Of the four distilleries which once operated in the Esk valley near the north-eastern town of Brechin, Glencadam is the only one which remains. It was fortunate enough to be a key ingredient in several popular blends - Ballantine’s and later Stewart’s Cream of the Barley - meaning that it was sheltered from the worst of the market forces that closed its neighbours. Despite lying just half a mile from the River Esk, it draws its water from nearly 9 miles away: it rises in The Moorans springs and flows through the Unthank hills before reaching the distillery.
The distillery was closed at the turn of the millenium due to over-production - there simply wasn’t enough demand for whisky at the time. Thankfully this soon changed, and in 2003 the distillery was acquired by Angus Dundee Plc, who had already proven themselves with Tomintoul: they have been the first to showcase its excellent whisky as a single malt. It has a creamy icing-sugar character with slight herbal influences, lighter than its neighbours but still unmistakeably Highland, and in the past few years a number of accomplished cask finishes have proven its potential still further.