My 60th Scottish distillery: Glencadam and what better way to get my first taste of this distillery by not trying its entry level whisky. This is a review of the 15yo whisky, a whisky that was described by Jim McEwan as the next best thing to Bruichladdich (dixit whiskyfun)
Let's dive in: Colour: straw (as unchillfiltered and no colour added) with nice long legs
Nose: Soft and fruity on the nose, with notes of citrus, fresh wood shavings, some vanilla, with complex aromas of raspberries & strawberries. Underlying layers with a soft touch of iodine, some flour, apples and a whiff of roasted chestnuts (with water added: empowered strawberry aromas)
Mouth: Dry in the mouth, not that much on the palate, some Eucalyptus and citrus. The initial sensation is underwhelming. And then comes the burst of flavour: very fresh and very fruity with more strawberries, a touch of cinnamon, tones of fresh cut grass, and bitter cherry (with water added: vanilla flavoured layers reveal themselves and become more distinct, unfortunately)
Finish: the real beauty lies within in the tail: long and zesty, a little bit bitter and dry. With formidable notes of lemon balm with a hint of thyme and most importantly strawberries!!!!!. Even tough its bitter and dry, it is still quite fresh.
Conclusion: Another great whisky, makes me want to try the other Glencadam expressions as well.
One important remark here: drink this whisky neat. The nose might see some improvement, as it is far to soft when its poured from a fresh bottle. (Not sure how it will develop over time...). No my main argument to keep you from dropping a dash of water into your dram is that it ruins the palate by empowering the vanilla notes.
A great versatile whisky, complex and refined with some notes of strawberry. I've only encountered a similar profile before, with an independent bottling of Old Pulteney ( though the flavours were far more prominent there with a much more interesting transformation process). Not sure where these strawberry esters come from, but their origins are closely linked with the amount of water added, allowing for the whisky to be broke up. Single malts with a unique and distinct fruity profile are that kind of whisky that I do so enjoy.
Keep your vanilla flavoured miscarriages or light citrussy whiskies, I'm rolling with the fruity, sherried or peated crowd.