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Glencadam 10 Year Old

Average score from 10 reviews and 20 ratings 83

Glencadam 10 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Glencadam
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Glencadam 10 Year Old

Bottle has been open about 3 months. About a quarter left.

This is a very pale whisky. Natural colour. No chill filtration and bottled at 46%. So all the good stuff.


Quite solventy. Cut grass. A bit of lemon.


Young. So quite spirit driven. A lovely honey note is the main thing I pick up. Grass and lemons again. Also pear drops. Green apples, barley and initially a play doh note which was not overpowering but slightly off putting. This disappeared after I'd got about half way down the bottle.


Fairly long. Quite dry and oaky.


Not a statement malt by any stretch. But a goid example of a highland whisky. I was initially fairly unimpressed. But this has improved massively with time as I've got down the bottle.

Available at a very sensible price too at around £35 a bottle in the UK. That is excellent value for money.

Would I buy it again. Perhaps not. But it's definitely made me take note of Glencadam. I'll try something up the range from them in time. Maybe the 13 or 15.

Nice review. I tried this one a while back and was quite positive about the fresh and crispy nature of if for such a decent price. Nothing mind blowing but shows that they can. And like the "integrity" of it to quote someone... All that said, they must have the worst presentation and marketing on their site I ever seen. In fact I wrote to them about it in a moment of... Crazy maybe. Of course, never got a reaction back flushed stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes

Nice review! I had this a few years back and would probably rate it about the same. It was quite light and grassy but a really lovely creamy vanilla note emerged as air got to it. I also got a faint Play Doh whiff at times which was quite unusual but it seemed to lessen over time.


I have been expanding my whisky collection with bottles from distilleries I have not previously experienced. Glencadam is another one of those.

This is very pale in the glass, definitely a natural colour, NCF (non chill filtered). Short legs. The nose is floral, grassy with sharp green apples. Hint of sawdust and synthetic pear drops. Sweet.

The mouth feel is very soft. Initial hit of pepper and spiced oak that evolves into apples, vanilla and barley. The finish has a peppery bite with more barley and is fairly short.

A pleasant drop and a good example of a Highland single malt. It is well made and good value for money.

This was rated at 95 by Jim Murray in the 2015 Whisky Bible. He knows his stuff no doubt, I obviously have a different scoring system as it seems a bit high for me.

What I would say it that this dram really benefits from breathing. There is a dramatic (get it? dram-a-tic...never mind) difference once it has had 20-30 minutes in the glass.

Two months open and it has opened up even more. Softer, rounded and fruity. It is certainly improving with air and age. A very well priced drop.


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.

Yes this one is quite tart. Not too much for my personal taste, but I can appreciate others being less fond of it. Like you I'm a fan of how fresh and vibrant the 10 is. In fact I enjoy this one a lot. Be warned, though, that too much time and air can flatten this one quite dramatically. It's best over the first month or two. Cheers to another wonderful write-up, @Pierre_W.

Thanks for the comment, @hunggar. This is indeed a super fresh whisky and I must have liked it as my bottle was gone in no time. If only it were a bit less tart... By the way I am a big fan of the 21-year old that IMO testifies to what this distillery is capable of.


I found the palate of this malt particular hard to unwind. Stand out flavour notes are difficult to discern, but suffice to say it’s a very pleasant malt if light floral malts are your thing. Nose: Light clean aroma citrus fruit, grassy, touches of lavender and honey suckle.
Taste: Syrupy sweetness and mouth feel, some citrus, flavours closely entwined. Finish: Medium length a grassy, a touch of bitterness


I have read the very encouraging recent reviews about this one at connosr.com and found a good reason to buy a bottle, because it comes at a cheap around these shores. I am sipping it, along with some other malts and bourbons, for 15 days now. My jury was out on it, but now (and I owe an alarm tag to @tabarakRazvi! Slainte, mate!) it is time for the final session and a verdict.

First of all, I cannot safely connect this pale color to a real, full-bloodied single malt whisky. I know it is as normal as the brownish colors of some other whiskys (non-E150-caramelized ones) is, as well as that some of the non-sherried whiskys SHOULD be expected to have this pale color... but it somewhat robs my pleasure. I am ashamed to say it, but I want to be honest.

