The nose opens with heather and boiled ham. Or perhaps a pig named Heather. Or pygmy heather. Take your pick–it’s lovely any way you cut it. There’s also something clean and limestone-esque lurking in there somewhere, not unlike coming upon an ancient stone temple hidden deep in a lush jungle forest. Or maybe it’s more like finding a calcium lick.
The mouth presents with some fire and some pulverized whole lemons, with rind, skin, and a branch with some leaves getting in there. Digging deeper one finds gypsum weed, caramel, and melons, melons everywhere! And some glorious drops to drink. And we are thankful.
The finish is long and muted. It’s subtle and awe-inspiring: it’s the beauty of a butterfly rather than that of sunset. Add some water, and it opens up interestingly, like Robert McNamara in The Fog of War. It offers notes of defatted butter and of a gardenia and a magnolia fighting it out in a high/low civil war that’s utterly civil and in no way internecine. With water, it tastes like what I wish a honeydew melon tasted like. As the water opens it up, it gets improbably even more beautiful, as if a blowtorch transformed into a warming hearth before one’s eyes. Pull up a chair and put up your feet.
The Glencadam 22 Year from The Rare Casks is this picture–Not what you were expecting? Better than you’d thought you’d get? Both are true of this whisky as well. And that’d be true even if your expectations were quite high.
–Our thanks to Abbey Whisky for the sample!
*–The Rare Casks is Abbey Whisky‘s exclusive range of single malt Scotch whiskies.