Bottled in 2015.
Nose: Vanilla and oak, but also peaches and cinnamon. Citrus and something tropical, maybe pineapple, with water. After some time in the glass aok becomes more apparent again, but it’s a sweet, spicy oak which compliments the fruity notes.
Palate: Vanilla, oak and peaches. Other fruits, too, gooseberries, I think. The oak turns slightly bitter with water. Cinnamon and black pepper on the finish. After a while banana & spice sponge cake and well-balanced oak.
Comments: This is what a good grain whisky should be. There is absolutely nothing to detract from this other than the fact that I only have a 3 cl sample instead of a bottle (or three).
Thanks to Håvard for the sample.
Bottled in 2014, cask reference 7279.
Nose: Quite a bit of citrus and orange peel, bitter vanilla. More towards baked apples with water and hints of liquorice.
Palate: Malt and liquorice (or “sisselrot”, common polypody, or rather the edible root of it which has a vegetal liquoricy taste).
Comments: Something of a surprise, not a typical Blair Athol at all, but very nice, even so.
Tasted at Trondheim Whiskyfestival 2016.
Nose: Lemon, malt and sour jelly sweets. With water it aquires a vague herb garden feeling, it smells like herbs, but not of a specific type and not very intensly.
Palate: Malt and vanilla. Sour jelly sweets, again, green ones. It gets a little more woody with water, but the malt is dominating throughout.
Comments: Glencadam is marketed as “Rather Delicate” (™ even), and that’s quite fitting. A good example of a light highlander with very understated cask notes. And very nice it is, too, but perhaps a little boring in the long run.
Distilled June 2000, bottled December 2011, matured in a refill hogshead, released in the Advance Sample range, DL ref 7983.
Nose: Malt, lemon, well-worn socks. With water the socks turn to flat, tepid lager. After a while it mercifully disappears and the whisky starts smelling like green apples and fruit trees.
Palate: Malt and white pepper, but mostly, well, congeners and a sickly sweetness. More pepper on the finish. Water brings out the oak, there is still malt and a lot of pepper.
Comments: Definitely best with water added. The first impression was that this was well-nigh undrinkable, but with water and a little time in the glass it’s quite all right. The pepper adds interest, but otherwise this is too bland to win any prizes.
Thanks to Geir Tore for the sample.
Nose: Malt and tobacco. With water I get more smoke, as well as lemon curd and digestive bisquits.
Palate: Bonfire and malt. With water the tobacco shows up on the palate, but also lemon.
Comments: Yummy. It’s funny how the smoke and tobacco exchange places nose/tastewise with water. Not complex enough to be worth several hundred pounds at auction, perhaps, but certainly moreish.
Nose: Dried fruits (apricots, cranberries), acetone and wood varnish, banana, vanilla and rosemary. Obvious alchohol at full strength. Water tones down the alchohol and brings out pine needles and menthol, milk chocolate and black pepper.
Palate: Menthol, acetone, dried apricots and ginger. With water I also get dried banana, a little oak and sauna – as well as orange peel on the finish.
Comments: It just doesn’t get much better than this. You could spend hours picking through the nose and flavour on this one. It demonstrates just why Rare Malts used to have such an impeccable reputation (though the last couple of years of Rare Malt releases did not seem to live up to it). A very clever purchase, if I may say so myself (it was a birthday present for Arve quite a few years ago).