Cadenheads Enigma Highland 23yo & Cadenheads Longrow 16yo Authentic Collection February 2024


We've got a few releases from Cadenheads including another from the Enigma series as well as a sought after Campbeltown release.

Cadenheads Enigma Highland 23yo

Region: Highlands

ABV: 51.8%

Price: £175.00

There’s not much information about this release, except that it was distilled in 2000, and matured in bourbon hogshead (we’re also told this is a Clynelish from a reliable source). There's no mentioning of how many bottles were made available.

Nose

The initial aromas are play-doh, black pepper, crème brûlée, sugared almonds, lemon bonbons, and pineapple. Upon revisiting, the nose reveals a fizziness reminiscent of lemon sherbet, complemented by honey, and hints of rice pudding. Nothing here screams Clynelish to us.

Palate

The palate has a hefty whack of spice, that’s a little surprising given its ABV, pushing past that and there’s orange juice, golden syrup, dry wood, tobacco, and green apples. The spice dominates the sweeter notes in the finish. The mouthfeel falls a little short of our expectations. We’re not really getting any wax on the palate, It’s also quite dry, and a little too bitter for us.

Nose (with water)

Water has brought out treacle, burnt brown sugar, vanilla ice cream, and tobacco on the nose. It’s still a pleasant enough nose, but it’s become one dimensionally sweet with the newer notes overpowering the more interesting pre dilution notes.

Palate (with water)

The addition of water has somewhat tempered the spice, which is beneficial, yet the finish remains excessively spicy for our taste, and the mouthfeel continues to disappoint. Overall, the whisky remains largely unchanged, as most of the pre-dilution notes persist.

Conclusion

We had high hopes for this one. Aged Clynelish plus Cadenhead should be a sure fire winner, but this has fallen short of our significant expectations. It’s saved somewhat by the nose, but it’s not enough for us to give it higher than a 6/10.

Score: 6/10

Value

Not cheap for a 23yo, but if it is a Clynelish as rumoured then the price makes more sense.


Cadenheads Longrow 16yo Authentic Collection February 2024

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 54.2%

Price: £105.00

Next up is a 16yo Longrow that was distilled in 2007 and matured in a Sauternes cask. 228 bottles were released.

Nose

The nose offers aromas of wet pebbles, strawberry Chewits, roasted cashew nuts, TCP, Tizer, and fudge fingers. Upon revisiting, notes of marshmallows, ash, and strawberry syrup emerge. Great nose that makes us excited to dive into the palate.

Palate

The whisky boasts a lovely oily mouthfeel, with the palate reflecting the nose in many aspects, abundant in strawberry syrup and Tizer. Notes of orange peel, ham, pineapple juice, and Manuka honey also feature prominently, persisting alongside a little smoke and a hint of black pepper spice on the finish.

Nose (with water)

Adding water introduces notes of warehouse funk, additional marshmallows, sea breeze, and caramel. Beyond these additions, the profile remains largely consistent with the pre-dilution nose, albeit with perhaps a slight reduction in peatiness.

Palate (with water)

With reduction, the palate reveals an increase in spice and a decrease in peat. Flavours of orange marmalade, smoked haddock, and chippy grease come to the forefront. The mouthfeel continues to be lovely, and the finish maintains its good length, yet the presence of pepper spice persists throughout the dram. Personally, we found it more appealing undiluted.

Conclusion

We find Sauternes casks can be hit or miss, but this is a really interesting and quite tasty expression of Longrow. Some will probably rate this a little higher, but our personal preference puts this at a 7.5.

Score: 7.5/10

Value

You could argue this is too expensive at £105, but that hasn’t stopped this from selling out quickly.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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