From a closed distillery, this investment-grade grain was one of the highest rated whiskies in Jim Murray's 2020 Bible. "Flawless." 97 points - Jim Murray
Cambus has been marketed at various ages, as well as a no-age-statement. Now a grandfather 40-year-old is on offer as part of Diageo’s 2016 Special Releases. It's also the oldest whisky in this year's collection and only the third time a grain whisky has featured since the Special release programme commenced in 2001.
A roller coaster history that started in the early 19th century finally came to a close in 1993 as part of Diageo’s infrastructure reorganisation. In 2011, the distilling equipment was removed and Cambus was converted to a warehouse and cooperage, consolidating nearby Carsebridge and Dundashill in Glasgow.
In Scotland, grain whiskies can be produced from almost any type of grain, however, the most common examples employ wheat, corn and a little malted barley. Column stills replace copper pot stills, the former resulting in a light, clean and fruity spirit, mostly used to stretch out blends. Not surprisingly, single grains are maligned by malt snobs yet this underdog category has its place. Matured in refill American oak hogsheads, just 1,812 bottles of this extraordinary dram have been produced. One for collectors, whisky nerds and completionists, it also comes with a glowing review from Serge Valentin below. Stocks are extremely limited.
Other reviews... One of the old closed grain distilleries, Cambus stopped working in 1993. The bottle is superb, I have to admit. Colour: gold. Nose: medicinal alcohol on croissants and coconut cake, plus a lot of custard and herbal tea. Dog roses, perhaps? Notes of mirabelle pie. A rather elegant grain whisky, I especially enjoy all this white chocolate that comes through after two minutes. With water: toasts and marmalade, in all softness. Mouth (neat): really very good (yes, S. speaking), full of mangos and papayas, plus plums and hay jelly. Hay jelly’s excellent, try that on foie gras! What’s really excellent as well is that it’s not too dominated by vanilla and coconut. Well it’s not dominated at all. Great surprise. With water: a little grenadine, rhubarb, and more rhubarb. Rhubarb pie with a little cinnamon, and drizzles of lime juice. Perhaps wacky guavas too. Finish: medium, clean, limy, soft, with a little lavender (sweets) and violet drops. Comments: seriously, this is an excellent surprise, on second thought there are even nods to high-end tequilas. Now could grain whisky, even when old, be worth £750, I don’t quite know, but what’s sure is that I like this Cambus just as much as last year’s Caledonian. 89 points