Category Archives: Scottish Whisky

Advent Day 8: Cardhu 12

A classic from Diageo and Cardhu on the 8th day of Advent…

Cardhu Single Malt Scotch Whisky 12 Years Old
40% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Nose: At full strength, heady, nose prickle, pear drops and tightly integrated heather, resin and sweet honey-nut notes. Enticing. Intriguing. With a little water, still harmonious but less pronounced, allowing some malt cereal, soft, spicy wood, moorland and faint traces of wood-smoke to appear.
Palate: Well balanced, smooth mouthfeel; short punch, sweet and fresh, then a pronounced drying effect. Moorish. Enjoyable at any time, with little or no water.
Finish: Quite short. Some lingering sweet smoke in the attractive, drying aftertaste.

What Richard Says
Nose: Malty and nutty with honey sweetness.
Palate: Wildflower honey, lightly smoky, orange marmalade, sweet nuts, and creamy vanilla.
Finish: Floral and spicy laid on a woody base.
Comments: Cardhu was hard to come by for a while. It was a huge seller in Spain but the decline in their consumption made it more available. Most Cardhu goes into Johnnie Walker blends but more expression are being made available as a single malt. The 12 Year Old is a great introduction to the distillery.
Rating: On the better side of Average

Advent Day 6: Glenfiddich XX

Day 6 of Advent brings another curiosity that has peaked my interest but I had to experience…

Glenfiddich Experimental Series Project XX Single Malt Scotch Whisky
47% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Our second experiment of the series took place privately at our Conval warehouse. Shrouded in secrecy, malt Master Brian Kinsman invited 20 whisky experts from around the world to select any expression of their choosing from the thousands of stacked casks. The final 20 chosen malts, matured in everything from port pipes to virgin bourbon barrels, have created an unusual, innovative and unexpected whisky, one that has exceeded even our expectations.

20 of the whisky industry’s most exceptional minds came together to create this truly unique, pioneering single malt expression.

With its deep golden hue, Project XX embodies the warm, fruity character of a classic Glenfiddich whisky with hints of apple blossom, summer fruits and ripe pear. But its multiple personalities are revealed with hints of sweet candyfloss, cinnamon spice, almonds and rich port tannins with the odd whisper of liquorice. Deep and mellow, the finish is long lasting with a lingering sweet oakiness.

What Richard Says
Nose: Sweet barley wine, under ripe crisp green apples, and wet pine needles.
Palate: Cotton candy sweet, cinnamon Red Hots, and vanilla malted milkshake.
Finish: Black pepper and heavy cinnamon spice with a linger nutty and malty character.
Comments: This is a dram for those with a sweet tooth. While this is enjoyable, it doesn’t quite meld together as well as I would hope. This is nice and easy drink but it isn’t something that I would come back to very often. It is more of a curiosity rather than something you should seek out.
Rating: Stands Out

Advent Day 1: Glenfarclas 25 Year

Day one of my new Whisky Advent Calendar and BOOM! Glenfarclas 25 Year comes roaring out of the gate…

Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 25 Years
43% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Colour: Amber with dark gold highlights.
Nose: Complex, yet refined, with tempting aromas of marmalade, honey, freshly ground coffee, sherry and nuts. Some oaky tannins.
Flavour: Full-bodied and robust, the sherry and the oak fight for your attention yet neither overpowering.
Finish: Intense, long lasting, dry and malty. Beautiful dark chocolate taste at the back of your mouth to complete the 25 years old.

What Richard Says
Nose: Rich, deep, and refined sherry character with just a little bit of oak and tannins in the back.
Palate: Creamed honey, lighter sherry than the nose would foretell, oak, and a pinch of cracked pepper.
Finish: Lots of lingering cocoa powder and oak.
Comments: This is a lovely example of an older sherried single malt. Glenfarclas also seems to be priced rather attractively for a 25 year old. However, this particular malt is a little less complex than I would expect or hope for. Oak, tannins, and sherry are the predominate notes (understandably) but I’m not getting much else. Even still, this is a very nice dram and one you should consider trying, given the opportunity.
Rating: Stands Out

Tis the season for…Advent!

Did you ever have one of those chocolate advent calendars when you were a kid? I did. I didn’t have one every year but the few times I did I really enjoyed it. It was fun to open a new box every day leading up to Christmas and see what surprise laid in wait. Wouldn’t it be a form of Christmas magic if such a thing existed for whiskey? Well…it does. Whiskey advent calendars have been a thing for a few years now. It’s taken me until this year to give one a try.

I chose the standard “Whiskey Advent Calendar” from Master of Malt as my first foray into Advent whiskey style. It’s around $170 which seems to be a pretty good deal for a month (more or less) of whiskey fun. So since we finished running through reviews and coverage on all the new releases flowing through Whisk(e)y Apostle HQ recently I thought it would be fun to chronicle Advent this year.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

– Richard

Glencadam 13 Year

Glencadam The Re-Awakening 13 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scoth Whisky
46% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Glencadam Distillery opened in 1825 and since then little has changed.

Glencadam Distillery proudly announces the release of a rare 13 year old expression.

Rare because in the Autumn of the year 2000, Glencadam distillery fell silent. This silence became a deep sleep for three years until its joyous “Re-Awakening” in the Autumn of 2003. This rare, 13 years old limited edition from the re-start of distillation truly represents and commemorates “The Re-Awakening” of Glencadam Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

What Gary Says
Nose: Bright herbal sweetness with a hint of citrus (lime zest), bit of smoke and anise.
Palate: Nice creamy mouthfeel, fruity sweetness (figs, dates, pears, bit of nectarines) and vanilla spice; hint of oak with pepper.
Finish: Moderately long and wet, soft to start with a spicy build up.
Comments: I’ve never had any Glencadam before, but this certainly won’t be my last. This is a very nice single malt. The nose is nice, although not special – but the palate was a pleasant surprise. It isn’t overly complex, but nicely balanced and quite drinkable. I appreciate this being offered as non-chill filtered without coloring being added (as well as the 92 proof versus 80).
Rating: Stands Out

What Richard Says
Nose: Brooding on the nose. Malt forward with notes of under ripe apples, hay, and wildflowers.
Palate: The palate is very assertive. Baklava and baked apple dumplings interplay with a bit of Vegemite and fall leaves.
Finish: Woody, minty, and grassy.
Comments: This is now slouch of a malt. The higher proof and lack of chill filtration are worn very well on this whisky. This a great example of a well formed highland single malt. It’s a bit like a Glenmorangie that has been aggressively hitting the gym and coming out a monster.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to thank Glencadam for sending us a sample to review.