This is the grain distillery that should I suppose be classed as the major league monster of grain whisky production, recognised as the largest producer of grain whisky in Europe this diageo owned distillery was founded in 1813 but records show a licence was not granted until 1824 when John Haig the grandson of Robert Haig officially started to legally make whisky on the site.
The distillery originally ran unlicensed as a malt whisky producer until closing its doors in 1815 and re opening in 1821 to produce both malt and grain whiskies. Both malt and grain whisky was produced at Cameronbridge until 1929 when the distillery went to grain only, and although today it is still known as a grain distillery it also produces neutral spirit for brands such as Gordon’s Gin, Smirnoff and Pimms.
Cameronbridge 39 year old batch 7
Age.. 39 years
Bottler.. That Boutiquey Whisky Company
Nose.. A real inviting sweetness rises and introduces the senses to a barrage of vanilla, caramel, apple pie and orange peel.. Cinnamon and ginger biscuits mingle with coffee notes and dark chocolate..
Palate.. The sharpness that is typical of grain whisky brings you nicely into a creaminess and sweetness that you associate with these older grains.. Caramel, toffee and a little heat from the ginger really bring this whisky to life.
Finish.. Spicy hot.
Thoughts.. There is grain whisky and then there is old grain whisky.. Obvious I know but those that are in the know as they say understand what I mean.. There is a vast difference between the run of the mill grain whisky intended for the blend market and the liquid that escaped the early cut off and just left to extract everything the cask has to offer..
In theory grain whisky wasn’t really intended to be this old, initially filled into overused casks that were generally past their best and could no longer offer the malt whisky producers what they were looking for the grain whisky has always been intended to be taste neutral.
I don’t know if it was by mistake as all good things seem to be or just great insight but whoever realised grain whisky could actually be this good at a older age was somewhat a front runner and a genius..
Today many of the distilleries, Independent bottlers and investors are looking towards the grain market to offer up a higher standard and to achieve this far more spirit is going into better quality casks in order to achieve results at a younger age.. Get ready to say goodbye to the bargain bottles of single grain whisky!!
Independent bottlers still offer up the best opportunity to buy good value bottles but as anyone who keeps an eye on the prices will tell you the prices of older grain and some younger expressions is actually starting to jump dramatically in price.
Have you missed the boat as they say ? Well not quite.. But if you hang about then believe me it won’t be long before this too becomes a luxury product rather than an affordable drink..
So the question I suppose is .. At £199.95 for this 39 year old whisky is it still something that can be called affordable? And is it a good whisky ? .
In my opinion it is ! But I know many out there don’t have the same budget I have and when you start talking about £200 for a bottle of whisky then is it really something most people will even think about buying..
The argument has to be, the price in no way affects what’s in the bottle, all it does is split the market into those who can and can’t or even won’t buy it..
Those who do buy it will sit and savour every last drop, smile and reminisce over what has been a superb tasting, extremely enjoyable whisky..
Those who can’t afford to buy it will wonder what it’s like to taste it unless they get lucky and find it at one of the many festivals around the world.. Then we have the grumpy brigade, these will indeed moan about the affordability to taste ratio, shout loudly at how it just isn’t the done thing and insist it’s an average whisky in order to be seen as they are the all knowing messiah..
Anyway, which ever way you go just know these old grains will only go one way price wise.. Upwards !! Grab them while you still can.. Enjoy the journey, life is too short and complicated to be grumpy and negative..
This sample was kindly supplied by That Boutique-y Whisky Company for the Dram Good Club members, this is an organisation that has only one rule..
Share it far and wide !!
That Boutiquey Whisky Company understands my opinions and ranting are all subjective and are in no way swayed by the sample..