Glencadam 1991-2014, 22yo, 55.3% – Abbey Whisky’s Rare Casks

The second sample from Abbey Whisky. They sent me this only last week and it being a release from 2014 it’s one of the more current releases I’ve tried in a while. Generally I’m not all that focused on tasting the newest of the new drams, but this way, with people sending me stuff, it works our rather well.

I’ve got a bit of a weird relationship with Glencadam. I’ve not tried many, even less than Ben Nevis and those I haven’t tried all that often either. Mostly the output from this Highland distillery is destined for blends, and most of it is, I think, appropriate for blends. There are some stunning ones though, like last year’s The Whisky Agency 39 year old one, which was one of the top drams I tried in Limburg (the other one being a 1937 Strathisla).

Also, when I tried the regular 15 year old I really really liked it a couple of years ago, which was received skeptically by quite the few people who mentioned it to me. I just happened to love it but never got around to buying a bottle to verify my one tasting of it.

Anyway, this one is fairly well aged at 22 years old. It’s matured in a refill bourbon cask, which makes me expect a timid, maybe even shy whisky. I also expect there to be quite some chalky flavors in there, since I more or less associate that with the area Glencadam is from. Or at least, that’s what I expect from Glen Esk/Hillside too, and that’s from the same area.

Glencadam 22, by Abbey Whisky

Glencadam 22, by Abbey Whisky

Very classical in a way that more or less associate these flavors with whisky. Some vanilla and lemon. A slight spiciness too (parsley and mint I get) and quite some oak. Freshly sawn white oak, to be precise. In the background I find Scottish Tablet and toffee. The chalky notes are here, with some licorice too.

The licorice continues here, with the flavor going more towards the root instead of the candy. Oak, with some spices too. Chili pepper and some vanilla. Some syrupy thickness with peardrops and lemondrops. The Napoleon lemon candies.

The finish is oaky and quite a bit sharper than I expected. Some pepper, vanilla, and pretty long lasting.

This is a tasty dram, which happens to be miles different from the Ben Nevis. Not only geographically, but also in the way it tastes, it’s almost the linear opposite of it. The oak is different and the licorice goes head on with the sherry of yesterday’s dram.

In itself, this is a pretty tasty dram and a good buy if you get it. It will not disappoint you but it is a dram you have to be ‘aware’ of. The distillery is not very well known, and the chalky, licorice flavors might not be for everyone, but I enjoy them. I’m not as raving as I was of the Ben Nevis, but I wouldn’t mind having a bottle of this either, and if I did, it wouldn’t last all that long.

Glencadam 1991-2014, 22yo, 55.3%, Abbey Whisky’s Rare Casks. Available for £ 76.95, which is a VERY fair price for a whisky like this.

Thanks to the peeps at Abbey Whisky for the sample. I loved it!

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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