TOMOH: Weekend Special – Cadenhead’s part 2/2

[Following on from Part 1]

Invergordon 26yo [2017] Cadenhead ‘Individual cask’ [132 bts] 53.5% WB87[1] tOMoH7

Invergordon 26yo Cadenhead 53.5%.jpg
Whiskybase pic
  • N: Whoa, what?! Coffee, burned plastic! Is this Mescal or maybe rum matured in a Mescal cask [if there was such a thing]?
  • T: Ok so it’s a rum, is it? An aged rum I’m guessing with a dry-ish savoury wheat-like profile. Others rightly are calling it out as grain.
  • F: A split wood & caramel-y rum finish. This has rum written all over it, or possibly a grain whisky matured in a rum cask?
  • C: No one can believe it but apparently this is credited with sherry cask maturation! A fun one for a blind session for sure.

Scores 82 points


Macduff 1989/2018 29yo Cadenhead CS ‘Authentic Collection’ [390 bts] 55.1% WB86.67[8] tOMoH8

Macduff 1989 29yo Cadenhead 55.1%.jpg
Cadenhead pic
  • N: After that tricksy Invergordon we don’t know where we are! What’s next? I’m guessing we’re back to single malt [refill cask], that’s clear, but with a [Sauternes] wine finish? PX? There’s all sorts of soft funk going on here, a malt displaying an array of vinegars, bitters, herbs,…… got it – Chacha! [Blog] This to me is clearly another old/youthful one [like the Rosebank blog], so we are talking of a spirit fabulously long aged [+/-30yo?], in a well used cask. Mature old-skool Glenmorangie?
  • T: With a fizzy, strong and peppery start it soon settles down, again much like a light & dependable Glenmorangie. [It’s not going to be Glenmorangie].
  • F: There’s a butyric note after a spirity>woody build.
  • C: I got the age right at least. Not sure anyone guessed or would guess Macduff. Cask-wise, this is another example of a malt from a refill sherry butt that appears more like straight bourbon maturation.

Scores 84 points


Springbank 30yo Private cask sample 42% tOMoH8

Matured in a fresh bourbon hogshead and a refill sherry cask.

springbank 30 private cask 42%.JPG
Frank’s pic
  • N: Soft/incorporated straight/phenolic peat & savoury-sweet profile with a candid & desirable warehouse griminess throughout.
  • T: That lovely soft-dry phenolic character continues to reverb, joined by sweet farmy barley, a fleeting floral>soap note and cinnamon & liquorice on the turn.
  • F: Decidedly & desirably woody though the presence of the sweet barley spirit is maintained, leading to a savoury-sweet balanced finish. Finishing very Port Ellen-like, I begin to pick up lots of [mildly salty grassy]<lemon at the death, just before Frank announces it – great minds!
  • C: Though the wood is prominent, there’s balance for sure. Fabulous stuff.

Scores 88 and probably more had I the luxury of time.


Bowmore 30yo [2006] Ob. ‘Sea Dragon’ [1800 bts] 43% WB93.29[256] WF91 tOMoH9

Commonly known as the Sea Dragon, a bottle went for £1300 at auction just a few days ago [July 1st, 2018].

Bowmore 30yo Sea Dragon.jpg
Whiskybase pic
  • N: Blooming awesome straw-like, floral, soft briney-herbal, farmy peat with bone-dry old skool vibes. Cracking!
  • T: Grape seeds [again], with an indescribable bone-dry complexity. This very much reminds me of the 1968 Bowmore I had at the Old Man’s last year [blog]. Beginners luck or is Bowmore from this period completely distinctive from any other?
  • F: Oozes woody savoury-sweet, not in any way you’ll find in current/contemporary bottlings.
  • C: Frank tells us there are fruitier versions, though this remains an awesome whisky nevertheless.

Scores 92 points


[Vatted] Islay 47yo Private sherry cask sample 47% tOMoH6

To finish this session, Stephen presents a truly mysterious malt. Apparently it contains single malt from every Islay distillery [open & closed], except for the more recent Kilchoman. There was some confusion over the details and I’m easily confused, so as I understood it [calculators at the ready]: the oldest malt contained within is 59 years old, the youngest being 47 years. Crickey!

Vatted islay 47yo private cask 47%.JPG
Frank’s pic
  • N: Sweet floral, biscuits, crumble toppings, carbolic-mineral, heathery,…. it’s good I tells ya!
  • T: All sorts – go dig treasure hunters!
  • F: Same again, a treasure trove, pot luck, lucky dip!
  • C: To add to the intrigue, Steven says 45% of this 47yo+ blend is made up of Port Ellen!!! The Swissky Mafia do the maths whilst talk centres around Cadenhead’s various April Fool’s jokes over the years, including a release of an Ardbeg-Glenlivet. I’m not sure whether this is a 45% 47yo+ Port Ellen blend or a 13yo Hazelburn for example [kidding], but Frank indicates that it’s legit. I spend the next two days googling the name of an old film [1950/60’s?], where an elderly woman bestows a Michael Angelo sculpture to a child. Only the two of them know whether the sculpture is an original or not, a secret that is to be withheld from the public & press as it passes through the generations – and us, the viewer too. I have not yet remembered the name. Anyone?

Not scored.


The warmup over, I retire early in preparation for the main event whilst others head over to the SMWS for the afterparty.


Further reading:


Up next: The Main Event Part 1/2




The Old Man of Huy




2 thoughts on “TOMOH: Weekend Special – Cadenhead’s part 2/2

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