Two Cadenhead Glens from Glenlivet which aren’t The Glenlivet

So after quite a long break our local whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel (MMI), met up to try some more fine whisky. The theme this time was Cadenhead, the independent bottler owned by the same bunch of people as Springbank.

Cadenhead is quite a reputable bottler with their own maturation warehouses and some amazing stock to draw from. We were trying some older bottlings from their “Small Batch” range all of which to the best of my knowledge were bourbon cask matured. There was a 24 year old Bruichladdich, a Linkwood whose age I frogot and these two which I took notes for, a 25 year old Glen Grant and a 24 year old Glenburgie.

Glen Grant is fairly well known from their distillery bottlings, the common NAS version being one of the cheapest single malts in many markets, but it would be interesting to try something older and without all that deplorable treatment such as dilution and chill-filtration.

Glenburgie is somewhat more obscure, not really having any distillery bottlings, but I have seen some very good reviews recently so was excited to try it.

You might notice from the pictures that the distillery names have a “-Glenlivet” tacked onto them. This is quite an interesting little piece of whisky history that I  don’t remember if I’ve mentioned before. Glenlivet is a region within Speyside and was used as a labelling term long before the SWA and their regions. The Glenlivet Distillery made a big fuss about getting exclusive rights to the term “The Glenlivet” and since then a lot of the distilleries who previously used the term could only hyphenate it onto their own name, so the use of the term has slowly fallen out of use. A number of distilleries still do it, mainly those that were well known before the term Speyside became a thing, where it was used to distinguish themselves from the Highland malts.

Anyways, on to the whiskies:

Glen Grant 23 Cadenhead Small Batch

Aged 23 years. 53.1% ABV. Matured in a bourbon barrel and bourbon hogshead. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at batch strength.

Nose: Cotton candy. Green banana. Yellow apple. Gooseberries. Floral.

Palate: Salty. Slightly meaty. Guava. Apple cider. Balsa wood. Nutmeg.

Finish: Long. Woodspice. Macadamia. Naphthalene. Lavender.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 2/5

Glengurgie 24 Cadenhead Small Batch

Aged 24 years. 51.6% ABV. Matured in 2 bourbon hogsheads. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at batch strength.

Nose: Boiled sweets. Pineapple juice. Corn syrup. Peach cobbler. Vanilla pods. Stewed fruits. Custard. Plums.

Palate: Very thick. Waxy fruits. Wood oils. Bitter citrus. White grapes. Salt.

Finish: Long. Salty. Light wood. Fermented peaches. Pineapple. Vanilla pudding.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 4/5

In all a really interesting tasting. I found these two to be the ones I most enjoyed. The Glen Grant was interesting and several dimensions more complex than the distillery bottlings I’ve tried. It had a very sweet nose but the palate was dominated by salty notes with some common fruit notes all the way through which made for an interesting drink.

The Glenburgie was really thick, full of what I gues I’d call meaty fruits and with a noticeable vanilla influence from the casks. It’s quite an intense malt and I really want to try more from this distillery now.



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