by its new owner – Angus Dundee, who just so happen to also own Tomintoul. 

So one must assume this official bottle comes from stock prior to closure. Else it is a puzzle… Hmm… let’s check my math? 2003 + 15 = 2018 yet here we are in 2017. So is it actually 2000 + 15 = 2015 but bottled…? What is clear is they are seem to be tapping into older stock as Glencadam has released not only this 15 year but also a 17 (Portwood), 18, 19 (Olorosso finish), 21 and 25 year… while new stock takes its time maturing.

But enough on age… What did the Whisky Ladies think?

Glencadam 15 year 46%

Here’s what we found:

  • Nose – Citrus, flowers, vanilla, burnt sugar, grassy meadow, honey, raw wood
  • Palate – An initial sharp ‘hit’ of alcohol, then it calms down, green capsicum, black pepper
  • Finish – Cinnamon spice, a bit bitter

It simply wasn’t hitting the spot for us… we added water and found it made it much sweeter, some malty hay, a bit of caramel but still… didn’t quite work.

We speculated perhaps this is a whisky best had chilled. After all we were sipping in a sweltering Mumbai summer – even if in an air conditioned living room – not exactly ideal conditions for whisky sampling.

So the bottle went to be chilled and we carried on with our other Glen whiskies…

At the end of the evening, the Glencadam came back out – this time sipped chilled from a Norlan glass. And our reaction?

  • Better… much better, no harshness
  • Some heather, even sweeter
  • Makes it more interesting
  • Now it is ‘quite nice’

But still nothing to grab our attention. Talk turned to chilled cocktails… yet of a more delicate variety that wouldn’t lose completely the light highland quality.

Truth be told, I wasn’t surprised… in an earlier mini sample, the final assessment was ‘swipe left’… in other words… move on…

Alas this revisit didn’t change my opinion. Nothing distinctly wrong… but nothing exceptional right either. Or perhaps best put as – not my style of whisky. But that’s OK and all a part of exploring the world of whiskies!

Also from our Night With Glen:

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Whisky Ladies “A Night with Glen”

For the Whisky Ladies June session, we decided to spend “A Night with Glen”… or more precisely:

Now, the Whisky Ladies tend to be a discerning bunch with adventuresome tastes, so this was a departure from our more off-beat explorations.

The evening was sparked by the acquisition of the lesser known Glencadam, followed by a gift of the Glenlivet, a reminder that we had earlier intended to do a Glenmorangie night so had the start of a collection… and voila! A theme was born.

Other tasting experiences with some “Glens” include:

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Mini Malts – Glencadam 15 year 46%

1st up in our miniatures sampling was a highland. Glencadam traces its history to 1825 and stopped production in 2000. The distillery and its whisky was ‘rescued’ by Angus Dundee in 2003 and their first official bottling was a 15 year.

Which just so happened to be what I had to sample…

Glencadam 15 year 46%

Here’s what we found:Glencadam 15 yr

  • Nose – On opening phenyl, a bit tingly, apple cider, a raw young wood quality like pine then citrus air freshener. Immediately after the first taste, took on honey sweetness. After airing for more time, shifted more into varnish, wet cloth and had a malty edge
  • Palate – Not quite sharp, but had an edge, sugar, young wood, alcohol spice at the back of the tongue, then became sweet like gripe water with just too much sugar
  • Finish – This finish left a burn and was also a bit bitter. After airing for some time we returned to it – we found it to be VERY bitter.

The nose had an oddly ‘disappearing’ quality. Here then gone. Then there was the vacillation between sweet taste and bitter finish.

Must say, I had hoped for more. It was surprising how ‘young’ it came across for a 15 year. It is good to know they seem to be sticking with a minimum maturation of 10 years.

When we later compared the characters of the whisky, this one went into the ‘swipe left’ category… i.e. if stumbled across on tinder, would move on. A bit uncharitable but our reaction.

Here’s what the folks over at the distillery have to say:

  • Nose – Salty notes with a balance of sweetness. Delicate, elegant and charming
  • Palate – Juicy cut-grass freshness with a mouth-watering malty signature. Restrained sweetness caressed by soft oak
  • Finish – Medium length. Oak balancing sweeter characteristics with malty reprise

When I learned the distillery is owned by the same folks that run Tomintoul, it made sense… a slightly sharper but similar ‘family’ of flavours.

Up next from my malt miniatures from The Whisky Exchange:

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Whisky Exchange – Mini malts…

My June 2016 trip to London meant I brought back not only the delightful Finnish Teerenpeli… I also acquired an array of miscellaneous malt miniatures from The Whisky Exchange in Covent Garden, London.


What caught my fancy?

  • The Arran 14 year 46% – To contrast with a Port matured expression waiting to sample in a set of non-standard casks (i.e. not bourbon / sherry)
  • Auchroisk 1996/2014 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) – Tried a 20 year old last year however a G&MP bottling is always a good sign…
  • Glencadam 15 year 46% – Purely as have yet to try one from this distillery… later the Whisky Ladies also tried it
  • Glen Keith 1993/2011 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) – Ditto… haven’t tried so curious
  • Longrow Peated NAS 46% – Loved what I had years ago… couldn’t spare the space for a full bottle yet couldn’t resist a mini!
  • Wemyss Peat Chimney 12 year 40% – Again… simply curious… and know there are more from this range to explore…

Tune in over the coming weeks as some of these wee beauties will be revealed…

Thanks to my London whisky shopping companion, we’ve also dipped into a few other minis too:

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