Overall rating
Cadenhead (CA)
Bottling serie
Blended Scotch Whisky
Stated Age
20 years old
Sherry Butt
Batch 2
Number of bottles
46.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
08 Feb 2019 9:43 pm by chrizthewiz

Average value

€ 79.99

28 × in wishlist

79 × member ratings

119 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for William Cadenhead 20-year-old CA

14 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 87.35 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    [April, 2019] This is a new solera cask project Cadenhead introduced with a 20-years old blend - which is a nice idea to use in whisky maturation too (the Spaniards do this with sherry for ages). This second batch was created by adding Benrinnes malt and Strathclyde grain whisky to what was left from batch one...

    ...and the result is an easy quaffable dram with a rather simple but tasty profile. No flaw or off-note (certainly no sulphur) but no highlight either - but hey, priced at around 60 Eurobucks this is great stuff to quaff! I look forward to the next batches...
    • Nose
      86 86
      The colour is very dark at brown sherry and the nose offers a flawless modern sherry profile with some minor grainy aromas. There is not much of the malt(s) to detect. Some water helps to unlock the whisky aromas like honey, floral and waxy notes. This nose certainly improves on a reduction to about 38% abv, even the sherry aromas are more impressive now.
    • Taste
      87 87
      The taste is not layered but the flavours are strong and balanced - the sherry is not too dominating so the barley sugars, autumn floral and vanilla-toffee notes of the malts resp. grains contribute to an easy and flawless tasting profile. After some chewing a dark chocolatey flavour pops up and later some bitter herbal-tobacco notes join in. All in all a rather simple but nonetheless delicious taste that is esay to quaff. Water smoothes the taste but it gets flatter too, I like to nose this dram reduced but prefer to drink it neat (using two glasses).
    • Finish
      86 86
      The dram arrives warming and coating on the palate with no distracting moments. The finish is of medium length and turns more bitter over time (both tobacco and tannins) but it never gets unpleasant. The dark chocolate flavour lasts the longest - and provides an excellent farewell memory that way.

  2. chrizthewiz scored this whisky 92 points Expert Junior

    This Cadenhead Blend is from a living cask that is bottled in batches. Batch II contains Glenrothes, Benrinnes and Invergordon. All components are at least 20 years old. The liquid in the bottle is one of the darkest I have ever seen. The solera sherry cask must have been very active to say the least.

    Nose: Overripe raspberries, dark grapes, black cherries, strawberry bubblegum, creamy vanilla, garden herbs like rosmarin and thyme. A fistful of european oak. Polished mahoganytable. Leatherboots. An armagnac–like earthyness. A hint of musty woodsmoke from the Benrinnes appears in the back. Lovely. I would not have guessed a blend here. No grainy notes so far... Damp, old wine cellar, old books, wet earth. Dunnage warehouse. A sherry bodega in spain. Finally, some nice, buttery cereal notes from the aged grain show up. Toasted bread with salted butter and orange marmalade.

    Taste: Creamy and velvety arrival with lots of aged oloroso, sweet herbal liquors, Fernet Menta...? Nice development on bitter orangepeel, mint candy, brown sugar, maple syrup, rosmarin, fennel, thyme. English breakfast tea. Buttery shortbread and marzipan. A pinch of salt. In the finish the european oak kicks in with a spicy espresso kick.

    Comments: Already one of my favourites of 2019. This one just oozes aged dark sherry flavours. Tastes and smells much older. The small grain amount makes for a very nice sipping dram. A hint of smoke adds complexity. Also the strength is perfectly chosen. Makes you want to pour the next dram ;) Congrats to the blender, a great recipe. Looking forward to batch III. 92 (blend) points from me.


  3. Dre73 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    In taste and finish not as exciting as the great nose, but still a very good and pleasant dram, extra attractive because of its great colour...
    • Nose
      89 89
      Beautiful full sherry 'nose', chocolate, leather, coffee, brown sugar, prunes, raisins, cherries and raspberries.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Some pepper, pretty full taste, chocolate, prunes, some red fruit, creamy mouthfeel.
    • Finish
      87 87
      Still some pepper, chocolate, some red fruits, ending up with more honey-like sweetness.

