Cadenheads Original Collection Royal Brackla 11yo & Cadenheads Original Collection Glen Elgin 13yo


Today we’re looking at two recent releases from Cadenheads Original Collection.

Cadenheads Original Collection Royal Brackla 11yo

Region: Highlands

ABV: 46.0%

Price: £65.00

First up a Royal Brackla that was re-racked into fino casks in March 2022.

Nose

The nose opens with solvent, pickling spices, paper mache, moving into butter biscuits, banana smoothies, a little green apple and some pear drops too. There’s a pleasant limeade aroma that starts to appear with more time and air, alongside grape must and creamy white chocolate. The alcohol feels reasonably well balanced, however it’s perhaps a touch too peppery in places, especially at the lower ABV.

Palate

The palate opens with key lime pie, honeycomb, buttery shortbread, caster sugar, as well as freshly picked white grapes, candied ginger and slightly drier oak flavours developing as it sits in the mouth. The mouthfeel is a little thin, it reminds us of a simple sugar syrup, but there’s a decent length finish with waffle cones, walnuts and dark chocolate. Overall it’s quite a sweet palate, although we wouldn’t have guessed fino - perhaps a different type of white wine cask.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose opens with maltier aromas, seeded wholemeal bread, malt loaf, raisins and sawn wood. There’s also whipped cream, more lime zest and some green apple too. It’s to too dissimilar to the unreduced nose.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate brings out more milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla cheesecake, a little bit of cinnamon sugar and toffee. It’s feels a little simpler now, more one-note, but still super drinkable. The mouthfeel hasn’t improved, but it’s maintained a good length finish.

Conclusion

An interesting fino cask finish - the nose was a little funky to begin with, a bit paint stripper like, but it opened up over time to bring out a fruiter side. The palate for us was quite a step up, having both lighter sugary sweet flavours and a slightly richer taste that developed over time, giving it an extra dimension. A little thin on the palate for us, and perhaps a little simple, but tasty whisky nonetheless.

Score: 6.5/10

Value

Seems a little expensive, even after the fino finish.


Cadenheads Original Collection Glen Elgin 13yo

Region: Speyside

ABV: 46.0%

Price: £55.00

This release was transferred to Manzanilla casks from bourbon for just over a year before being bottled.

Nose

The nose opens with sherbet, crisp red apples, sponge cake, strawberry jam, a handful of cherries in the background too. We’re finding some almonds, fresh cut grass, light honey aromas and vanilla custard too. The strawberry aroma intensifies as the dram develops in the glass. We’re also getting a bit of lemon balm and light toffee notes when we go back to the whisky after some time and air.

Palate

The palate opens with more of the strawberry from the nose, this time layered into a trifle with custard, sponge and some whipped cream on top. It’s very sweet, but not in a sickly sweet way, more of a rich dessert, and we’re also finding brandy snaps, apple compote and fudge. The mouthfeel is fine, nothing to write home about, and the finish lasts for a medium length with creamy coffee and ginger biscuits right at the end.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose brings more cream and caramel notes to the fore, we’re thinking Spanish creme caramel. Lots of vanilla bean now, a little icing sugar, all quite one-note.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate maintains the strawberry, strawberries and cream sweeties, honey, more cakeiness, really quite similar to the unreduced palate. It’s a simple dram, but we can’t deny it’s flavourful. The mouthfeel does take a bit of a hit when adding water though, and the dram doesn’t really benefit from it.

Conclusion

A vibrant nose bursting with sweet fruits and cake, we really enjoyed just sitting and nosing this one. The palate also delivered, albeit a little one-dimensionally. A session dram that we’d be happy to sip on a warm autumn day (if Scotland ever gets one of those this year). We’d like to see a bit higher ABV, maybe even 48-50% to give it a bit better of a mouthfeel and texture, but we’ll go with 7/10.

Score: 7/10

Value

We’d have like to have seen this at cask strength and £60, but even at 46% it’s not a bad price.

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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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