Google Little Duos, Today Cardhu

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2022


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

May 18, 2022


Little Duos, Today Cardhu

Well, actually a trio since we just found another nice old one in Limburg. Anyway, the third Cardhu today will the only remaining Special Release 2021 that we haven't tried yet.

Magazine ad, mid-1960s. The golden age of advertising.

Cardhu 12 yo (40%, OB, UK, 75cl, +/-1978)

Cardhu 12 yo (40%, OB, UK, 75cl, +/-1978) Four stars
One of those excellent Cardhus straight from John Walker & Son in Kilmarnoch. Yep. Colour: full gold. Nose: cakes all over the place, fudge, toffee, milk chocolate, Nutella (apologies), nougat, with touches of pancake sauce and 'old tinbox'. Some stronger sweet and malty beer, I would say. A little ham. It's fatter than the current Cardhu 12 for sure, but not 'that' different on the nose. Mouth: exactly what would almost always happen when you try some much older versions of the heavy sellers ('livet 12, 'fiddich, 'morangie, Macallan…), these whiskies were simply fatter and deeper on the palate. Sure parts of those differences should stem from good OBE, but still, even at 40% vol. the texture was oilier, the scope of flavours was wider, and they would have teased the smokier, earthier and fatter edges of said scope. Finish: a little short(ish) but neither cardboardy nor dusty. Some sweet meatiness in the aftertaste, and even a little honey. Perhaps a little spirit caramel too but who cares, after so many years. Comments: no two batches were exactly the same, but this was clearly one of the better ones. Yes, despite the 40% vol.
SGP:452 - 87 points.

Cardhu 12 yo (43%, OB, Simon Frères France, 75cl, +/-1978)

Cardhu 12 yo (43%, OB, Simon Frères France, 75cl, +/-1978) Five stars
This is the Cardhu we used to sip when I was a student in France. Basically, we were only having this and Glenfiddich anyway, as far as I can remember and as far as malts were concerned. Indeed France was not quite Italy. What, you say it still isn't? Colour: straw. Paler batch, good news. Nose: much tighter, more on hay and grasses, citrus, damp earth, waxes, lemon, plasticine… You could almost believe this would have been Clynelish. Seriously! Mouth: holy featherless Prime Minister! This is incredibly dense, waxy, oily, earthy and lemony and you could almost believe it is some kind of shochu. Anyway, some fermentary notes of sake, lemon lime and yuzu, chalk and barley, touches of umami (like), paraffin… And, err, Clynelish. Finish: not eternal but still pretty long, with a wonderful waxy sourness, lemons, chalk, etc. Comments: not the first time I'm stumbling upon a 90er amongst these old Cardhus. Now once again, not all batches are of the same quality, even when bottled at 43 rather than 40% vol.

SGP:452 - 90 points.

Cardhu 14 yo 2006/2021 'The Scarlet Blossoms of Black Rock' (55.5%, OB, Special Release 2021, Untold Legends)

Cardhu 14 yo 2006/2021 'The Scarlet Blossoms of Black Rock' (55.5%, OB, Special Release 2021, Untold Legends) Four stars
This baby was finished in wine casks. I do notice that this has become an obsession at many a distiller and that un-finished, natural malt whiskies are slowly becoming exceptions. Same in the tea or potato crisps businesses, would we add… Even at Pringles'! Colour: white wine. Nose: as expected, this is much lighter and fruitier than the old expressions, much more on pears and gooseberries, leaves (sauvignon blanc) and anything from our friends Haribo's. Fine and literally lighter, despite the extra-12 or 15%. With water: marshmallows and liquorice allsorts, plus greengage gin. Excuse me? Indeed, greengage gin does exist (soon on WF!) Mouth (neat): good, modern, fresh and fruity, much easier than the old guys, but probably more unquestionable. Jellybeans, marshmallows, pear liqueur, acacia honey and rambutans. With water: very good easy modern unsherried Speyside-style, fruity, syrupy, easy and very drinkable. The wine doesn't feel 'as wine'. Finish: medium, syrupy, a tad more on citrus and stems. A drop of rose liqueur, perhaps? Comments: I would suppose you can't quite call a Special Release 'rather a mass-pleaser', but, well, there, I just did.

SGP:641 - 85 points.

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







Whiskyfun's Home