Cadenhead Club 2015 Glen Spey 1995

It is difficult not to walk into a Cadenhead shop without being enticed by something on sale. A widespread range of whiskies is often available at prices that hark back to an era when the whisky enthusiast was happy to hand over their cash in a fair trade. Not today's realm where prices rocket and quality plummets.

The Cadenhead seal of quality endures. Their range of whiskies are bottled in simple and informative packaging and charged accordingly. Every few months you can look forward to a new batch of releases and expanding your whisky experience.

If you are a regular shop visitor then it is worthwhile considering their Cadenhead Club scheme. As a member for an annual fee, you can collect a card stamp for every Cadenhead bottle you purchase. Collect six stamps and you're entitled to the exclusive Cadenhead Club bottling released normally around October.

In my case, visiting Cadenheads and purchasing a bottle is almost a monthly (if not worse) treat - so the membership makes sense. For 2015 I managed 3 completed cards, which translates into a trio of bottles. It's worth highlighting that based on feedback the scheme was updated in 2015 so that if you had enough cards you could choose to swap these for a previous Cadenhead release from the last three years, such as:

For 3 cards - 1 x 70cl of any Cadenhead whisky up to 20 year old
For 5 cards - 1 x70cl of any Cadenhead whisky up to 30 year old
For 8 cards - 1 x70cl of and Cadenhead whisky of any age

This does not include any closed distilleries, which are extremely popular yet its a worthwhile improvement. That's not to say there's anything wrong with the previous 2013 and 2014 Club bottlings - far from it in fact! If you're a member of a tasting group or pool together your purchasing power then 8 cards plus is achievable; I'm almost on card 3 for 2016 as I type this now.

The debut release was a 20 year old Glen Keith which you can read about here. This was followed in 2014 by a lovely Glenburgie, which I reviewed and went down very well with friends. And it was because of this standard that I decided against trading in any cards for a previous store release and went straight for the 2015 bottling.

This year its another sherry cask in the form of Glen Spey. Before the review lets deal with the details:

Distillery: Glen Spey
Distilled: 1995
Bottled: 2015 (20 years of age)
Strength: 52.7% vol
Cask: a sherry cask
Edition of: 180 bottles

Colour: hazelnut

Nose: very approachable with the sherry cask adding character rather than domination. Raisins, almonds with all-spice and beeswax. I'm feeling a Caribbean influence here before we're into orange peel, leather, cola cubes and maple syrup. Water reveals a slight perfume note.

Taste: the gentle aspect continues with ginger nut biscuits, marzipan, a Galaxy chocolate bar, cloves, cracked black pepper and then a rich black tea. We're back in the Caribbean with coconut before praline and pecan round off the trip.

Overall: this is far from a sherry monster or even a rogue. Refined and enjoyable. A dram that does the job and then a little more. Maybe one to enjoy with friends during the Speyside Whisky festival later this year! 

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