It’s a new day. Friday 24th May 2019 at 10:!5 in the morning to be precise. We congregate in the heart of the Springbank complex before being led into one of Cadenhead’s warehouses. If you’ve not been to a warehouse tasting before, it looks like lots of people [mainly men], tightly packed into a dark dank space, expectant for some whisky to be valinched directly from the cask to their glass.
Cameron McGeachy takes us through six drams, and they were indeed full drams.
Benrinnes 1995/2019 23yo Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting bourbon hogshead 53.5% WB0
Some may have noticed that the price list in the pop-up shop had the abv at 56.7% whilst the bottle has it as 53.5%. As Ralfy says, the contract is on the bottle.
- N: Nicely aged, fruity and floral.
- T: Same again, becoming bitter and pretty thick/(woody) stewed. It’s had enough cask time.
- F: Bitter and sour.
- C: A decent/fair mature Benrinnes that’s done its best.
Scores 84 points
Aultmore 2006/2019 12yo Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting bourbon Hogshead 56.7%
- N: Lactose-sweet with pongy waxy youthful [Glenallachie 12yo] distillate vibes.
- T: Youthful and again, bitter.
- F: Millimetric finish.
- C: Not totally to my taste, but with better form than the Benrinnes and just about the right time spent in that cask.
Scores 85 points
Cadenhead Blend 1980/2019 38yo Warehouse Tasting 45.3%
There have been a few sibling bottlings including one bottled 2 years ago [WB]. It consists of ex-Edrington stock including Macallan, Tamdhu, Glenrothes & Invergordon, all distilled in 1980. This blend started out in a sherry cask before being moved into refill bourbon. Cameron admitted he thought this was over sherried. Gotta love that Campbeltown honesty.
- N: This is more like it. A touch of sherried vinegar into some rancio, oak planks,… lots here. good nose.
- T: Tasty oak planks with a touch of smoke/char, tar and some grape-y acidity. Becomes a touch fruity and woody-bitter.
- F: More sooty smoke, bitter apple skin and woody after taste.
- C: Now becoming rather old but £140 for a bottle is still, very fair.
Scores 84 points
Tormore 1988/2019 30yo Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting 48.1% WB85.25
- N: From a true refill that brings rich & creamy tropical stewed acetone fruits.
- T: Same again, a touch metally with fermented thick fruity cream.
- F: Natural/foreseen finish.
- C: One of the best Tormore I’ve had. £130.
*Provisionally scores 87/88 points
[Croftengea] Loch Lomond 2007/2019 12yo Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting 55.7% WB87
- N: Very confident phenolic oily nose. Similar to the Aultmore [#2], in the creaminess stakes.
- T: A creamy & oily profile settles in.
- F: Sustains a touch.
- C: Not exactly my style but I’m sure it’s good. £55
Scores 86 points
Springbank 2004/2019 14yo Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting First fill sherry [402 bts] 54.4% WB89.38
- N: A distinct dry smoke profile that mixes well with its sherried host.
- T: Very tasty. Sherry cask first, dry [wood] smoke second.
- F: Pretty and fair.
- C: At one per customer and for £75, this is going to get snapped up.
*Provisionally scores 88/89 points
* Samples taken, so I’ll be re-reviewing both the Tormore and the Springbank in different conditions another time. Next up is the BIG ONE!