Glencadam (Pronounced: glen CAdam)
Hillside / Glenesk, Lochside, North Port-Brechin
Springs at The Moorans / Barry Burn
1 Wash still, 1 Spirit still
1,500,000 litres of pure alcohol per year
Angus Dundee (since 2003)
Brechin, Angus, Scotland, UK
Below, on WhiskyFun and on the Malt Maniacs Monitor
Scores & tasting notes:
1) Glencadam distillery has been running '24x7' since 2005.
2) Before the closure in 2000, Glencadam malt whisky was used in the 'Stewart's Cream of the Barley' blend.
3) When Allied closed the distillery in 2000 due to a surplus of production (all the employees except one were made redundant) many people expected that this was the end. Fortunately, Angus Dundee Distillers from London stepped in in 2003 to revive the Glencadam distillery again.
4) Except for the standard distillery buildings and equipment, Glencadam also houses a filling & bottling plant.
5) There are six stainless steel washbacks at Glencadam distillery...
Glencadam 14yo Oloroso Finish (46%, OB, 'The Rather Enriched', Bottled +/- 2010)
Nose: Light & heavy. Malty with light fruits. Not enouch character and personality to reach the 80's.
Taste: Very smooth but nondescript start. Coffee in the background. Irish or grain whisky? (I sampled it blind.)
Score: 78 points - I was very surprised to learn that this was finished. Just for one or two days perhaps?
Glencadam 32yo 1977/2009 (54.9%, Douglas Laing Platinum, Sherry, 296 Bts.)
Nose: Polished and slightly subdued. The oaky, woody notes dominate all other aroma's, at least at first.
Cassis. Some meaty notes emerge after five minutes. Subtle fruits and organics appeared after I added water.
Taste: Brilliant rounded off woody notes, almost mouldy. Smokier centre with an underlying sweetness.
After I added water, the fruity sweetness became more pronounced. This really is quite a good whisky.
Score: 90 points - this whisky benefits greatly from some breathing and dilution to circa 46%.
Glencadam 15yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Nose: Wow! Something on the outer edges of citrussy. More straightforward lemon later on. Grainy overtones.
A little grassy? Not a lot of 'definition'. Hint of dishwater. Rubber and cream in the background. Raw rhubarb.
Taste: A little lemony as well, drying out in the centre. A bit weak, but it has a long, solid finish. Very drinkable.
Score: 79 points - it falls a bit short on the palate, otherwise it might have made it to the 80's.
Glencadam 16yo 1991/2007 (46%, Single & Single, 75cl, Bottle #3790)
Nose: Light, sweet and 'grainy' - in a good way. Clean. Old fashioned honey sweets? Accessible.
Some apple notes emerge after a while. Not a very 'broad' spectrum, but nice development over time.
Hint of peat? No wait, it's chloride. This one really needs time to reveal all its subtleties & complexities.
Taste: Sweet, gentle start, solidifying in the middle. Smooth until the finish with a touch of bitterness.
The apple traits I found in the nose returned on the palate - together with some young 'sappy' wood.
I have to admit that over time the harsh 'bourbony' wood in the finish isn't something I enjoy a lot.
Adding a few drops of water didn't improve the nose, but it brought forward some fruits in the finish.
Score: 80 points - it makes it into the 80's on complexity, but it's one for the 'bourbon cask' type crowd.
For my personal tastes, I really need some fruits and/or tannins in the finish to balance out the wood.
Glencadam 1975/2007 (46%, Montgomerie's Single cask collection, C#1)
Nose: Citrussy and veggy. Mild sherry. Very subtle - too subtle for me in fact.
Taste: Sweet start, becoming herbal before sweetening out again in the finish.
Quite interesting development. Fruits in the background. Smoothish finish - a tad herbal?
Score: 78 points - which is slightly embarrassing in fact, given it's more than thirty years old.
Glencadam 32yo 1973/2006 (46.4%, The Whisky Fair 'Artist Edition', 87 Bottles)
Nose: Sophisticated, growing fruitier and bolder quickly. Black currants. Cassis. This is lovely!!!
Taste: A tad perfumy in the start, evolving into a fruity centre and a dry, slightly tannic finish.
Score: 88 points - the best Glencadam I ever tried until 2006. Here the time in the cask paid off...
Glencadam 20yo 1985/2005 (54,2%, Douglas Laing Platinum, 306 Bts.)
Nose: Soft start on the nose, but picks up within seconds. Smooth. Opens up after a few minutes.
Taste: Smooth here as well, with a nice fruitiness. A nice, balanced whisky where nothing really stands out.
Hint of pine on the palate? Just enough tannins to make you go for an instant refill.
Score: 84 points - the fresh woodiness in the finish keeps it from reaching the upper 80's.
Clencadam 15yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2005)
Nose: Malty, grainy and fruity - and a little MOTR. Something reminded me of the Tomintoul 16yo. Spicy.
You have to work at it. Pine resin. Some more organics with time, then it sweetens out. Candy.
Taste: It's malty and a little bitter (lemon or lime?) on the palate. Drying out in the middle.
A fairly weak start, but it improves as it goes along. The solid finish lasts for a long time.
Score: 78 points - almost reaches the 80's thanks to an interesting nose.
Glencadam 15yo 1989/2005 (58.3%, Cadenhead's, Bottled February 2005).
Nose: sweet and mellow with a whiff of paint thinner. Not a lot of personality, I'm afraid.
Taste: I found loads of chocolate. This tastes a bit like liqueur filled bonbons. Lovely!
Score: 80 points - not terribly refined or complex, but very nice on the palate indeed.
Glencadam 15yo 1989/2005 (58%, Signatory, Sherry C#6014, 578 Bts.)
