There are few magical places on earth, but I bet the warehouses that Cadenheads store their inventory will be on the list of any whisky enthusiast. Such would be the treasures and air of mystery within those walls. I'm like a stuck record when it comes to their outturns whether its the Small Batch, Authentic Collection etc. but the range of whiskies bottled, the casks utilised and the pricing is just verging on remarkable.
The latest releases including that 39 year old Bunnahabhain (for under £200) and a 22 year old Ardbeg; more on that another time. Sometimes its bewildering being confronted by the list of bottles that take in all the regions of Scotland plus on the odd occasion an international release. The recent programme included a favourite distraction of mine as a closed distillery. Yet this release hasn't (as yet) created a stampede for the bottling as its from a grain distillery namely Port Dundas in Glasgow.
Grain whisky is overlooked, shunned and ignored by many. Ok, that's their opinion but given time grain can deliver tremendous results and the more grain I taste, I being to notice subtle differences between the distilleries. In recent years this area of production has suffered numerous casualties including Garnheath and Cambus; both of which I recommend you try. The most recent victim of closure (thanks to Diageo) was the Port Dundas distillery.
Looking back through my notes, I realise that Cadenheads must purchase casks in large quantities from a single distillery. They then bottle these as and when over numerous years. This release is the latest in a series of Port Dundas releases with the previous example being a 25 year old bottled in 2014. If you had the complete legacy of bottled casks it would be an interesting evening to track the development of the whisky as the years go by.
Distillery: Port Dundas
Bottled 2016 (27 years of age)
Strength: 50.9% vol
Cask: a vatting of 2 bourbon hogsheads
Outturn: 414 bottles
Colour: a pleasing butterscotch
Nose: it is a real sweetie on the nose with cinder toffee prominent and a creamy edge that I'd go with a luxurious white chocolate. The Stones with their brown sugar strikes up. Citrus of all things as if someone has tossed a lime cordial into the mix which cuts through the sweetness. Cinnamon follows with your staple grain coconut characteristic plus vanilla and honey.
Taste: one of those drams where what I nosed actually comes through so the brown sugar, toffee and honey are very evident. Ginger sponge cake and oat cakes with what I'm thinking is a trifle without the alcohol. It goes without saying there's vanilla and a little banana but its all those sugars that come through on the palate.
Overall: after a discussion with the guys in Edinburgh Cadenheads I know they still have this bottle available and I'm tempted to throw in a hay bale into the nosing notes just for them, but not this time guys. Very drinkable at cask strength and benefits from water as well. For under £80 this is a very worthwhile purchase and would disrupt a few single malt tastings as a mystery entry.
Labels: cadenhead, featured, grain, port dundas, review, single grain, small batch, whisky