Hi TOWCers One and All!
I'm back for this week's missive on a subject that is dear to my heart. The wonderful whiskies from Scotland's oldest and most respected independent bottler, Wm Cadenhead.
If you don't know the full story Cadenhead, may I please recommend the ripper article, Scotchwhisky.com's article on Wm Cadenhead's 175th Anniversary.
So, I've finally unpacked and uploaded to my old creaky website, with all the new Cadenhead bottlings for 2019. I have to say it is huge! It's out of control!! I just love it!
But I am scratching my head as most, if not all, of these new releases are ex Bourbon cask mature. Now, that's not necesssarily a negative, but it would have been nice to have a couple of other oak types in the mix.
So for this short missive, I would like point out a few highlights that have come onto my tasting bench…
Cadenhead Small Batch Bunnahabhain 2013 5yo Heavy Peat
The name says it all: heavy peat. We have seen peated Bunny's in the past, but they have been relatively soft and gentle in the smokiness department. But not this newbie for 2019! And Cadenhead tasters really nailed its unique flavour by describing it as, "dry ash and smoking hot oil". Quite the descriptor. There's also plenty of fruitiness along with Bunny's halmark rich maltiness. All bourbon oak matured, with a whopping 720 bottles released.
Cadenhead Small Batch Dailuaine 2004 14yo
I very much have a soft spot for Dailuaine (Dal-Yoo-Un) as I rank it's spirit richness alongside Macallan, Glendronach and Glengoyne. And this 14 year old does not dissapoint, even at 46%. Soft and lush, loads of malt with a hint of cirtus fruit. And the spirit is bright. Typical Dailuaine? Yep and very tasty at that. While at WhiskyBase it was described as, "oily, meaty, spicy notes, tobacco…long, later also old leather bindings." All bourbon oak, 696 bottles released.
Cadenhead Small Batch Aultmore 2006 12yo
Ahhh, such a familiar story. Drinks giant DCL, the modern day Diageo, uses this Speyside distillery for its blend trade. But in the late 1990's, ithey then sells it off to John Dewarrs and Sons (aka Bacardi) and it is the new owners that now breath life and single malts into this old plant. This Cadenhead bottling comes only two years after Dewarrs launch their first single malt. What intrigued me about this dram was how tropical fruity it is. And I reckon there is a nice dollop of creamy malt on top. All American oak, 1044 bottles released.
Cadenhead Small Batch Miltonduff 2008 11yo
Haven't seen many Miltonduff's in my career and I am sad to say I really haven't tried many either. Mainly because most of the spirit goes to the world encompassing Ballantines blend. So far there has only been an one official release, a 15yo, so to see a youngster is quite a pleasure. Official notes read, "Faint lime pickle, coconut, whole ginger and olive oil. Green apple skins, hint of soy sauce with mint and fennel." All American oak matured, 1116 bottles released.