So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Whisky Butler May Box – Cadenhead set: Glen Garioch vs Clynelish vs Glen Grant vs Mortlach

This May box contains 4 Cadenhead Small Batch whiskies. This range is garnering something of a reputation as showing consistently excellent releases, and now writing this introduction having done the notes for these whiskies I can add that Cadenhead seem to really have the knack of choosing examples of malt that are very natural and spirit led. Tasting these 4, I get the sense I can feel the distillery through the spirit, and this genuinely pleases me so.

We have 2 Speysiders – Glen Grant on the lighter side of the spectrum and Mortlach at the heaviest end, 1 Northern Highlander – Clynelish, 1 Eastern Highlander – Glen Garioch.


Glen Garioch 24yo 1990/2015 Cadenhead Small Batch 47.8%

Nose Nose: Pretty much in line with expectations – Glen Garioch is usually good! Clean earth, warm white clay – something I find in fellow Highlander Clynelish as well. Also a bit more gounded with hay and concrete dust. Reminiscent of white wine. Quite hightoned and not the easiest of profiles. A whisky drinker’s whisky.

Taste Palate: Flinty and mineraled. Very much in aperitif territory with these semi dry, white wine notes. Medium-light body but quite a lean profile. Juniper and chichona bark… so fizzy and tonic with an effervescence. Touch smoky. Very likeable.

Finish Finish: Medium long, drying pine charcoal, and still mineraled. Clean and a touch earthy.


Glen Grant 19yo 1995/2015 Cadenhead Small Batch 58.4%

Nose Nose: You could say this is the light style of speyside – light bodied, slightly dry slightly biscuity malty-like and with some gentle florals. Somewhat tonic as well. The refill sherry (just a guess) brings orangeade and cocoa. Something here reminds me of a patisserie with its cake and pastry notes. Quite gentle and reserved overall.

Taste Palate: Bigger and sweeter on the tongue. More on sweet spices like cinnamon and icing sugar. Also very malty and toasty, and quite hot – well look at this abv. Some drier cereal notes too. Not a huge whisky but very educational.

Finish Finish: Long, bitter vegetals and some woodiness.


Clynelish 21yo 1992/2014 Cadenhead Small Batch 51.6%

Nose Nose: Not one of the huge waxy ones, there’s more to Clynelish you know. Not that there’s no wax, just less. More clean clay and clean minerals with sharp fruit peelings. In other words, undeniably a highlander. A bit acidic-fresh with little zesty citrusy cucumber fresh notes. This is a leaner cleaner more austere Clynelish, which is actually very good.

Taste Palate: More of the same, except a lot more white pepper on top of the clay or kaolin like clean earthiness. Lots of chalky clean minerals too. Tabasco hot. Again very clean, a bit of honey but loaded with high toned fruity esters.

Finish Finish: Medium Long. Chilli seeds and white peppercorns and sand.


Mortlach 20yo 1994/2015 Cadenhead Small Batch 53.4%

Nose Nose: HMM.. Very interesting, a naked Mortlach and with evident complexity. Thank the unique distillation for that. Juniper and smoking pine wood, some soot and struck matchsticks. Some butter and toasted malt. Something reminds me of boiling poaching syrup a whole basket of pears have gone through. Full-bodied and natural raw power.

Taste Palate: Very very interesting. Very ‘gritty’ – I wish I had a better word to describe this unique sulphur-like dimension that Mortlach has, so cold ham, last night’s charred gristle, spent matches, hot sandpaper. Fresh baked pie crust and malt. But also quite fresh and lemony at the same time. Comes together very well and develops into all sorts of sour and bitter botanicals.

Finish Finish: Long, Chewing on some herbal bark, slightly dirty, but sour and sharp and quite quite forward. Sticks around so to say. Really excellent natural and modern Mortlach. Big big whisky.



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This entry was posted on April 30, 2016 by in Clynelish, Glen Garioch, Glen Grant, Mortlach and tagged , , , .
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