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Cardhu Distillery Scotland Speyside Region Whisky from 0 to 50 euros

Cardhu Gold Reserve Game of Thrones – House Targaryen

Review of Cardhu in the limited edition of Game of Thrones.

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 40%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Chillfiltered: Yes
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Diageo
Average price: € 48.00
Official website: www.malts.com
Vote: 73/100

We return to the special series that Diageo dedicated to Game of Thrones a couple of years ago, introducing a new distillery to the blog.
The name comes from the Gaelic Carn Dubh, meaning black rock, and was founded in 1824 by John and Helen Cumming under the name Cardow. Actually, they had already been in business for over a decade with the illegal sale of whisky, which Helen was mainly responsible for: thanks to her position high up on the hill, she could see the police coming and sprinkle herself with flour to hide the smell of the distillate.
With John’s death a few years later, the limited production was passed on to his son Lewis and, when he died, to his wife Elizabeth in 1872, making the small distillery one of the few run by a woman.
In 1885 the distillery was rebuilt and moved to another family plot of land, increasing production to the point where a large part of it was sold to Johnnie Walker and Sons for its own blended spirit, which eventually bought the business in 1893, leaving the Cumming family to manage production.
The second half of the last century saw a number of expansions, and it was not until 1981 that it changed to its current name, making it one of the best selling single malts in the Diageo portfolio.

As always, here’s a summary of all the editions:
– Cardhu Gold Reserve (dedicated to the House Targaryen);
Clynelish Reserve (dedicated to the House Tyrell);
Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost (dedicated to the House Stark);
Lagavulin 9yo (dedicated to the House Lannister);
Mortlach 15 yo (dedicated to the Six Kingdoms);
Oban Bay Reserve (dedicated to the Night’s Watch);
Royal Lachnagar 12yo (dedicated to the House Baratheon);
Singleton of Glendullan Reserve (dedicated to the House Tully);
Talisker Select Reserve (dedicated to the House Greyjoy).
Nominally not part of the series, but nevertheless inspired by GoT, are the following:
Johnnie Walker White Walker (dedicated to the White Walkers);
Johnnie Walker Song of Fire and Johnnie Walker Song of Ice.

Tasting notes

A slight hint of sulphur initially disturbs the nose, fading after some time to give way to rather delicate aromas of plums and roses. Honey, vanilla, peach, unripe apples and malt complete the palette, along with a hint of wood wax. Soft but with a slightly acidic undertone.
In the mouth it’s elusive, very subtle and light, it passes quickly with a light pinch of pepper leaving behind impressions of bubble gum, vanilla, green apple, banana, lots of cereal. It isn’t very persistent, you realise you have drunk it only because you feel the alcohol on your tongue.
The finish is short and bitter, woody, with hazelnuts, honey, cereal and pepper.

A whisky as light as a sheet of paper, with an aroma that starts off well but finds no support in the glass, with a distillate lacking in substance and very boring. Not unpleasant, just… superfluous.

Reviews of Cardhu whisky in the blog:
Cardhu 11yo Special Release 2020
Cardhu 12yo

Other perspectives:
One More Dram

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