Single malt whisky - tasting notes

15 Apr 2010

Cambus 1986 24y (Bladnoch forum)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Grain

I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of Cambus until Raymond bottled this 24 years old Cambus 1986 for the Bladnoch Forum. It’s a Lowlands grain distillery that was part of United Distillers / Diageo before being closed in 1993. Cambus is used in blends like Famous Grouse. In 2009, Diageo announced it would open a new cooperage plant at Cambus.

There used to be a semi-official 15 year-old and a few independent bottlings were made available by Cadenhead and Signatory, but it’s very rare.


Cambus 1986 24yo Bladnoch Cambus 24 yo 1986 (54,7%, Bladnoch forum 2010, hogshead #18988)

Nose: a lot of vanilla on a background of toasted bread. Crême de banane. Some apple. Sweet but rather high on alcohol and sharp wood. Hints of glue. Not too complex. I’ve tried this in different glasses because in some types it just doesn’t seem to express itself. Water helps to bring out coconut, which is nice. Mouth: not so typical. Big notes of caramel and lots of wood. Honey. Bittersweet notes of oranges. Overall quite nice but also quite neutral: grains, alcohol and plain oak or so it seems. Water helps to soften it again and make it more flavourful (vanilla and coconut again). Finish: rather short, with juicy oak and zesty oranges.

Maybe it doesn’t make sense to complain because Bladnoch Forum bottlings have extremely competitive prices, but still this was a slight disappointment. Available from Bladnoch – £ 35.

Score: 79/100

ps/ Perfect timing: Diageo’s plans for the Cambus cooperage plant have been accepted yesterday. It will be operational by 2011.

Cambus 1986 24y (Bladnoch forum) 2.5 Ruben Luyten 2010-04-15
  • Douglas

    Interesting notes, Ruben, consistent with what others have said on the Bladnoch forum though they seemed to enjoy it a little more than you.

    Do you still have any of the Invergordon from last month? John Glaser created a fine whisky in Hedonism from Cambus and Cameronbridge and I wondered if a mix of the gentler Invergordon with this more assertive Cambus might also create a sum greater than its parts?

    Thanks for all your notes by the way. I always find them helpful and often in line with my own experiences although funnily enough my final ratings are often at odds with yours. I suppose we taste the same things but our own palates determine how much we enjoy them!

    Cheers, and long may you continue.

  • Ruben

    Hi Douglas, thank for your kind words. Yes, I have some Invergordon left, but I’m not sure I want to use my leftover to make this blend. I guess it will be relevant for very few people anyway and John Glaser would be hard to beat 😉
    For me, the actual score is less important, as personal preferences can never be avoided in that of course. I try to write my tasting notes in an objective way (simply what I can detect) and leave the appreciation for the conclusion. I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts by the way, whether you agree or not!

  • sue

    Hi Ruben,
    I’m Sue from Bladnoch Distillery.
    At the moment I’m working on an archive of tasting notes for Bladnoch and our Forum Bottles. I wondered if you’d allow me to use your notes from your site? I’d obviously credit them to you.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

  • Ruben

    Hi Sue,
    Sure, no problem to quote them with the right credits.
    Best regards

  • nulty

    I tried the bottling of cask #18989 recently and quite enjoyed it.

    Exotic fruits, dry coconut on the nose.
    Coffee, grilled peanuts and some spices for the finish.



December 2015
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Coming up

  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1935 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.