Glencadam 1971 DL Review

“Woody Woodpecker”
Country: Scotland 
Region: Highland - Eastern
Brand: Glencadam 1971 (Douglas Laing)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age:  28 Years
ABV: 50 %

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: The Oak is quite present as could be expected after 28 years. Mainly in the form of Pencil Shavings. But I l also find some nice Fruit tones like Papaya Cream and Sugared Pineapple. After a while I get more Floral notes as well  that remind me of a certain Soap my late Grandmother always used. I can't remember the Brand I'm afraid. And finally a bit of Vanilla, Toffee, Orange Peel, Plum Brandy (Eau de Vie) and Milk Chocolate. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. It's not a very complex Nose but agreeable nevertheless.

Palate: Oak and Heavy Woodspice like Pepper, Nutmeg and Ginger. Underneath it all I can still recognise the Papaya Cream, my favourite Brazilian desert. I also identify Vanilla, Sweet Barley, Hay, Nut Shells and Dried Apricots.  

Finish: Middle Long, very Dry, slightly Bitter and a bit disappointing. Lots of Oak, Spices like Pepper and Nutmeg, Salted Butter, Juicy Malt and a very heavy dose of Licorice. Perhaps the strongest Licorice Note I have encountered so far. After 5 minutes or so the Eau de Vie (Plums) unexpectedly returns for a final note.

With a bit of Water, the Nose gets more Floral, Waxy and Soapy. On the Palate and in the Finish it feels like drinking Liquid Oak. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 80

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20 

The Glencadam Distillery

General Remarks: The Glencadam Distillery is located in Brechin (Angus) close to the (small) river Esk. The Distillery was built in 1825. Since 1954 it was subsequently owned by Hiram Walker, Ballantine's, and Allied Distillers and was mainly used in Blends like Ballantine's, Teacher's and Cream of the Barley. It was mothballed in 2000 and things looked bad until Angus Dundee Distillers (Owners of Tomintoul) bought it in 2003 and brought it back to Single Malt status although it's still used in Blends like Dundee and Parker's as well. The Glencadam I'm tasting today was distilled in 1971. It matured in a single Oak Barrel and was bottled by Douglas Laing & Co Ltd in July 2000. Fortunately it is un-chillfiltered and uncoloured. Only a total of 246 bottles were commercialised. I'm not sure if it's still available but you could try Whiskybase in Rotterdam, the Netherlands where I bought the sample. The price would be around 200 US Dollars for a full bottle.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion: Not my favourite type of Whisky. It starts pleasantly enough with a Nose that showcases Tropical Fruit Deserts and Plum Brandy (Eau de Vie). But on the Palate and in the Finish it's the Woody Woodpecker Show and it's not easy to detect anything else but Oak and Woodspice. The 28 years in the Cask almost completely erased the original Distillery character of the Glencadam Spirit. Quite sad actually considering the time and effort that was made to create this Single Malt!

Jan van den Ende                                                          November 1, 2014

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