Another Dram From Angus

Taste Review #39 – Glencadam 10

This week’s review also comes from a random selection, and it’s a ten year old whisky from Glencadam. I did wonder if I should re-select the dram, as that is now the 4th 10 year old whisky I’ve reviewed in a row. I’m concerned that it is starting to seem I’ve had more 10 year olds than Jimmy Savile….

Did somebody mention 10 year olds?

Still, I decided it would be maybe good to continue with this taste test as Glencadam is owned by the same owners as the 10 year old from Tomintoul three weeks ago, so I thought despite the change in whisky region, let’s have a look to see if there are many differences.

The Glencadam distillery has been owned by Angus Dundee, a Scottish Independent distiller, since 2003. Glencadam sits in the region of Angus, which extends from just north of the city of Dundee up to the border with Aberdeenshire. It is bounded by the North Sea to the East and the Cairngorm Mountains in the West. It was founded in 1825, 2 years after the Excise Act was passed, and has been generally in operation since, being mothballed during both world wars and in 2000 when owned by Allied Domeq.

Glencadam Distillery

Glencadam is the last distillery in the Angus region; North Port, only a couple of hundred metres away in Brechin closed in 1983. Lochside in Montrose was closed forever in 1992, and Glen Esk (aka Hillside) distillery closed in 1985. The distillery sits on the north side of the town of Brechin (pronounces Bree-chin) with the ch being the silent sound as in Loch, not Lock. However if you pronounce it as Breekin, few will notice and less will care.

****Geek Fact**** Famous celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay mispronounced Brechin as ‘Breckin’ on on his road trip program. However, all of Scotland noticed and proceeded to take him to task. He’s Scottish? My ar*e!! See here for newspaper article and video!

Anyway, there’s not a lot to be said for Brechin, so we will move on. There isn’t a visitor centre at Glencadam at the time of writing, although one was approved for construction by the local council in May 2019, utilising existing buildings. Until that opens then if you are in the area, Fettercairn distillery is not too far away.

The bottle




10 years old


46% abv


Light straw


Quite light. Estery, fruity, floral, a touch of barley and vanilla. Light spices. I also got a touch of coconut after 20 minutes.


Fruity on arrival. Pleasant mouthfeel. Toffee, vanilla, creamy popcorn, light oaky sort of taste.


Medium. Oak spiciness continues. Barley notes. Fades out to a slight salinity. A wee bit of creamy custard in the background.

The Dram


I’ve seen plenty of people saying that this is a not a well known distillery, and their whiskies are lost in amongst the noise made by others promoting their brands. I have to agree, this is not a brand I am too familiar with.

I wouldn’t have guessed that this dram is 46% by its mouthfeel and taste. That’s how smooth it is. There are no over powering flavours and to be honest, I feel a lack of depth, but perhaps that is being unfair, as there is nothing really wrong with this whisky. Personally I don’t feel a strong connection to this whisky, as there aren’t any flavours in there that grab me, but that is just my palate.

There is an unusual fact about the two stills at Glencadam, and that is the Lyne arms that carry the evaporated spirit to the condensers from the stills are actually angled up rather than the usual downward slope. This increases reflux and copper contact, and makes a much lighter, floral spirit. Plus let’s not forget at 10 years old, this is still a relatively young whisky, and there are older expressions from this distillery that may be worth having.

This is a malt that has a lot in common with last week’s Tomintoul in the level of flavour, but this dram holds a bit more integrity with natural colour, a decent ABV that allows you to play with the strength by adding water, and non-chill filtered. For that it scores 4/4.

If you want a relatively uncomplicated, smooth taste at a slightly higher ABV, this one is a winner. My miniature cost me £6.05 at the Whisky Shop Dufftown. A full size bottle is around £36, and this I feel is good value, and I can recommend this malt. Though would I buy another? No. Based on this would I try more of the range? Definitely yes. And that brings me to a very convenient truth as I’ve just discovered the 15 year old in my sample box.

Certainly this distillery deserves to be better known

Slainte Mhath!


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Photo credits

Distillery – Angus Dundee. Used under fair use.

Jimmy Savile – Daily Record, used under fair use.

Other photos – authors own.