Thursday, 20 August 2015

Cadenheads–Littlemill and St.Magdelene

More old, rare and very good whisky from closed distilleries, by Cadenheads – their warehouse must be a wonderland!

Cadenheads Small Batch Littlemill, 24 years old, 53.7% A⊕

1990-2015.  Bourbon hogsheads, 582 bottles.

20150820_143104Nose - Pineapple and wet newspaper. Lightly sharp and sweet, some 10p coin, some toast. Bright, flinty malt with citrus and toast. With water, earthy, more enticing, definitely more balanced with some gentle wood, and finally (with digging) some serious gravitas; Dark fruit, hops, sweet plums, old furniture.

Body - Soft seaside rock, gently sweet with rolling oak, toffee, mint and cedar wood. Light sulphur with water, more fruity sweet notes coming through, lots of soft toffee and nut. Delicious, almost cakey in a restrained way, and a fair bit of candle wax.

Finish - Long, some bitterness, quite numbing with a tropical afterglow, particularly with water.

What's not good about it - Initially restrained. Quite flinty and austere but I'm quite into that at the moment.

What's good about it - But it repays investment. Throughout this is serious drinking - but soft and approachable. Proper old wood on the nose, long citrus and toasted oak in the delivery. Yum.

Cadenheads, St. Magdalene (Linithgow), 32 years old, 58.1% A⊕⊕

1982-2015.  “Butt” – I assume this previously held sherry, 282 bottles.

20150820_143231Nose - Old, dignified oak backed by big, ancient fruit bomb. Glace cherries, pineapple, iced rings and apple. With water, fruitier, a touch of wine and a little raspberry.

Body - Intensely sweet on the tip of the tongue, backed by numbing oak and intense cask wax and fruit. Dried banana, more pineapple, deeply fruity. Incredible complexity and balance, with spice, wood, wax and tropical fruit perfectly poised and no lack of structure. Juicy, sexy stuff.

Finish - Very long, balanced throughout with lots of oils, fruit and barley. Ripe peach and the pits, drying tannins.

What's not good about it - It was pretty expensive.

What's good about it - But totally worth it. Depth, balance, intensity, and screams old and dignified. This is an epic whisky.

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