Google Special Releases Special, today Cardhu

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

September 7, 2020


Special Releases Special, today Cardhu

Always pleasant to be able to taste a new Cardhu. In some countries such as France and Spain, Cardhu’s the perfect access-category malt whisky, together with Glenfiddich and, perhaps, Glenmorangie. As for a proper sparring partner, we aren’t spoiled with choices anyway, so perhaps the 18?

Cardhu 18 yo (40%, OB, +/-2018)

Cardhu 18 yo (40%, OB, +/-2018) Four stars
It’s an expression I like, gentle and complex, even if I’m not sure we’re seeing it much on our favourite shelves these days. Colour: gold. Nose: very very nice, not too demanding but complex, a bit old-school (the school of the 1990s shall we say), with some malt, glazed chestnut, roasted nuts (aren’t roasted nuts disappearing from our malt whiskies?) and a large bag of Jaffa cakes. Orange blossom water. Wee touches of aniseed here and there, rose petals, stewed peaches, a little tamarind jam, some wee metallic touches (silverware)… Nutshell, something oriental. Mouth: excellent and not even very light. Marmalade, dried figs, raisins, walnut wine, pecan pie, honey-glazed nuts, Chinese pancake, maple syrup… I find this 18 really superb; only slight problem, it goes down like cold beer or wine. Finish: not too long for sure, but clean and wonderfully honeyed and nutty. What we call ‘chouchous’, or caramel-coated roasted peanuts. Simply a sin. Comments: a surprise, really. Have they upped their game? Do not overlook this expression of little Cardhu…
SGP:551 - 86 points.

Cardhu 11 yo 2008/2020 (56%, OB, Special Releases 2020, refill, new and ex-bourbon American oak)

Cardhu 11 yo 2008/2020 (56%, OB, Special Releases 2020, refill, new and ex-bourbon American oak) Four stars and a half
This will probably be the opposite of the 18. As I may have said earlier, and even if they do some odd (light) finishings here and there from time to time, I have the impression that Diageo are willing to let their distillates shine, rather than push ‘wood’ as others have been doing for at least ten years. After all, they’re distillers, not cabinetmakers. Loud applause at Château Whiskyfun, of course. Colour: light gold. Nose: very citric, slightly acid (remember acid drops?), and pretty terrific, I think. I’m reminded of those pale Rosebanks ‘Rare Malts’ that were so superb, and just love this nervous, tart, restless profile. Limoncello, hops, sourdough, there. With water: malt, cake, croissants, scones, lemon marmalade. Good continental breakfast. Mouth (neat): anybody who would have said this is Cardhu should be knighted in the Order of the Garter. Pure, luminous, citrusy, tense arrival, with a sweeter, rounder development on acacia honey. It’s not complex, but it’s perfect. With water: back on Rosebank, really. Life without sherry is a good life too. Finish: medium, pure, simple and superb, on more limoncello and some good beer. Comments: have to check the prices. This year’s line-up with the SRs is maybe not spectacular ‘on the paper’, but the cask selection is top-notch in my opinion.
SGP:651 - 89 points.

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