This year, the night before the Campbeltown festival, they held the first tasting to pick the next Cadenhead’s club bottling. I couldn’t go to this, I couldn’t take another day off work and away from home, but Ronnie, bless him, saved me the dregs from around his table (I think!) so I could taste them. Now that the new club bottling has been announced (a 25 year old Glen Grant, the last whisky in the tasting), it reminded me that I’d made notes for these!
These were tasted blind at the tasting and I tasted them blind too – my guesses are given inline (and 100% wrong as usual). I had a video of the “reveal” to get the answers from and I’ve found it a little hard to hear the results over the sound of a large number of cheering, clapping, middle aged men at the tasting (why are they cheering?) – also Jenna’s accent is hard to decipher for me over the noise too – so some of the details might be wrong. Please correct me [EDIT: thank you Ozgur Ozlen for providing the full details!]
1 Inchmurrin 21 years old, 1996, 53.1% A-
Hhd, cask 4574, 17 December 1996
Nose - Warming and woodsy with lots of midrange. Lovely waxes, quite dusty but a little cereal sour with it. Apple chews, white marshmallow and some perfume.
Body - Softly fruited at first, then a spike of slightly harder spirit, some cardboard, then a first fill bourbon saccharin sweetness.
Finish - Medium, with pink peppercorns and sesame prawn toast.
A lovely nose here, really floral and inviting. Clumsy sweetness in the delivery.
Guessing Speyburn 11, FF bourbon.
2 Speyside 26 years old, 50.1% A'
Hhd, cask 51, 16 September 1991
Nose - Medium sweet, rich and nutty; warm caramel with peanut brittle. Newly painted furniture and treacle tart.
Body - Soft with Mexican chocolate and a Pomander. Walnut whip.
Finish - Long and sweet with caraway and lemsip. The midrange falls away quite quickly leaving fruit and caramel.
Rich, sweet and satisfying (particularly on the nose) but slightly unbalanced in the delivery.
Guessing Glenrothes 19, refill sherry.
3 Littlemill 27 years old, 52.1% A
Hhd, cask 3040, 16th October 1990
Nose - Big and malic, brown apple juice with brown sugar and cherry pipe tobacco. Mr Kipling chocolate cupcakes.
Body - French browned pastry with burnt sugar and pop tarts. Some petrol, some tobacco.
Finish - Long and musky, with slightly charred raisins and plum crumble.
Sweet and waxy, slightly winey but great waxes.
Who knows, I will guess it's FF bourbon and 13. Miltonduff.
4 Tullibardine 24 years old, 46.1% A⊕'
Hhd, cask 1868, 8th June 1993
Nose - Ripe with Sauvignon Blanc and brie, biscuits and grapes. A beautifully balanced and considered character, perfect spirit against the cask. Candle wax and oat cakes.
Body - Soft and dusty with buttercream, acrylic varnish and black pepper.
Finish - Long with more buttercream icing and muhkwas, quite astringent and a little cheesy.
I like this - it feels weird and old, it has gravitas. I know there is a Littlemill in here that everyone didn't pick, so I'm going to guess that, 27 years old. Bourbon cask.
5 Glenrothes 21 years old, 55.8% A⊕
Butt, cask 22, 21st October 1996
Nose - Dank and herbal, tack dry gloss paint with chocolate and Sangria. A beautifully sweet red wine cask feel here, very deep, sweet and waxy. Either that or its Indian.
Body - Sweet and formic, bitter woods, very ripe with tarte tatin. Baked plums and black pepper.
Finish - Long with black pepper and marzipan. Very moreish.
I love this. I am doubtful that Cadenhead's would pick an Indian whisky as a club bottling so I'm going to discount the Indian thing, so I will guess 21 year old Glenfarclas, sherry cask (long finish). I'd buy it.
6 Glen Grant 24 years old, 52.4% sherry hogshead since June 2016, A+'
Cask 15/249-1, 13th October 1993
Nose - This is an old sherry cask too. Old cracked gloss paint, library and blue cheese. Very rich with leather jacket and men's perfume, but slightly herbal (fresh rosemary, thyme).
Body - Cherry Ripe bars, milk tart and condensed milk. Absolutely delicious.
Finish - Medium long with milk bottle sweets and cherry compote.
A big, sweet, creamy and fruity whisky, but balanced by wood and a big spirit. I'm guessing Blair Athol 28, sherry cask.