Driving through South Ayrshire on a Saturday afternoon, I spotted a place called AD Rattray’s Whisky Experience & Whisky Shop. Of course, I had to pull in and check it out.
I swear to fuck…walking up the stairs, through that door and into the whisky shop was like entering a secret world of potential awesomeness unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. It was like Narnia or some shit.
A slick-looking foreign dude was helping some English tourists pick out something special and, while I waited my turn, I perused the stocked shelves and tried to quickly zone in on a bottle priced at less than my daily pay rate.
I’m very new to whisky, so ain’t no way I’m spunking £50 on anything unless I know for damn sure it’s the real deal.
When the salesman was free, he asked what I was looking for and I fronted up and admitted I was new to the game. I explained that the only whisky I’ve ever liked is stuff from the sweeter end of the scale. No peat at all.
I said I’d enjoyed Balvenie and Glenfiddich before, but that something even sweeter in a single malt would be right up my street.
That’s when he walked right over to the Glencadam Origin 1825 and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw the price came in at just £32. He then went on to explain that this was a ‘no age statement’ (or NAS) whisky. That is to say that the manufacturer doesn’t reveal the age of the drink, although it must be at least three years old to legally qualify as a Scotch single malt.
Not really giving a fuck about all that shit, I was happy to give it a try. And I was well impressed to be poured a small amount to smell and taste. The dude is a genius, as without doubt I’ve never enjoyed a straight sip of alcohol as much in my life.
It smells very strongly of vanilla, which of course just screams sweetness. It demands to be sipped – and sip I gladly did. Like any good whisky, there’s an instant warmth on the tongue. And that soon gives way to spicy fruit and more vanilla.
It lingers just long enough not to become unwelcome, and that’s when it’s time to take another sip.
I can’t say how happy I am that I listened to impulse and stopped at AD Rattray’s. Whisky is a complicated game and the guidance of an expert could be exactly what you need to find your perfect dram.
And in the Glencadam Origin 1825, I’ve certainly found mine.