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

November 16, 2022


Little duos, today Cardhu

There was a Cardhu amongst this year's Special Releases. Let's first find a sparring partner, it's not that we're spoilt for choice…




Cardhu 'Gold  Reserve' (40%, OB, +/-2021)

Cardhu 'Gold  Reserve' (40%, OB, +/-2021) Two stars and a half
We've tried the Gold Reserve that came within the Game of Throne series (a little pedestrian in my book) but I don't think we've properly tried the regular Gold Reserve. Colour: pale gold. Nose: starts with sunflower oil and a little hay, then we have pear and apple cakes, a little shortbread, williams pears, vanilla, ripe bananas, acacia honey, a little nougat and popcorn, brioche… All that is very soft and rather 'mono-cluster', but there's probably nothing wrong with that. Mouth: it doesn't quite have the polish and the softness that was to be found in the nose, this is rather grassier, with some tea and a little marmalade, biscuits, perhaps a wee cup of Tio Pepe, banana skin, hops, marzipan… Finish: relatively short, more austere, with rather more grass. The aftertaste on oranges is rather nicer, sweeter. Comments: a Gold Reserve it may be, but it's probably not exactly Fort Knox flavour-wise.
SGP:541 - 77 points.

Cardhu 16 yo 'The Hidden Paradise of Black Rock' (58%, OB, Special Releases 2022, Elusive Expressions, 2022)

Cardhu 16 yo 'The Hidden Paradise of Black Rock' (58%, OB, Special Releases 2022, Elusive Expressions, 2022) Four stars
More of this year's very esoteric and lavishly illustrated Special Releases. This one matured in refill American oak and was then finished in Jamaican rum. They've also filled some of those very lovely 20cl bottles, as they did in the past with some Port Ellens and some… Loch Dhu. And the Classic Malts, naturally. No, nothing to do with shrinkflation. Colour: white wine. Nose: a little fruity glue at first, or nail polish, with some peach and strawberry syrups, then indeed a few tropical fruits from the rum, mostly pineapples, as well as fresh raisin rolls. This was finished in Jamaican pot-still rum but I'm not fining anything really 'funky'. Probably not what they would have tried to come up with in the first place. With water: perhaps, indeed, a little olive oil, which would make the texture rather a little thicker on the nose. Some good folks are making chocolate using olive oil, which I find rather good too. Nice nose, nonetheless. Mouth (neat): really to my liking, rather spicy but more malt whisky than rumsky, if you see what I mean. It's just a little hot. More raisin rolls. With water: the rum's influence got more obvious, with more pineapple, a little more olive oil, Juicy Fruit… Finish: medium, on allspice, honey and, perhaps, papaya ice cream. A touch of viognier too but indeed, viognier can get very tropical. A wee salty smokiness in the aftertaste. Comments: you could argue that we need no one's help to make our own rumskies (try 85% young Highland Park or Clynelish with 15% young Hampden or Worthy Park, for example) but it's good. Wat's more, I don't think 'Cardhu needs rum' was the message in the first place, was it?

SGP:641 - 85 points.

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







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