Google Cardhu vs Cardow

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

April 8, 2020



The Confined Sessions
Middle-aged Cardhu
vs. middle-aged Cardow

Just because we can at this moment. Remember, Cardhu is the home distillery of Johnny Walker. Well it was, is that still the case?

Cardhu 15 yo (40%, OB, +/-2017)

Cardhu 15 yo (40%, OB, +/-2017) Two stars and a half
The light Cardhu is really big in France, where they kind of position it as a slightly ‘feminine’ whisky. Not that they would say that as such, but they really push the story about the distillery’s founder, Helen Cumming. Even if I believe she was actually just the wife of the founder, a certain John Cumming. Oh well, nothing too important… Colour: full yellowish gold, sot totally natural (I think yellow or orange tones usually give caramel away). Nose: it’ really light, pretty fresh, rather on cereals, chicory coffee, Jaffa cakes, butterscotch and custard, as well as floral tones, dandelions, buttercups, nectar…. All that works, it's really very pleasant and does not call for ice at all. Yet? Mouth: starts well, fresh, floral again, with nice touches of Cointreau, citron liqueur, even limoncello and a drop of crème de menthe. All real good, but it tends to lose steam after fifteen seconds, becoming a little drying, with some cardboard and supermarket tea (I mean tea powder). That’s where you would think you should add two or three ice cubes. The fate of many a high-volume malt whisky at low strength, sadly. Finish: short, dry, with not much happening. Comments: they should do with these malts like what the monks do at Westvleteren, having a 6, an 8 and a 12. In the case of these malt whiskies, a 40, a 43, and a 46! Nose and arrival were pretty perfect.
SGP:441 - 79 points.

And now an old brother…

Cardow 16 yo 1962/1979 (80°proof, Cadenhead, black dumpy)

Cardow 16 yo 1962/1979 (80°proof, Cadenhead, black dumpy) Two stars
This rare baby from when Cadenhead was still located in Aberdeen, and Cardhu still called Cardow Distillery. By the way, I know that Diageo have stenciled quite some casks of Cardhu ‘Cardow’ when they were having those Cardhus ‘Pure Malt’ around ten or twelve years ago (or more?) but I do not know if they’ll ever see the light of day as ‘Cardow’. Doubt it! Hey, are you following me? Let’s proceed to the tasting then… Colour: gold. Nose: ho-ho-ho, violets (the actual flowers, no chemicals involved), an unexpected feeling of Laphroaig 1966 (or 10yo Bonfanti), loads of passion fruits and oranges, and a pretty sumptuous floral side again, around orange blossoms and lime. Exquisite but not really a surprise as some of the old official ‘tall bottle white label’ could be just as incredible. Strictly nothing to do with contemporary offerings, but volumes produced are incomparable as well. Mouth: nah, it was all good while it lasted, but this palate went bitterish, cardboardy, and just rather flat. A shame since you can still feel, in the background of the background, some citrus fading way like an old three-master that had left the harbour thirty minutes ago (what?) … Finish: not much to say. Some cardboard and touches of burnt lavender. Okay… Comments: hard do score. 92 for the nose, 20 for the palate, that’s 61 on average, plus 10 extra-points as the preserve of the ruler (that’s me).
SGP:551 - 71 points.

(Thank you Angus)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Cardhu we've tasted so far







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