Nose: Subtle fruits. Hint of smoke? Blueberries. Developing complexity. Far off the beaten track...
It goes in the direction of some overly 'treated' whiskies, but this one doesn't cross the border into weirdness.
Taste: On the palate I found loads of fruits. Even in a blind tasting it was obvious there was 'wine' influence.
Score: 87 points - a hugely enjoyable whisky, but it demands time and concentration.
Glencadam 16yo 1985/2001 (43%, Chieftain's)
Nose: Light. Sweet and malty. Oily. Faint, old fruits. Nice balance. Organic overtones.
Cookies? Very pleasant, actually. A malty malt in the 'Gordon & MacPhail School of Malts'.
Veggy. Camphor? Much more powerful after 5 minutes with salt and smoke coming forward.
Taste: Creamy. Rather weak. Menthol? Nondescript start, evolving into a light sweetness.
Heather honey. Bigger burn in the center. Modest and not very pronounced. Dry finish.
Score: 77 points - good nose, mediocre palate. We've heard that song before...
Not enough personality and 'spunk' to leave a lasting impression.
Glencadam 1974/2001 (59.9%, MacKillop's Choice)
Nose: Rich, sweet and polished at cask strength. Adding water makes it much more 'alcoholic'.
Taste: Sweet and a tad oily at cask strength. Fresh. Surprisingly drinkable. More resinous with water.
Score: 87 points - this one needs a good dose of water and time to recover. It climbed from 84 to 87 points.
Glencadam 1987/1997 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice)
Nose: Aroma flows over the edge of the glass. Sweet. Raisins? A lot of different elements.
Disappears after 10 minutes, but comes back with sweet vengeance.
Taste: Sweet. Long and warm, followed by a dry finish.
Score: 71 points - this malt would have done slightly better at 43 or 46%, or even cask strength.
These were not all (official & independent) bottlings of Glencadam Scotch whisky I've tried over the years.
Besides, these tasting notes only reflect my own, personal opinion; your tastes might be different from mine.
Fortunately, you can find the scores and tasting notes from up to two dozen other whisky lovers in the 'Malt Maniacs Monitor' - an independent whisky database with details on more than 15,000 different whiskies from Scotland and the rest of the world. Visit the Glencadam page on the MMMonitor and select 'scorecard view' if you want to know how other whisky lovers felt about the hundreds of Glencadam expressions that were released in recent years. However, if you'd like to learn more about whisky in general (and single malt Scotch whisky in particular), you might want to check out the Beginner's Guide to Scotch whisky (10 chapters filled with everything you need to fully enjoy and appreciate a glass of single malt whisky) or the mAlmanac (sort of a rudimentary whisky shopping guide.)
2000 - Owners Allied Domecq decide to mothball the Glencadam distillery.
2003 - Angus Dundee buys the Glencadam distillery and adds a large filling and bottling plant.
2005 - A 15 years old official bottling is released.
2008 - The packaging of the 15 years old bottling is re-designed and a 10yo is added to the core range.
The recommended retail price of the 10yo is £29.99 in the UK and €35.99 in Europe.
The RRP of the 15yo is £42.99 in the UK and € 49.99 in Europe.
2009 - 25yo and 30yo expressions are added to the range, but both are produced in very limited numbers.
A press release from 2003 put it like this: 'An English company is to reopen the
(...) Glencadam Distillery, creating up to 50 jobs. The London-based family company
Angus Dundee (...) has bought the redundant plant, which shut down three years
ago. The company intends to start distilling whisky immediately, after successfully
concluding negotiations with the previous owner, Allied Distillers, last week.
Preparatory work to get the distillery up and running will bring further employment
opportunities to the area.'
So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak...
Angus Dundee brought more than fifty years of experience in
producing whisky, gin and vodka to the table. They produce and
blend mostly for their own labels and private labels for customers.
A few examples of their more 'household' brands are Angus Dundee,
The Dundee, MacKillops Choice, Glen Parker and Scottish Royal.
As for the Glencadam distillery itself; shortly after it was founded
in 1825 it was bought by David Scott in 1827. After a decade under
his leadership Glencadam was closed in 1837. In 1852 Alexander
Miln Thomson purchased the distillery and in 1857 the Glencadam
Distillery Co. was formed. The take-over of Glencadam by Gilmour,
Thompson & Co (blenders from Glasgow) in 1891 was the last
change in ownership for over half a century. In 1954 Gencadam
was acquired by Hiram Walkers & Sons - who were gobbled up
by Allied-Lyons (later Allied Domecq) in 1987.
After an initial renovation immediately after the purchase in 1954 the new owners gave it another try.
They upgraded the Glencadam distillery with two brand new stills in 1959, after which George Ballantine & Sons Ltd. emerged on the scene as licencees. Allied Distillers operated Glencadam until 2000, when it was mothballed due to over-production. Three years later Angus Dundee acquired the distillery; they have been producing single malt whisky again since 2004. As such, it upholds a long and proud distillation history in the Eastern Highlands. The neighboring distilleries Lochside, North Port / Brechin and Hillside / Glenesk have all been closed some time ago.
The Glencadam distillery (also known as GlencaRdam) is said to
have been founded in the year 1825 by George Cooper. Like so
many other distilleries, Glencadam experienced a massive number
of changes in ownership during the 19th century, but for once I'm
not going to get into that - not yet anyway...
A more interesting change in ownership (for most readers anyway)
occurred in 2003 when Angus Dundee Distillers bought Glencadam.
The distillery had been closed down three years earlier by the
previous owners, Allied Distillers. The fresh owners didn't waste a
lot of time and quickly resumed production at Glencadam distillery.
The 15yo OB that's currently available is from old stocks, obviously.
Is the distillery or