Google St. Magadalene 1982 by Cadenhead

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

December 23, 2014



St. Magadalene 1982
by Cadenhead

It really amazes me that Cadenhead still have some St. Magdalene! Proof? They just issued a new one, and I thought it’s a great opportunity to do another wee super-square session. Same vintage, same distillery, same bottler. And why not?

St. Magdalene 11 yo 1982/1994 (62.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection)

St. Magdalene 11 yo 1982/1994 (62.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection) Five stars You know why these bottlings are interesting, that’s because you’re supposed to find the original style of a long-gone distillery, especially when it’s as young as this. And as pale in colour. Colour: white wine. Nose: when I opened this bottle one moth ago the whisky was horribly brutal, but now I find it rather more approachable. As often with St. Magdalene, what’s really impressive is the petroly side, the extreme leafiness and the wonderful mineral profile. So even at 11 years old, it’s already very complex, with some mezcal, gravel, green tea, lamp oil, earth and tobacco. We aren’t far from the stunning Rare malts 19yo that had impressed us all at the time. With water: medicines? Chalk? Smoked tea? Mud? Menthol lozenges? Hessian? This so very St. Magdalene… Mouth (neat): cough, cough… It’s really strong, and all I get is quite a lot of apples and pears (young spirit) plus a greasy and ashy leafiness. Cough, cough… With water: but this is artisan, single village mezcal! Brine olives clay smoke tea grapefruit rhubarb ashes coal oil… Finish: long, sharp and precise, always with this leafy minerality. What a spirit. Chalky/grassy aftertaste. Comments: what a spirit indeed. What’s really fun is to check how un-Lowland St. Magdalene was. I had another 11 by CAD at 61.5% at WF 90, but this will be… SGP:372 - 91 points.

St. Magdalene 30 yo 1982/2012 (55.4%, Cadenhead, 192 bottles)

St. Magdalene 30 yo 1982/2012 (55.4%, Cadenhead, 192 bottles) Five stars Colour: pale gold. Nose: those are the wonders of refill wood, you keep the freshness and the original style. Indeed, we aren’t that far from the 11, this is just a little rounder, more mentholy, and even more complex. Clay, chalk, citrons, grapefruits and green tea coated with the finest honeydew and some kind of tar liqueur, Finnish style. And then more and more damp earth, humus, dead leaves, engine oil and all that. Just superb. With water: it gets very mineral. Schweppes, clay, mud, damp hessian, limestone… And in the background, a little lemon. Zing! Mouth (neat): extraordinary, and I mean it. I think we haven’t been paying enough attention to these whiskies when they were easily available, but now that this style is gone gone gone (all about the distillate, not all about stupid oak), all we can do is cry. Unless you’ve got a stash or close friends who’ve got one. With water: fat and nervous at the same time, immaculate, pristine, zesty, extremely mineral. Lemon oil. We’re close to some very petroly riesling once again, and we won’t complain. Finish: quite long, with a marvellous balance and an extreme cleanliness. Very tense whisky. Comments: I’m afraid this baby will be very hard to beat, but you never know, refill wood can do wonders to old whiskies. SGP:272 - 92 points (almost 93).

St. Magdalene 32 yo 1982/2014 (58.1%, Cadenhead) Five stars Well spotted, this is the brand new one! Older and stronger, that’s the spirit! It’ll only be out in January, so no picture yet. Colour: gold. Nose: I wouldn’t say it is very disappointing that this baby’s so close to the stunning 30 yo. Except that it’s a little closed… So… With water: incredible, this is even ‘higher’ than the 30. I guess you could keep these casks for one hundred years and the whisky would still be fresh and lively. I’d say this one’s a little more medicinal this time, always very mineral, and with subtle touches of fresh nuts and herbs. It is exactly my preferred style of whisky. There. Mouth (neat): makes you wanna sing a nice song. When sharpness is the greatest asset, there’s more lemon juice than in the biggest lemon. But indeed it is strong… With water: fab. Please call the anti-maltoporn brigade (they’re pretty busy these days, aren’t they). Finish: long, sharp, clean and superbly leafy and lemony. Comments: do you know that story about that Lowlander that used to be one of the best Highlanders? And I loved the medicinal side in this. What a whisky! SGP:272 - 93 points.

My oh my, another wonderful strike!

(and tack, Tomas)

More tasting notes Check the index of all St. Magdalene I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback








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