Reviewed by: Ted
The art of independent bottling is a fascinating one, taking the product of a distillery and aging it oneself in a new and interesting way. If performed successfully, the end product should hark back to it’s origins and yet metamorphose into something beguiling and delightful. A whisky butterfly if you will.
WM Cadenhead Ltd is Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, established in 1842. As such, they have had some time to perfect the art and their releases tend to command considerable respect.
The William Cadenhead Single Speyside Scotch Whisky that I was fortunate enough to try was a mere 40 years old! While the bottle did not reveal the origin of the spirit, I have been told that it allegedly contains spirit from Glenfarclas, a family-owned distillery steeped in tradition.
On the nose the William Cadenhead 40yo is like timber polished to the smoothness of glass using the finest vanilla and caramel scented beeswax.
In the mouth the spirit is what I imagine drinking satin would be like, rippling folds of cool smoothness sliding over the tongue and susurrating down the throat. The flavour is the lightest touch of honey, tree spices and dried fruits.
If you are ever fortunate enough to come across the William Cadenhead 40yo I would highly recommend taking the opportunity to try it. This is independent bottling at its most elegant.