Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

Red fruit (or is it?) all over Glencadam Reserva PX

Glencadam might well be one of the last sleeping giants in the Scotch whisky industry. Established already in 1825 it never really gained a reputation as a go-to malt for really classy output. Around 2000 the distillery was even mothballed for a few years, until new owners Angus Dundee Distillers swooped in. The festive year of 2025 will be celebrated with the opening of a visitor centre (source: Malt Whisky Yearbook 2024). Long overdue, if you ask me. Glencadam has been quietly releasing interesting bottles, one of which we will try today.

A thought about ‘red fruits’ in our whisky. I notice more and more whisky being finished in PX-casks. I understand the attraction of it: it gives your Scotch a lot of colour, and it is almost like putting a sweetener in your malt. I meet the success of these bottles with mixed feelings.

I love red fruit, but the kind that used to come from oloroso casks, that tend to also give more depth and spices than the very frontal PX-casks.

 But it seems a lot of “old-fashioned” sherry casks are gone, with today’s casks giving more nutty flavours than red fruit. The PX-casks have to do all the heavy lifting. But still, it is a different kind of “red”, if you catch my drift. More marmalade, sticky stuff, sometimes giving more of a Port Wine vibe than anything else. Anyway, let us produce some whisky tasting notes about this one.

Glencadam Small Batch – Reserva PX, bottled at 46 % abv

Makeup: This bottlings consists of bourbon matured Glencadam, then finish in PX butts sourced from Andalucia, Spain. Natural colour, non-chill filtered. No numbers on batch size or how long the whisky was left in the PX butts.

General impressions: Well, this holds the middle between classic and modern red fruit infusion in whisky. There is definitely a sticky feeling coming from the glass, but also an abundance of cherries, strawberries and juicy Merlot wine. Still, in the depths of it all, I can still detect the malty base of the core product. Very balanced.

Taking a sip and we continue on this road. There are fruity notes, but the wood spices of not only the PX butts but also a distinct vanilla characteristic balances it all out. I am very impressed by how well all these components play together. There is a chocolatey aftertaste that lingers for a few moments. No discernible off notes to be found. Almost miraculously, I might add.

Conclusion: One of the better PX-influenced whisky’s I have tried, I must say. The colour would make you think of a long finish, but the taste makes me think it was exactly short enough to make this a malt whisky, not a “whinesky”. Excellent work, and that all for under 50 euro. Stock up! I know my wife wants me to, it has quickly become a favourite in our household.

Score:86 points


Disclaimer: taken from a self-bought bottle at Slijterij Wijnhandel Bartels in Zwolle, NL.

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