Cadenhead’s Online Tasting Week [2021]: Warehouse Tasting

Today I enjoy another Online Tasting Week pack [WLP], courtesy of the ever-generous Cadenhead’s [WLP].


Irish 2006/2021 10yo Cadenhead’s Online Tasting Week Spirit Drink 48.8% WB85.94[51]

This one has seen an ex-Caroni rum cask finish since 2018.

  • N: Stylistically, rather more Scottish than Irish, the rum cask far more subtle than Cadenhead’s Caroni-finished Miltonduff [WB]. How many ex-Caroni casks does Cadenhead’s have exactly? This one offers a relaxed fresh vibrancy towards a [handmade cosmetics store] Lush fruit salad [peach/apricots/bananas/coconut, apple/cherries/strawberries/crisp apple & pear,…], with a biscuit/coconut shell/hessian huskiness, light ice creams & confectionary gelatine [Jelly Babies], sour [cranberry/quince/chestnut] jam, Herbes de Provence-seasoned savoury biscuits, a small stock cube note….
  • T: On the palate, the rum cask influence is perhaps only detectable if you are looking for it. Otherwise, it’s the same again with a perfect yet temporary vibrant infallible delivery [see nose for details]. If not congestion, then something of a trudging heat with a bitter-savoury toasted petroleum note on the turn.
  • F: Relatively tannic/grassy, though the cask influence is most noticeable at the tail, yet we’re still holding onto those malty fruity husky mashy qualities.
  • C: I can’t fault this one overall. Appearing suitable for many an occasion or season, it’s a bottle I imagine I’d reach with regularity.

Score 87 points


[Loch Lomond] Inchmurrin 1996/2021 24yo Cadenhead’s Online Tasting Week 48.7%WB85.29[47]

  • N: Bourbon hogshead-matured, this possesses Lomond’s inimitable quirky pong. Specifically here, plastic-rubbery-industrial milky Babybel into various nut butters, Vaseline, something of Eddu’s buckwheat profile [WLP], hog plum spice,…. Cutting to the chase, an uber-idiosyncratic savoury nose displaying a number of unusual culinary and industrial combos that, somehow, all work rather well together.
  • T: Savoury~sour on the palate with a profile that maintains Lomond’s quirkiness from the nose. Over the barley mash, dry herbal confectionery lozenges reside.
  • F: Almost bone-dry into the finish, and just when you think it’s all done, there’s plenty subtly unfolding. Sharp/crisp savoury citrus conclusion.
  • C: Not sure when I’d reach for this unique well-aged Inchmurrin, one that demonstrates how far flavour idiosyncrasy in an integrity-presented whisky can go whilst truly retaining the essence of the spirit’s fermented barley porridge roots.

Scores 88 points


Cadenhead’s Anomaly Blended Malt 26yo [2021] Ob. Online Tasting Week 49% WB87.05[66]

The guidance notes read ‘To be honest,… the story behind this bottling is too complicated to fit in two lines. We’ll reveal all during the tasting‘.

cfosterk on Whiskybase says ‘…. apparently the youngest whisky is from 1987. No age statement as bottled and shipped to the states in 1997. Returned in 2004 and the bottles emptied into a bourbon hoggie until bottled for the Campbeltown Virtual Festival 2021. It’s a bonkers dram – malt blend but no one seems to have a clue which malts or how it became purest green‘.

  • N: I’ve had a few green whiskies in my time, mostly very old malts from yesteryear [Bowmore/Glenugie], and this is anything but contemporary. With plenty of tales from inside the cask, it reminds me of a number of old malts that Cadenhead’s has rolled out at festival tastings over the years [WLP]. If nothing else, you have to credit them for their pricing and presentation and there’s plenty to delve into here.
  • T: Certainly very mature with a surprisingly narrow/thin arrival given the 49% abv. With an old skool/faded yet comforting delivery, it’s not an abundant malt nor complex and neither does it possess great form, but boy is it moreish.
  • F: Long dusty aniseed bitter charred oak, soot, a little ash, black tea-dryness – decidedly unspectacular and yet I love it so.
  • C: It’s all over the place but I could drink this like water. At £75 rrp, you’d want this on your shelf for that creaking old style that can be especially beguiling on a warehouse tour. Memorable for all the right reasons.

Score 85 points [with a subjective score nearer 90]


Tomatin 10yo [2021] Cadenhead’s Online Tasting Week 57.3% WB85.44[51]

From a bourbon hoggie, this was re-racked into a PX sherry cask in 2019.

  • N: There’s no getting away from PX in whisky, and there’s certainly a place for it. I for one welcome it when it’s imparting whilst serving & complimenting the spirit as it is here.
  • T: Looking for the meeting place between cask and spirit, I find it, though it’s a fleeting stolen moment.
  • F: Reminiscent of Edradour – Straight from the Cask in particular – but without the broken nose, we finish with dry-not-dry black strap molasses-infused biscuits above a powerful wood spice sweet-savour-bitter soup.
  • C: You only need one or two of this PX-bomb style on the shelf as they are largely interchangeable. This is a worthy example due to its savoury nature and its weave away from sticky sweetness.

Scores 85 points


High Coast 07yo [2021] Cadenhead’s Online Tasting Week 61.8% WB83.64[36]

Formerly the Box Distillery, this is a lightly peated Swedish single malt matured in new American oak.

  • N: A shift from what’s gone before. Aside from the contemporary stylistics, the boost in abv promotes the yeasty nature of this whisky as well as vinegar and salty phenols. Whilst the cask might want to dominate, the barley base won’t be so easily coerced, the peat making the connection between the two.  
  • T: New world contemporary cask-seasoned style, the new US oak now owns the narrative. A syrupy sugary~savoury > sour journey, it’s got one gear and one firm direction, but there’s nothing untoward.
  • F: Active cask rumblings continue true to form.
  • C: In three words, Islay-light bourbon.

Scores 84 points


One more.

Caol Ila 2006/2021 15yo Cadenhead’s Online Tasting Week 54.6% WB87.06[52] WF90

  • N: The cask a faithful servant, I’m nosing a crystal-clear allium salty cold ashy > farmy sashimi barley spirit, not un-reminiscent of many of the SMWS’s fabulous 29s. Despite the abv, there’s a fruitiness furthering this one’s appeal.
  • T: Faultless soft vibrant [never OTT] delivery. Under the savoury ashy bed, there’s a weighty barley wash/beer with consolidated oak cushioning, light sweet saltiness, more fruit than fruits de mare, a medicinal hint,… though we never stray far from the maltings hall.
  • F: Considered and sustaining chewy ashy saline finish with drip-fed casual wafts of malted barley on the malt barn floor.
  • C: Perfect as is, that s a bulls-eye 90 right there.

Scores 90 points



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