Nose: oak, red cherry, mint, violets, Chenin blanc, wet soil. Some almonds, although I would not suspect poison, unlike Hercule Poirot. :) After a good stay in the glass - pears and more pears. Some sea salty air? The young spirit doesn't sting the nostrils too much. Very good nose!

Body: thin to medium. Solid burn. If the burn was a tad weaker, I would have found it very refreshing. A weaker burn would go nice with this specific malt. However, I find similarities to Cardhu 12 Year Old, which I like a lot.

Palate: orange, figs, apple cider, mint julep, tea biscuit, almonds, more violets. Some almond cake. Very fresh and pleasant palate, indeed. Palpable sea salt. The similarity with Cardhu 12 Year Old deepens further, although the latter won't give you any of these salty, refreshing notes. Still, the young age hasn't allowed for more balance and refined taste. The "rather delicate"? I don't think so!

Finish: medium. Milk chocolate, milk, some morello. Bitter almonds and a hard good-bye burn (46% ABV, mind), not a very welcome one. Here's the dissimilarity with the smooth Cardhu 12 Year Old. I repeat my solid opinion that this Highlander would do better with a slightly lighter burn (40-43% ABV).

All in all, a pleasant surprise. I can say that I actually like Glencadam 10 Year Old. I will buy another bottle one day, although for a few quid less one could get a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 Year Old, which for me is the better reasonably-prices representative of the Highland malts. On the downside, I have noticed some signs of air deterioration a week since the bottle has been opened. Furthermore, this malt for me is good if used as an aperitif, but not that good as a digestive after a good dinner. Even the slightest of food turns the otherwise pleasant finish into a bitter cacophony. This may be down to the youthfulness of this otherwise very adequate Highlander, that I can rather recommend as a refreshing daily sipping drink for the spring and for summer dramming as well to those Highland lovers who, by whatever weird reason, won't go for the Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Original for a few quid less. If you want some saltier notes or don't like the GM 10 - this definitely falls into "your daily Highland dram"-category.

Thank you so much, @MaltActivist! Words like these from a distinguished reviewer like yourself mean a lot to me, the neophyte. And I happen to have a strange taste. You are very kind. See you around!


I have not consumed a lot of Glencadam in my life. At least at the time of writing this post. I picked up a few expressions early on in my journey as a malt-head and simply stored them away in an attempt to build a collection.

It was only recently that I decided to give this 10 year old a chance and, I must admit, I was quite pleasantly surprised.

Nose: Very crisp and full of sharp barley. Sweet brown sugar and macaroons on rice crackers with a touch of allspice. No, seriously. I'm not kidding. After a while the nose turns green with light edamame and salt. Though, it keeps opening up the longer you keep at it. After about 30 minutes there were scented mangoes, apricots and toffee. One of the better noses I've encountered of late.

Palate: The same crisp barley and toffee are back. Not the sweetest of deliveries so imagine an almost savory chunk of jaggery, toffee and mild creme brulee. The sweet notes are quite mild. However, subsequent sips bring about a white wine quality to it. Almost like a Chenin Blanc.

Finish: Minty medium with faint spices.

This is quite a lovely malt which ticks all the right boxes. But I feel it's holding onto dear life to be good. If it lets go it just might be sensational.

@tabarakRazvi: Yes, I see where you're coming from. For me this one doesn't go "all the way" in any given direction. It's floral, but not TOO floral. Fruity, but not TOO fruity, and delicate, but not TOO delicate. It doesn't push the envelope too far in any given direction. In that sense, it might feel somewhat restrained. But I encourage you to be patient. This is one of those malts that I love more and more each time I revisit it. That being said, I'm a fan of your reviews and your writing style (more so than Mr. Murray), so I was delighted yo see you praise this one (almost) as highly as I did.

@Pierre_W: This one's well worth it. I recently tried the 21 yr old and its also lovely, as is the 15. But imho you'd be hard pressed to find another 10 yr old that shines quite as brightly as this one!

@hunggar Went back and saw your take on this expression. Exceptionally brilliant. Loved it! I think we're all in agreement that few noses come as sharp and crisp as this one. I felt the fruits more intense after letting it breathe for over 30 minutes. Wonder if that happened to you as well? I will re-visit this one in month or so and see how it has changed, if at all, and report back!

