Cadenhead’s Enigma 25 Years

Cadenhead’s Enigma 25 Years

Cadenhead’s recently presented two bottlings called Enigma. One is a 15 year old blended Campbeltown malt, the other a 25 year old blended Scotch. There’s no further information on the components, except for the fact that it comes from refill sherry butts.


Enigma – Blended Scotch Whisky 25 yo (41,4%, Cadenhead’s 2023, refill sherry butts)

Nose: starts a bit shy, with high-pitched notes of sour wood, peaches and lemon icing sugar. Light solventy notes. Then some honeyed cereals come out, with more grapefruit, a little caramelized almond and toffee. Leather and hazelnuts. The grain component is easy to notice – it comes accross as a blend from a bygone era.

Mouth: a little weak, but showing a firm grainy side at the same time. This is similar to an old Invergordon, for instance. Mild coconut and citrus comes out, with a dash of white rum. Some sherry influence appears: raisins, walnuts, hints of dried herbs. Ginger and mild tannins. A hint of sawdust too. Then burnt sugar makes it slightly bitter. Flashes of Campbeltown show up, but don’t manage to break through.

Finish: decent length given the ABV, but it’s a tad harsh and spicy. Chestnut, cinnamon, citrus bitters and caramel.

I think this whisky is composed around some (under-proof?) grain whisky that was a lot older than 25 years and useless on its own. In that sense it is a little ill-defined, finding a nice way to get rid of it, rather than showcasing its qualities. Past its prime, in my opinion, and disappointing coming from Cadenhead. Less than € 100 but even then I wouldn’t recommend it.