Glencadam and Tomintoul Distilleries tasting – Nov. 5, 2016

Glencadam and Tomintoul with Iain Forteath

On Saturday, November 5th we were led through a great tasting of what Angus Dundee Distillers have to offer by Iain Forteath (twitter: @thewhiskyboy ) (LINK). Angus Dundee is a family owned company that creates many blended scotch whiskies and also owns two malt distilleries in Glencadam and Tomintoul. As Global Brand Ambassador for Angus Dundee Ian was kind enough to take us through the main lineups for both.

Here was the lineup of what we tasted:

1.) Glencadam 10yr – 46% ABV – $75

Glencadam Distillery was founded in 1825. The 10 year old is aged entirely in ex-bourbon barrels and is a very approachable that showcases very bright characteristics from the vessels that aged it. I noticed floral notes as well as clean malt, vanilla, citrus, cocoa powder, orange marmalade, marzipan and white chocolate. Creamy on the palate with more vanilla, citrus, shortbread and biscuits. The clean finish leaves you ready for more.

2.) Glencadam 15yr – 46% ABV  - $101

The 15 year old carries on where the 10 year left off, adding five more years in those ex-bourbon barrels and some more character and complexity from it. More toasty oak and wood notes are noticeable along with more vanilla, lime citrus along with white chocolate and cocoa powder showing up again. On the palate deeper notes of toasted hazelnuts and toasted almonds, marzipan, hot chocolate, white chocolate, vanilla bean and very light cloves come through.

3.) Glencadam 14yr Oloroso Finish
– 46% – $96

Finished for two years in ex-Oloroso sherry casks – this malt shows bright like the 10 and 15 but adds notes of Golden raisins, figs, candied ginger, green pineapple and fudge along with the vanilla and cocoa notes still coming through. It finishes in an elegant manner with hints of spice.

4.) Glencadam 21yr – 46% ABV – $230

The oldest of the regular Glencadam lineup – this 21 year spends all of its time aging in ex-bourbon barrels. It does manage to show some characteristics that make you think there might be some sherry in there but there is not. It has quite complex with notes of dried apricots, marzipan, toasted almonds, white chocolate and fruit and nut bars on the nose. The palate has pineapple and poached pear, fruit cup syrup, toasted almonds, marzipan, honey, toffee, and creamy Werther’s Originals.

5.) Tomintoul 16yr – 40% ABV  - $102

Tomintoul is relatively young by Scottish standards having only been founded last century in 1965. As Ian pointed out to us Tomintoul is one of four distilleries that reside within the Glenlivet Estate and therefore can legally add Glenlivet to the end of their name. The others are The Glenlivet, Braeval (sometimes called Braes o’Glenlivet), and Tamnavulin – which I can count the number of times I have tasted as a single malt using zero fingers.

The 16 year shows notes of pure malted barley, vanilla and honey on the nose. On the palate it is silky smooth and pleasurable experience with more of the same.

6.) Tomintoul 12yr Oloroso Finish – 40% – $75

This Oloroso Sherry Cask finish shows notes of fresh sherry, dried fruits such as raisins and dates along with more honey and hints of toast and yeast. It is soft and creamy on the palate with raisins and toffee coming through.

7.) Tomintoul Peaty Tang – 40% ABV – $61

For five weeks out of the year Tomintoul does a fraction of peated malt. It is typically heavily peated at 55 PPM and called Ballantruan so as not to be confused with unpeated Tomintoul. The Peaty Tang is a combination of the unpeated Tomintoul and the Ballantruan malt, cutting the peat level down to about 20 PPM. This one is better than I remembered it from a few years ago. Perhaps my palate is changing over time or maybe the bottles are but either way I nosed pine and juniper, lime zest, light creosote, bacon, and matcha green tea. I also tasted a great peat and sweet combination. Smoky licorice, green tea, white chocolate, Matcha again and green tea.

8.) Old Ballantruan 10yr – 50% ABV – $98

I have enjoyed Old Ballantruan when I tasted it in the past. The full hit of peat smoke at ten years old is beautiful. On the nose it was phenolic and oily, bacon, some creosote, and the smoke from burning leaves in the fall. It also had notes of old leather, tobacco, cigar smoke, smoked pineapple, teriyaki and cloves. On the palate it was nice, well rounded, smokey and sweet. Spices and cloves along with powdered candies, roasted peanuts, hints of barbeque, grilled lemon, soot and milk chocolate.

What a whisky to end the tasting on!

It was a pleasure to have Iain Forteath lead us through this tasting and a treat personally to revisit these malts – some of which I had not had tasted in quite a while. I look forward to tasting the more in the future and seeing what Angus Dundee releases next – which will hopefully include more Ballantruan!

A big thank you to Iain, Cured Delicatessen for supplying the food, and everyone who attended!

Iain Forteath posing with a fan

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