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The firm of William Cadenhead was founded in Aberdeen in 1842 and incorporated as a Limited Company in 1972. The Company's Registered Office is still in Aberdeen though the center of the commercial operations has been moved to Campbeltown where the bulk of the stock is warehoused and most of the bottling is carried out. The business was originally that of importers, bottlers and wholesalers of Scotch Malt Whisky and Demerara Rum. However, over the years William Cadenhead has expanded its product range and since 1972 bottles of Gin under its own brand name, Old Raj.
Gin is produced by compounding a Gin flavor (essence) with a neutral Scottish Grain Spirit. The Gin essence is prepared by steeping botanicals, principally Juniper, but also Coriander Seed, Angelica Root, and a few others in an alcohol/water mixture for 36 hours and then distilling after a partial reflux in a small pot still.
Cadenhead's Old Raj Gin is distinctive in that it contains a measure of saffron, the rare and costly spice derived from the crocus flower. In addition to a slightly spicy flavor, this also imparts a pale yellow color to Old Raj. The addition of the saffron is undertaken personally by the Company Chairman, in order to ensure a consistency in flavor and color each time Old Raj is bottled.
This Old Raj Gin is bottled at 55% ABV and represents a further departure from standard gin bottlings which are generally bottled at 40% ABV or less. Old Raj is a quality-oriented product targeted, as in the case of all Cadenhead products, at the knowledgeable spirits consumer.
96 pts - "This pale straw-colored gin charges up the nostrils with juniper aromas leading the way, citrus zest following, and a wonderful mélange of nuts and spices bringing up the rear. The body is big, and the ultradry palate is almost identical to the nose, but here, the flavors are so well integrated that subtlety seems to be the name of the game, and a softness develops in the backdrop. The finish is crisp, clean and very dry." --The Wine Enthusiast (Feb. 2000)
"... expensive, but worth it." --Playboy Magazine (Dec. 1999)
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