Every few weeks I’ll drop by the Cadenhead’s Edinburgh shop to generally discuss whisky and see if there are any new arrivals worthy of my hard earned cash. This journey is in danger of turning into a monthly pilgrimage. Sometimes these trips prove fruitful and on other occasions I may leave empty handed; there are no guarantees.
Distillery: a blend of 2 Islay distilleries, 1 with greater emphasis
Age: young with a component being 7 years old
Strength: 58.3% ABV
Availability: only from in-store casks
Price: a variety of sizes around £14 for 20cl, £48 for 70cl
Colour: cream soda
Nose: a floral mash, a forest walk on a dreich morning with stacks of autumnal vegetative notes. A sense of Ovaltine (a hot milk drink with malt extract), golden syrup and decaying banana skins, all supported throughout by sweet fruity peat. With the addition of water the peat moves up to the stalls and sweetness is the first dish of the day. More kiln smoke evident now.
Taste: now this is a Islay rollercoaster and at 58.3% it’s surprisingly drinkable without water despite its younger years. A burst of peat, vanilla, cava sparkle and vegetation before a surprisingly levelling off; then the peat returns for a prolonged encore finish. With water the tables are turned at the expense of the finish as the peat moves into the middle ground. Now we have more saltiness throughout and smoke.
Just a lovely drop that ticks all the boxes in my book. You can quite easily pay double the asking price here for a No Age Statement Islay special edition and it’ll fall short of this benchmark. Consistently offering a thorough whisky experience, exclusivity and plenty of value for your buck the shop casks at Cadenhead’s continue to deliver. The current Campbeltown cask is pretty good as well and might be another purchase.