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Glencadam isn’t a widely known distillery, and that’s a shame. The 10 yo is a personal favorite (although I highly recommend the 15 as well). For me, the 10 is hard to put into words. You’ve heard all the tasting notes to come, but they don’t do justice to what I have in my Glencairn right now. It’s a whisky with that special “Je ne sais quoi.” Much more than the sum of its parts, this is an overlooked and under-loved gem of a highlander.
Nose: Wow. Fresh, floral, fruity, crisp, clean, and waxy. Young, green, unripe fruit. Apples, pears, bananas, coconuts, and limes. Some very light, bright vanilla and honey thrown in with some serious floral notes. Lilac, hey, custard, woodspice, cinnamon, paprika, and cloves.
Palate: Waxy. Very fresh and young (in a good way). I taste a vanilla ice cream sundae with some bananas, chopped pecans, and coconut shavings. There’s also a small dose of smoke and some powdered white pepper.
Finish: Coconut, well-seared crème brulée, pecans, mixed nuts, candle wax, oak, woodspice, banana cream pie, faint smoke, and more of that brilliant vanilla note. The nuts, oak, and spice give a perfect counterbalance to the sweet vanilla and honey. Medium in length.
This is a really unique highlander. The character of the whisky itself is delicate, but the crisp and clean intensity of the notes give it such a strong presence. And ohhh that vanilla…
For comparison’s sake, I’d say this is somewhere between a Clynlish (floral, waxy), a Balblair (fruity, crisp, clean), and a Glenmo (big vanilla, delicate). While I love some of the older Glencadams, there’s something magical about the 10. It’s still very young and vibrant with just enough oaky influence. In passing one might not be blown away, but I urge you to spend time with it. Once you get to know it, you’ll find it exceptionally unique and dangerously drinkable. Extremely recommended.