Whisky Review: Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate 2021

, | November 9, 2021

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Glemorangie. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Although, I am sure experiencing this whisky in the Highlands of Scotland would be the optimal tasting excursion, I took my bottle along with me for an escape to the Pacific Northwest Coastline. The smell and sound of salty waves in the background, a bright sun shining through scattered clouds, and a gentle cool breeze from the south truly elevated the drinking experience.

Founded in 1843 by the husband-and-wife duo of William and Anne Matheson, Glenmorangie distills one of the most recognizable flavor profiles in the Scotch Whisky world. What sets the Cadboll Estate bottling that I sampled this week apart from the other whiskies offered under the Glenmorangie label, is that it is distilled from their own barley harvested from the Cadboll Estate and aged in American oak.

When I sample Scotch whisky, I look for an experience that will take my palate a step further than just searching for flavors. I want to be transported to another place and allowed to sample the culture, the land, the air, and everything else that goes into that bottle on the other side of the world. It is an opportunity to travel during a time when travel seems next to impossible. When I think of the Highlands, my palate leans towards the flavors of Macallan, Benromach, and Dalwhinnie, with their bright, spicy notes, of citrus, and caramel paired with balanced oak and leather and just a whisper of smoke.

When I popped the top on this bottle, was I taken away to the rolling hills of Scotland? Or was I left sitting in my kitchen to sift through my memory banks in search of random flavors to connect with the bottle in front of me?

Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate 2021 review

Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate 2021 (image via John Dover)

Tasting Notes: Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate 2021

Vital Stats: 15 years old, aged in American oak, 43% ABV about $90

Appearance: Light golden color, hangs in a single sheet vs a leggy decent.

Nose: Delicate nose with citrus on the front. Buttery with a bit of saline similar to a salted caramel. Hint of white pepper.

Palate: Buttery and spicy with a firm presence of oak. Fruitiness is accentuated by an orange peel with a bit of pith for bitterness and just a hint of banana to soften the bright citrus notes. There is malt on the center of the tongue and a peppery bite that prickles with heat that builds over time. It’s not overly sweet, but there is a hint of honey and vanilla. The only negative notes I experienced were a bit of a medicinal aftertaste. But it was not enough to sway me from further sips.

The Takeaway


Glenmorangie is not a go-to Scotch for me. This bottling is the exception. With their attention to detail and presentation of flavors, they have struck a tone that is balanced and paints a picture of the traditions and landscape of the Scottish Highlands. Whether this result could have been achieved by their usual outsourcing of materials, or if it is because of the incorporation of their own grains, is not quite clear to me, but I for one am excited for this bottling and to see if the future is leaning towards this flavor profile for Glenmorangie.

User Review
2.78 (23 votes)


John Dover

As the creator and writer of “Johnny Scotch”, John Dover has built his Jazz Noir world from the music he is immersed in on a daily basis and from his travels across the US as a professional musician. John continues to build the “Johnny Scotch” library through short stories, and...