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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

December 26, 2013


Cardhu 12 and the new 21

There are more official Cardhus these days, such as a 15 and a 18, not to mention the 'Special Cask Reserves'. Malt geeks usually think that Cardhu's too simple, too easy or too 'middle of the road', but both the 1997 Manager's Choice and the 22 yo 1982 from a few years back proved them wrong. Partially wrong, that is. Today we're having the new Special Release, and the current 12 as the apéritif. Well, in France, most people drink the 12 as an apéritif anyway.

Cardhu 12 yo (40%, OB, +/-2013)

Cardhu 12 yo (40%, OB, +/-2013) Two stars and a half Ouch, just found out that the last time I tried Cardhu 12, that was the infamous 'Pure Malt' version in 2006 (WF 76). Colour: gold. Nose: toasted bread, vanilla, brioche, a little honey, roasted nuts, malt and that's it. Certainly not unpleasant, and certainly very easy. Also a little maple syrup. Mouth: easy and light, honeyed, with overripe apples, quite some malt and the same touches of toasted brioche. Add a few aisins (rather muscaty, those raisins) and you have it. Doesn't feel weak at 40% vol., which is obviously good news. Finish: quite short, more on tea and caramel. A little chocolate. Comments: this one really does the job, it won't offend anyone and actually please everyone. Better than earlier bottlings from the 1990s or early 2000s in my opinion. Thanks to the raisins? SGP:441 - 78 points.

Cardhu 21 y 1991/2013 (54.2%, OB, Special Release)

Cardhu 21 y 1991/2013 (54.2%, OB, Special Release) Three stars and a half I've read this baby is fully ex-bourbon wood. Colour: full gold. Nose: first the 12 on steroids (cake, nuts, caramel) and with more grass, then a rather oaky profile that unfolds with a lot of polished wood, sawdust, vanilla and tea. A little menthol as well. I think this one really needs water to become more expressive, but I'd say it's very bourbony at this point, in the style of the new Oban 21. With water: oranges. Bags of oranges. And always a grassiness... Mouth (neat): rich and creamy, some active American oak at work. Lemon balm, sandalwood, then more chocolate, strong honey and corn syrup? Caramelized peanuts. A wee prickliness - or is that a fizziness? With water: and once again, more oranges, tangerines, marmalade... But the whole remains rather light despite a thickish mouth feel. Finish: relatively short, on oranges and malt, with an oaky signature. Black tea, a funny hint of tarragon in the aftertaste, probably from the oak. Comments: feels a little engineered, but it's certainly all good, even if we're nowhere near the old 1982 in y opinion. SGP:451 - 84 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Cardhu I've tasted so far







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