Bottled at 46% ABV, with an age statement of 10 years, unchill-filtered and natural colour. These are some of the stats most whisky lovers look for and though it’s not always a guarantee of quality, it does say something about the integrity of the brand. It is clear that the distillery wants to let you experience their whisky in its raw form, albeit diluted to an easy sippable ABV. That much is definitely true for this Glencadam 10, a whisky that sometimes flies a bit under the radar.
That last statement does depend on who you’re asking though, as fans of the youtube channel Aqvavitae will know this dram by heart. It’s the original “Hero Whisky” from Roy after all. But people such as Ralfy, GWhisky and numerous competitions like the World Whiskies Awards and IWSC sing its praises as well. Which goes to show that the quality, and especially the value, of this dram has not gone unnoticed. I, on the other hand, somehow never tasted this dram before. I’ve sampled many a Glencadam over the years, including some absolute gems from the SMWS. But never this classic 10. This Whisky Wednesday that’s about to change.
Tasting Notes: Glencadam 10
ABV: 46% (92 Proof)
Age: 10 years old
Casks: Ex-Bourbon Barrels
Category: Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Natural Colour: Yes
Today I paid a visit to High Spirits in Heiloo where I managed to pick an absolute gem of a whisky for the Fall Edition of my Explorers Pack. Which put me in a proper good mood for trying another dram for Whisky Wednesday once I got home. This Glencadam 10 has been on my to-try list for far too long, and thus I decided today would be the day to give this classic a try. With some Blue Note Jazz in the background, I poured the whisky into a perfect dram glass and set about writing.
Glencadam calls itself “The Rather Delicate”, a flavour profile that according to the distillery comes from the fact that their lye pipes run upward at an angle of 15 degrees rather than downwards. The fact that I’m pointing out that statement here is because on the nose I wouldn’t call this whisky delicate at all. It might be very floral, fruity and sweet, but it also comes across very full-bodied to me. I’m picking up honey, hibiscus, apples, pears, vanilla and dessert wine.
On the palate this dram once again comes across as very full-bodied to me, which shows me clearly that “The Rather Delicate” has truly misled me. It’s one of the things that always made me hesitate when considering buying a full-sized bottle of this whisky. But the palate of this dram is packed full of flavours that carry more than enough heft. There are yellow grapes, vanilla custard, apples and just a whiff of strawberry lemonade. These sweeter elements are balanced out beautifully by subtle hints of tannins and pepper. The latter being crushed black pepper corns to be precise.
The finish has a medium length, but the dram does lose a lot of its complexity here. A lemon, mint and tannin infusion lingers and does provide for a pleasant experience, albeit a bit one-dimensional. In the sense of this dram not evolving much at all. This is the one part of the dram where I would agree with the “The Rather Delicate” statement.
As you’ve noticed I’ve been going on a bit about the fact that I don’t find this dram very delicate at all. I do understand how one might call this delicate, but personally I associate delicate with less outspoken flavours than this dram has. The flavours that are here come full-force and except on the finish I found this a rather full-bodied dram. I understand why so many people give this whisky such high praise and for the money you certainly can’t go wrong with this one. For roughly 43 euro you’ll have an integrity single malt that does everything right. Whether this flavour profile suits your palate is ofcourse personal, but I appreciate it highly for what it is.
Appreciating it for what it is, is important when trying this dram though. Which is always the case when a dram gets a lot of praise from the community. Never forget that taste is very personal! It certainly won’t be the best whisky you’ll ever try, but its value for money and integrity makes this dram money well spent. I certainly wish I tried this sooner as it makes for an excellent summer dram. And in that category, it doesn’t have all that much competition. I’ll certainly add this to my collection someday!