As my 40th approaches, I thought I’d get something special to celebrate it. Actually I got a few things, one of which I might save for my 50th (lets see if the blogger platform is still running then!), but this is the oldest.
This is one of a large, expensive outturn in January from Cadenheads which included an old Imperial, the Serge-appreciated St. Magdelene and plenty of other fun things. 5/7ths of this is decanted for the bottleshare crowd but I have 20cl for sharing on my birthday. But, first, notes must be made (or it didn’t happen!)
Cadenheads Benromach-Glenlivet, 38 years old, 52.9% A⊕+
1976-2015, bourbon hogshead, 222 bottles.
Nose – This has only had a few days to open up but already it’s an enormous, waxy, old bourbon cask fruit bomb. Vimto, toffee apple, musky oak floorboards, travel sweets – so, so juicy. The wood is balanced but intense, lacquered and sappy. An enormous, but elegant nose. With water, much gentler fruits, with warm, waxy wood and musk, and gentle citrus notes.
Body – Fruity, then very spicy, then a massive amount of wood spice and wax, and ancient wood – bannisters and floorboards, library wood. And still juicy. With water, lots of the fruit intensity is lost and that strident wood structure comes through more.
Finish – Very long, oily and intense. Quite hot, almost metallic, with cough sweets and lingering wood. Burps are of Asian fruits and Thai food.
What’s not good about it – Not much. Whisky this old is hard to put a finger or a number on, as you’re battling so much wood over so long, but this (for me) holds up with the fruit playing such a big part. However, I would say the wood influence is strong, and overall the whisky is intense, almost medicinal, and this perhaps isn’t what you might be expecting in an expensive whisky.
What’s good about it – It doesn’t disappoint though, with an enormous delivery throughout, tons of fruit on the nose and massive wax and wood oils in the palate. Very fruity, very juicy, and very moreish.