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Glencadam distillery was founded in 1825 by George Cooper. The first recorded owner is David Scott, who was proprietor of the distillery from 1827 to 1837. Over the years it saw numerous changes in ownership until in 1891 it was taken over by Gilmour, Thompson & Co Ltd who used Glencadam in their ‘Royal Blend’ brand of blended whisky. Just like many other distilleries Glencadam reduced production during World War II due to fuel and grain rationing. The distillery was acquired by Hiram Walker in 1954 and eventually became the property of Allied Domecq who mothballed Glencadam in 2000. In 2003 the distillery was acquired by Angus Dundee Distillers who restarted it in 2004. This 10-year old expression was first released in 2008 and belongs to Glencadam’s current core range.
The nose is exceptionally fresh, grassy and clean but also tart and intensely malty. An unusual profile that I have hardly ever come across before. While the tartness subsides after a while, flavours of lemons and vanilla remain, followed by a some cereal grains, apples and more grassy notes reminiscent of hay.
The palate is medium-bodied and marked by soft wood spice. The vanilla flavours are back, together with plenty of honey, lemon zest and apples. A touch of white wine rounds this off.
The finish is quite long, pleasantly warming and dry.
This malt confronted me with a number of challenges. First the nose: I was torn between the astonishing freshness - that I liked - and the tartness - which I am not very fond of. Next the palate: I liked its full, fruity body but was less impressed with the white wine flavours at the end. Only the finish gets unreserved kudos from me. In short, I did enjoy tasting and drinking this very fresh and vibrant malt but it will most probably not become one of my staple whiskies.