Blended Scotch Whisky 40yo, 1980-2020, 44.7% – Cadenhead’s Club

Last year’s Cadenhead’s Club release was this venerable blended Scotch from a single sherry butt. Released before Brexit came into effect it was rather easy to get a bottle over from Campbeltown and when I saw the age, the style and the price I didn’t need much convincing.

Recently, I finally sat down to taste it, and even more recently I emptied it with my father in law. When celebrating, you have to celebrate well. In this case, my youngest daughter’s fourth birthday. No more daycare for us!

Since this is whisky from a single sherry butt I think it’s a ‘blended at birth’ whisky, which means as much as that it was blended before it matured, instead of afterwards which is the regular way of doing things.

There is no other information on the bottle, but with Cadenhead it wouldn’t surprise me if it is all from Edrington stock. They have been using blends like that for a few years during their Warehouse Tastings. In early 2019 it was a 38 year old, so it being 40 years old little over a year later makes sense…

Very gentle, but quite rich. Old oak, wood spices, baking spices. Some bitter notes of prune stones, cherry stones. A whiff of espresso, strangely.

The palate is a tad thin at first, before the sawdust and wood spices come through. Tree bark, ground clove, cinnamon, old oak. Cherry stones, bitter espresso.

The finish brings more fruit. Rich dates, prunes, cherries. Long with baking spices and toasted oak sawdust.

Not the most complex whisky, but it’s very good. The sherry influence isn’t too big and there’s quite a lot of oak without it being dominant. Of course, spirity notes are long gone, but it still is whisky instead of oak juice.

It benefits from the use of proper glassware, and I found this to work very well from theses spherical blenders’ glasses that have become popular in recent years. Maybe they’re called blenders’ glasses because they work well with blended whiskies?


Only available in the secondary market for around € 400 now.


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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