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Glencadam (pronounced: glen-KA-dam) is something of a loner distillery in the eastern highlands. It was closed by Allied Distillers in 2000 but thankfully reopened under new owners Angus Dundee Ltd in 2003 who now distil at full capacity. They have also released a couple of official bottlings at vary fair prices for which they should be commended. Glencadam does not figure very often on whisky lovers maps, probably due to its obscure nature and life as a blending horse. How much its new owners will invest in it as a single malt remains to be seen. The range has expanded in recent years but it seems like it wont go to much further. Not that this is a negative prospect, Angus Dundees modest approach to their fine malt is deeply refreshing in this age of ridiculous marketing hyperbole and mad, over-priced bottlings.
Stills: 1 Wash 1 Spirit
Water Source: The Moorans/Barry Burn
Capacity: 1.5 Million Litres
Owners: Angus Dundee Ltd
1959-1970s: Modernising A Quiet Blending Machine.
In 1959 Glencadam received a brand new pair of modern stills with condensers and steam heating. How this affected the character of the make is unknown as there are no know bottlings from before the mid sixties. Most bottlings begin to date from around 1972 onwards. There are a couple of Cadenheads botltings that date from the mid sixties but they are, curiously, not as good as you might expect from that bottler at that time.
There are some excellent examples from the early to mid seventies (particularly 1974), where we can really start to determine the distillery character. Many of these aged independent bottlings show it to be a lighter style highlander with lots of elegant fruit qualities, rich maltiness, heather, floral aspects and light honey notes are all common in aged Glencadam. There are excellent examples from Signatory, The Whisky Fair and Mackillops Choice.
1970s-Present: Hot And Honeyed
The official bottlings of Glencadam under allied Distillers were not particularly great and probably suffered from Allied notoriously sloppy attitude to wood and cask selection. However, since being taken over by Angus Dundee the range has improved greatly. Both the official 10 and 15yo expressions show the sherried sideo f Glencadam and deliver plenty of the distillerys trademark light fruity, honey and malty notes. They can be quite hot and thick in the glass, which is a little unusual, but if you are a fan of clean, fruity highland malts then these will not disappoint. The various independent offerings at similar ages are usually fairly consistent with the house style if a little more oomphy and distinctive. Lets hope that the new owners keep up the consistency and maybe give us a few more interesting, single cask bottlings.