  4. Tom na Gruagaich scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Crass part. Tasty, spicy but full sherry board, with an incredible toffee sweetness, especially in the mouth and at the beginning. However, nice start with his 46% and delicious to drink. Subtle is just different. The grain is noticeable minimal, but it is well integrated and rather delivers the sweet component in the blend.

  5. Defeatless scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Black as a Loch Dhu, but way more tasty. Don't know how they managed it, but it is really black.
    It is a nice blend for sure, but it is close to bland.
    I gave it time and gave it a little water, but it didn't help much.
    • Nose
      86 86
      Sweet corn syrup. Some red fruit, but according to the colour you should expect more sherry influence. After time and water it didn't change much.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Sweet and sour arrival. A little hint of sherry again. Mainly a bit sour though....Hint of caramel at the background.
      With water: gets better, more bread, more sherry and a little more body for some reason
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium length. A rounded finish with some caramel and sherry notes.
      With water: a little more bread.

  6. Sleinn nam Ffoh scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  7. Sandman scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Balsamic vinegar, wine-like, blueberries, blackberries, dark chocolate, cherries, plums, hints of nuts and a hint of rubber.
    • Taste
      Blueberries, blackberries, wine esteem, hint of coffee with milk, rubber band, orange, chocolate, grapefruit, sour cherries, hint of licorice, nuts, tobacco and leather.
    • Finish
      Medium to long, rubber, raspberry, blackberry, wine, blueberry, sour cherry, coffee, tobacco, hint of leather, chocolate, raisins.

  8. Erik1908 scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Got this as part of a bottle share with my WB friends. I guess this is by far the darkest whisky I have ever seen and tasted. It is close to the final bit of a cola bottle; of course without carbonic acid.

    Reading the notes here below, there must be Benrinnes inside this bottle which is one of my favorites; I for sure cannot reckognize this though.

    Looking at the scores above this cannot be bad; but I cannot go any further then 86 points. Probably very good, but not my cup of tea. I still have about 2 drams left in the 100ml bottle. I will give it a 2nd chance in the near future.
    • Nose
      86 86
      Sweet earthy smell. Strange sweetness though.
    • Taste
      86 86
      Dark fruit. Thick; again earthy taste. Some bitterness in the back.
    • Finish
      87 87
      I think the finish is the best part. Long and real warm.

  9. Cask1988 did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    The color and initial nose does make me wonder one thing: how empty has the cask really been when filled with whisky. It’s an extremely intens dark cola color despite of the (just) 46%.. This one needs time and quite a lot of it. Over time it definitely gets better! Don’t start to soon, you’ll be disapointed.
    • Nose
      Initially it seems to be closed. Not much more then sugar syrup and fresh typical grainy notes to be detected. I definitely cannot find any malt whisky without adding water. With water more of the malts seem to come out. There is a complexity comming with mild spices, and dark red fruits like berries and plums. Also some honey and coffee. Grain gets less present but still gives a very refined subtle light/fresh note. Yes with water and time it’s definetely improving.
    • Taste
      Weird on the initial taste. Quite a lot of tannines. Very thick and creamy. The grain gives some kind of light freshness in the middle of an malt dominated taste. The malt gives the body to the whisky. With water I get dark red fruits like plums and figs. Also a hint of raisins.
    • Finish
      Long length. Light and grainy af first with Grassy notes, hay and honey. After adding water a nice hint of Charred oak, cassis and a hint of figs. With water the finish also gets way more full and sticky then before. Clear Oloroso flavors accompanied with dried wood remain for quite a while.

  10. WhiskyFan2112 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    This bottle from Cadenhead was offered recently to taste at an evening where many other whiskies were opened to taste. In my experience, Cadenhead is fairly reliable over the years from what I've had the chance to taste. Let's see how this one tastes.

    Nose starts with stewed fruits and a bit of camphor. Then chocolate and coconut arrive followed by raspberry dessert topping.

    Palate shows chocolate and raspberries on vanilla ice cream. Creamy honey and toffee round it out for silkiness.

    Finish continues on with chocolate, raspberries and honey but then evolves into tobacco and some oaky moments that do not detract but give it a rounded finish.
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86


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