@Magnus look forward to your take on it. Don't forget to tag me when you do or drop me a note. Since this is a delicate malt I'm not sure how well it would do after a big dinner. Try it as your first malt of the evening - I try and avoid eating anything for a few hours before. I read that if you're hungry your nose becomes more sensitive.

@Pierre_W Have a go at this one. As @hunggar says this one shines bright!


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.

Thanks for your review. Crisp and clean always sounds good to me. I am looking forward to one day trying some Glencadam.

Let me know when you do try it, I'd love to know what you think of it. Be sure to start with the 10, it really shines as a young whisky!


Third up in our hidden gems of the highlands pack is Glencadam 10. The Glencadam is in the Eastern Highlands, near Brechin. In 2003, Glencadam was purchased by Angus Dundee, who have a range of blends and also own Speyside distillery Tomintoul (which is in our hidden gems of Speyside tasting). This 10 year old expression was released at the end of 2008 and follows the excellent new trend of being unchilfiltered. It is bottled at 46%.

Nose: Incredibly complex. Almond sponge fingers. Green bananas. Slightly charred lemon puff biscuits. A dash of orange, a dusting of milk chocolate and a wisp of minty smoke.

Taste: Initially soft and minty honey, soon clobbered by oak and a burst of citrus zest, which, in turn, eventually softens to a layer of mocha and, at the end, spearmint.


Nose: A brief waft of spring, fresh and clean in its delivery, with raw mushroom and avocado sitting on an oak table in the crisp sunlight. Fanta orange, cold milk, and apple juice are on offer to quench the thirst, while lemon peel and barley hops offer a little zest to each.

Taste: A clean and enveloping oil rests itself on the palate, before slowly morphing into a creamier texture as it sits. The fizz from the fanta orange slowly numbs the tongue somewhat, however not so much as to detract from the vanillas and oaky spice. Apple cider (the non-alcoholic kind) and lemon zest offer a citrus twang that's in keeping with the springtime feel on the nose.

Finish: A brief springtime storm as a long and slowly expansive swirl of black-pepper passes through the honeyed peat-lands, leaving behind a caramel mist that sits and precipitates a sweet chilli oil onto the ground below.

Balance: This 10 year old offering from Glencadam is the self-proclaimed "rather delicate" highland malt, and to a large extent this is an accurate description of what is essentially a springtime dram. Clean and crisp in character, with plenty of citrus and an almost grainy fizz, one could even say this whisky has many of the characteristics of a fine blend, with its balance and mild-mannered complexity. What really gives this single malt however its distinct voice is the 46% ABV, which allows the subtle flavours to really sing up and be heard. What would otherwise therefore be a pleasant hum is instead turned into a capturing vocal performance.

Great review fella, and i would have to agree with most of what you've said there (although my detail wouldnt be as good as yours!). I've not long finished a bottle of this myself, it's a decent "standard" bottling, but didnt really stand out as something special for me.

I tasted this for the first time this evening - 100% agree with your notes.


The distillery, established in 1825, has changed owners a few times, the last time being in May 2003. The distillery then became the property of Angus Dundee Distillers. Most of the Glencadam production goes into the Ballantines blend, but under the new owners, several official bottelings were marketed, including this 10 Year Old, since the end of 2008.

The owners gave this dram the label 'the Rather Delicate Highland Malt’. Really? Well, he's not tinted nor chill filtered and bottled at 46%, so they are off to a good start.

The nose is all grassy and citrusy tones with some spicy oak. A little sharper than anticipated, but nothing overly dramatic. Quite nice.

On the palate, those same tones play nicely together, but the whole is well packed in a sweet wrapping. A little crispy, in fact. Nice!

I thought the finish was rather short, but nevertheless very agreeable.

I wouldn't label this one 'delicate', but it's still a very nice entry malt. Pretty good actually. This could easily be a daily dram or the kind of malt you could present to a novice to introduce him/her to the wonderful world of whiskies. Very drinkable, but nothing fancy.

I just bought the 15 yo and like you commented about the 10 yo its anything but delicate,it starts a little too salty for my liking but does redeem itself a little with a malty and fruitness after.But for me the initial salty notes ruin it a bit, defineltly hard work and not one for for beginners-my most dissapointing whisky so far

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