Massive outturn at Cadenheads this month, just look at the stats; 22 (Islay), 23, 27, 23 (wine), 25 (closed, Lowlands), 28, 11 (interesting), 19 (wine), 35, 25 (Islay). If the organisation wasn’t so fiercely independent and practically philanthropic I’d wonder if it was an aggressive marketing move. However, I now know how and why they do it. They have most of the Scotch in Scotland in their warehouses!
Lots of this stuff is still available and some of the things that sold out are coming back on tomorrow (18th Feb). Fill yer boots.
Body - Good balance of sweet, sharp and biscuity. Quite toppy, a touch with fizzing wine and just a hint of sulphur.
Finish - Medium, fruity and lightly spiced. Slightly bitter and herbal.
A fabulous nose, fruity, coastal and fresh. Slightly more challenging on the delivery but a beautiful whisky overall.
Nose - Dreamily clean; fruit and cream, vanilla and emulsion paints. That clay note from the paint is a lovely foil to the Auchentoshan fruit. A touch of Marlboro light tobacco, and a deep, unripe blackberry note.
Body - Thick and creamy; literally double cream, but with a musky Sauternes note. Perhaps red wine too?
Finish - Quite long but quite light. Now the vanilla has become the musky almond of raspberry pound cake.
A delicious, thick and creamy whisky, light with perfect fruit and balanced complexity. An elegant and highly typical Auchentoshan, very ethereal and highly recommended.
Body - Ripe and intensely berried, a delicious very dark delivery (despite the light colour) with big wood wax, tannins and lots of fruit.
Finish - Intense with balance wood, sulphur and unripe pear. Long and bitter at the end.
An intense, deeply rewarding whisky. A little more challenging than the previous two but a cracking drinker.
Body - Bright and intense, kia-ora and extremely rich, red wine cask pear and polenta cake. A little cherry and marzipan.
Finish - Long and fades out very slowly. Oh the fruit! It's like an orange, mango and banana smoothy.
IMHO this is the pick of this immense bunch, sold out right now but more in on Thursday I think. If not, there’s plenty of others.
Body - Old school; ripe and slightly dirty, intensely full flavoured but no harsh wood or spice. Deep, rich fruit.
Finish - Long and intense, beautifully ripe. Tropical right to the end with balancing wood structure.
This is eyebrow-raisingly good. Very, very highly recommended.
Nose - Deep black fruit, tart-tatin, permanent markers and milk tart. Mind-bendingly rich, complete with sulphur, intense fruit and deep oak. Tobacco and magic balloons on exhale. Another perfect Mortlach nose.
Body - Deeply waxed and lightly wined. Soft fruit, a light touch of fizzing parmas and red wine tannins. A little licked copper coin.
Finish - Medium, wood and tannins, stewed cherries and slightly metallic again. Milk bottle sweets.
Bourbon butt (perhaps hogsheads made into a butt)
Body - Big and oaked, really refill sherry despite this being a bourbon butt. Intensely sweet with ripe peach, balanced by grapefruit pith bitterness with a touch of spice and a little dirt.
Finish - Long, rich fruit, balancing tannins but buttery too. I'm reminded of hot buttered toast with honey. More fizzing with water.
Excellent stuff, complex with lots of fruit, structure and a touch of dirt to round it out. And a total bargain, more due in this week.
Nose - Ripe red wine, black pepper, a touch of the farmyard to it (a la Cahors) - mud, hay and manure. Very cask led though, digging gets you some wax, cut black cherry and some really beautiful Asian fruit.
Body - Toe curlingly intense fruit and red wine cask, full of chocolate brazil nuts and cut plums.
Finish - Long and very dry, like one of those big old Gorda casks. But the spirit does come through now; ripe black fruits and (through extreme access to long term memory) silly putty.
Perfectly judged and deeply wonderful.
Body - A touch of spice and sulphur, pretzels and popcorn (although they are making popcorn next door).
Finish - Long and biscuit led, a little wine and balancing sulphur, slightly herbal.
A delicious and very balanced whisky, elegant and quite classy but not quite standing up to the excellence of its peers. Despite that I could and would happily settle into a bottle of this.
This is from the previous outturn. This month has a 35 year old Glen Grant which wasn’t available for me to taste. Because this was shoehorned in a bit late in the session, I haven’t been able to give it its full dues but it’s worth recording what notes I did make.
Body - Big and clean, slightly numbing and astringent, that sharp fruit thing is in here but it's backed by tropical fruit - beautifully summery.
Finish - Long and mineral, lots of wood sour and creamy vanillas.
A fresh, bright and confident whisky, a big summer drammer. Delicious.
The 29, 30 and 31 year old Cadenheads Caol Ilas were some of my favourites ever, I’m still eking out the last of my bottle of the 30 year old. So I was definitely hoping for some of that here. Next month’s outturn may have some more of that older Caol Ila.
Nose - Soft, fruit-led peat, a touch of overripe cereal, red berries and malted milk - almost Ovaltine. It's on the cusp of alien Islay; warm old pastry and refreshers but held back just a bit by that cereal.
Body - The delivery isn't though, pure extra-terrestrial. Juicy and fizzing, soft but robust, a ripe peach smashed by a blonde oak plank. Epic.
Finish - Lots of black pepper and hand soap, soft soft soft Islay but so confident.
Not quite the nose but the body of a big old Cades Caol Ila. Get it while you can.