Releasing around 90 bottles a year [less than 2 a week], Cadenhead’s is Scotland’s oldest independent bottler.
For this year’s Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting, we find ourselves in one of Glengyle’s warehouses. Though just four casks sit in front of us, all six whiskies we are to try this afternoon are already bottled. This is to avoid the exhausting task of having to drain casks there and then [WLP], whilst continuing to organise and host multiple events.
As is typical, we initially try all the drams blind. Today’s recurring theme is quality and value. The [cask] photos may or may not relate to the whiskies.
Tomatin 2009/2022 13yo Cadenhead’s ‘Warehouse Tasting’ 55.7% WB82
- N,T,F: A youthful fruity estery dram with decent oiliness. The cask makeup speaks of a subtle liveliness around fresh ex-bourbon over refill ex-bourbon.
- C: Solid standard fare at just £50.
Scores 86 points
Miltonduff 2006/2022 16yo Cadenhead’s ‘Warehouse Tasting’ Caroni Cask 55.2% WB84 Aug’22£72
This one’s been in a Caroni cask since 2018, the cask chalked with ‘Caroni Trinidad 2006’. And why Miltonduff? If the cask is impactful, Cadenhead’s might want to have avoided pairing it with an equally strong/characterful spirit.
- N,T,F: With initial descriptors evolving around a grainy Mini Milk/plum/raisin sweetness, drinking blind, I toy with the idea of this being [Foursquare-esque] rum from a whisky barrel. And how about it being a gateway for whisky drinkers getting into rum as much as the other way around? From a whisky perspective, it’s the cask that drives and fair play, it’s a great cask – a case of matching whisky to the wood in this case.
- C: At just £70 for a unique 16yo single malt from an under-the-radar distillery aged in a ‘bespoke’ rum cask, I take the punt [review to follow in due course]. Scores anywhere between 82-88 points depending on your view/preferences/biases, so for now:
[Provisionally] scores 85 points
Ben Nevis 2012/2022 09yo Cadenhead’s‘ Warehouse Tasting‘ 57% WB87.45
This one’s been in an ex-manzanilla sherry cask since 2020.
- N,T,F: The cask, slightly more dominant than I’d like/used to, makes the distillate character harder to reach.
- C: An uncharacteristically light/easy Ben Nevis, recommended for those who aren’t sure Ben Nevis is for them, perhaps. Fairly priced once again at £50. How Cadenhead’s didn’t feature at the OSWA’s in 2022 is anyone’s guess.
Scores 86 points
Glentauchers 2008/2022 14yo Cadenhead‘s ‘Warehouse Tasting‘ 52.6% WB0
I’m always excited to try Glentauchers. As a distillery, it remains a workhorse malt for [Pernod/Chivas] blends yet consistently produces/facilitates cracking spirit/single malt output for independent bottlers. This one has been in a firkin cask since 2020.
C: Fruity deliciousness,…. sour milk, the bourbon qualities play out first. Though solidly moreishness in the main, some heat means there’s a little work to do on the drinker’s part. Very reasonably priced once again at just £50.
Scores 86/87 points
Caol Ila 2006/2022 16yo Cadenhead’s ‘Warehouse Tasting‘ 51.3% WB87.90
This one’s been in an ex-oloroso cask since 2021.
- C: The bold sherry influence brings plenty of pleasurables, though it pleases some more than others. With water, boom = waxy! £110.
[Tobermory] Ledaig 2008/2022 14yo Cadenhead’s ‘Warehouse Tasting‘ Bourbon Hogshead 54.4% WB87.86
Cadenhead [gets away with and] credits the [Tobermory] distillery as Ledaig on the label as it was originally called when it officially opened in 1798 [SW].
- C: Robust salty uber-focused/chiselled fire water with a saline allium-y finish. In two words, ‘peaty fun’.
I end up in the Commercial with Mark Watt and co., unbeknownst to the bar staff who are stocking a trio of Watt bottles. A few hours later, one of the bartenders recognises Mark and asks what they – the Commercial – should charge for the bottles per dram?
Meanwhile, I’ve ended up drinking three pints of Guinness!! How, I do not know, but I shall know about it in the morning. On exiting, Mark looks back at the three Watt bottles lined up on the bar and says “that’s cool, that is”. Right on sir!
Tomorrow is Watt Day which now makes up the fourth and last day of the Campbeltown Malts Festival in 2022.
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