Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Cambus 21 Year Old 1991 (Signatory)

Cambus grain distillery closed in 1993 and is mainly used for blends.  I’ve heard great things about Cambus and had to try this 21 year old Signatory & Vintage bottling.

My first thought was that it it’s very closed up.  Water didn’t improve things massively, despite the high cask strength, but then I’m not a massive fan of adding water to whisky.  I’ll come back to this in a few months and revisit but wanted to get the notes out there in case someone wanted to actually buy this – it’ll be extinct soon.

Cambus 21 Year Old 1991 (cask 55886), 22 years old - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory), 52.8% A⊖

grain_cam1991

Nose – Unripe pear and barley sugar sweets.  With water, less intense but more waxed, dried apricots.  A little oak post, some damp bark, some raisin, some wood polish.  Some banana, and maybe a bit of brazil nut. but I’m digging a lot to find it.  Very restrained.

Body – Without water, initial banana hit then wood bitterness, and one dimensional.  With water, it has an elegant, sweet arrival, with well balanced wood, but it’s not very intense.  It’s also not enormously grainy.  A touch of spicy raisin, smooth but light.  It’s richer without water, with more banana, but bitterer and the elegance and wax can’t make it out.

Finish – Mainly bitterness with some numbing from the alcohol.  With water, just tastes like old whisky that had ice in it.  Not an enormous success.

I think on balance, this does need a drop of water – if it wasn’t in the cask strength collection, this would have been diluted a bit before bottling, no doubt.  The wax and complexity can’t come through at cask strength.  The whisky is still sulking though, a few months with a bit of air in the neck and we’ll see how we go.  In the meantime, I can’t recommend this.

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