Cadenheads Miltonduff 14yo (Edinburgh Shop Exclusive) & Cadenheads Aultmore 15yo (Club Bottle)


We're looking at two heavily sherried Speysiders, both bottled by Cadenheads. One is a Cadenhead club exclusive, and the other is an exclusive from the Edinburgh Shop.

Cadenheads Miltonduff 14yo (Edinburgh Shop Exclusive)

Region: Speyside

ABV: 51.6%

Price: £65.00

This 14yo release was finished in Oloroso Sherry Cask since March 2020. It was bottled in 2022 for the Edinburgh branch of Cadenheads.

Nose

Rich treacle, raisin, bassets fruit salad sweeties. There’s a charred note here, giving the whisky a slight smokiness. We’re also finding blackcurrants, blackberries, grapefruit and torched orange rind. Giving it some time, we’re finding torched sugar, creme brûlée-esque with a touch of acidity reminding us of sherry vinegar. There’s a slight mustiness and soft leather appearing too.

Palate

A big sherry hit with cloves, cinnamon and dried fruits. There’s dark chocolate, coffee beans and cherry syrup as the palate develops. The finish is a little bitter and woody, a lot of the sweetness has disappeared and we’re getting a little bit of black pepper and raw alcohol coming through. The mouthfeel is nice, full bodied with a little creaminess.

Nose (with water)

We’re finding aniseed, cloves, liquorice, wet soil and wild mushrooms. Dilution has brought some of the fresher fruits to the front of the palate, and pushed some of the richer, dried fruit aromas back. We’re finding more complexity with water, there’s now some additional aromas we wouldn’t necessarily classify as the usual sherry notes starting to appear.

Palate (with water)

There’s more bitterness now, alcohol forward and a slight acid reflux sensation that lingers for quite a long time. Nail varnish remover, citrus, a little blackcurrant syrup and oak spice. The mouthfeel is retained and the length of the finish remains long, but we’re still not big fans of the lingering flavours.

Conclusion

A big hit of sherry, relatively good balance with the alcohol but we’re not big fans of the bitter finish. The addition of water brings a fresher slant to the nose, but enhances the bitterness and alcohol on the palate. It’s a good whisky but the bitter, alcohol forward finish lets it down. Good price as well. If you like your sherried whiskies, you’ll enjoy this, although worth noting it lies on the spicer side of sherries drams.

Score: 7.5/10


Cadenheads Aultmore 15yo (Club Bottle)

Region: Speyside

ABV: 54.8%

Price: £65.00

This Cadenhead bottling was a vatting of two bourbon and one Oloroso sherry cask.

Nose

Initial notes of chocolate, hazelnuts, some Chantilly cream and butterscotch angel delight. There’s a syrupiness here, but it’s not overwhelming, likely the mixture of bourbon and sherry casks balancing it nicely. There’s some orange peel, dates, blueberries and a little brown sugar too. We’re finding a slight bitter note reminding us of lightly roasted coffee and some earthy, mushroom-like aromas in the background. The alcohol is very restrained, giving lots of room for the other aromas to shine.

Palate

A mixture of dark chocolate nibs and coffee beans. It’s like an espresso martini, bringing in some of those creamier, milkier notes. Kahlua, vanilla, peppery spice but it’s very well balanced between the sweeter, richer notes. We’re also finding prunes boiled down into a chunky jam, cinnamon and aniseed. The mouthfeel is creamy - not oily but still nice, and the finish has a lasting flavour of bitterness, but balanced with some sweeter oak and sherry flavours.

Nose (with water)

The intensity of the fruit notes before have receded, and the chocolate/coffee/milk aromas have really come to the forefront. We’re getting a little bit of sourness, maybe sherry vinegar? We preferred the undiluted nose.

Palate (with water)

It’s gotten a fair bit spicier, changing from a pepper to a chilli spice. The alcohol is more prominent, and it feels a little rougher as you swallow. It’s now woodier, with burnt coffee and a touch of that sherry vinegar from the nose.

Conclusion

As a mixture of 66% bourbon and 33% sherry casks, we’re getting a lot more of the sherry influence than expected. Saying that, the bourbon maturation has added a nice creaminess to the whisky, balancing those richer flavours well. The alcohol is also very well integrated on the nose and palate, making it a very enjoyable experience overall. It brings out the best qualities of both cask types and brings them into harmony. We’d avoid water, it brings out rougher, spicer notes and mutes some of the more intricate fruit flavours and aromas. An easy buy at £65.

Score: 8/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

    Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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