The Sovereign is one of the ranges of Hunter Laing, the company of Stewart Laing and his sons Andrew and Scott, since Douglas Laing was split between the two brothers in February 2013. Some of their better known ranges are Old Malt Cask and Old & Rare Platinum.
Cameronbridge is a grain distillery which was established in 1824 as the Haig distillery. In 1826 it became the first distillery to produce grain whisky using the column still concept. For some time it produced both grain and malt whisky, until it shifted exclusively towards grain in 1929. The current still house is much younger, it was expanded and reopened in 2000.
Nowadays Cameronbridge is owned by Diageo and it’s the largest grain distillery in Scotland. Their grain production is a key element in the Johnnie Walker blends, but they produce other spirits like Pimm’s, Smirnoff, Tanqueray and Gordon’s gin as well.
Cameronbridge 23 yo 1990
(59,2%, Hunter Laing ‘The Sovereign’ 2013, ref. 9860)
Nose: grainy and oaky at first. Vanilla, quite some oak varnish and a whole warehouse full of freshly sawn wood. Pencil shavings. White pepper. Underneath is some icing sugar. Also typical coconut notes.
Mouth: sweet and spicy, with a big alcohol / wood kick. It’s simply too hot. With some water, fruity notes come out (slightly synthetic pineapple and banana, also lemon sweets and tinned peach). Vanilla and coconut cream. The oak stays pretty loud: clove, pepper and an oaky bitterness.
Finish: medium, warm, sweet with some zesty grapefruit.
Slightly difficult to assess. Some nice grain whisky notes, but the palate needs water. At the same time this makes the nose a little tame. Also the oak is hard to filter out. Around € 100.