Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 33.00
Official website: www.malts.com
Cardhu is a rather well-known and popular whisky, both for its more than popular price and for its easy drinkability.
One of Johnnie Walker’s cornerstone whiskies, it has few independent expressions and has achieved a certain popularity in Spain, so much so that for some time it was produced in a blended version to give production a boost. However, the market response was such that they quickly retraced their steps, restoring this 12-year-old in 2005.
Clearly you can’t expect much from such a popular whisky, comparing it to more noble spirits makes no sense: it’s an easy, everyday dram, to mix or drink with (urgh!) ice or as a garnish.
Specifically, I have in my hands the plastic flask version, practically an incitement to cheap and ready-to-wear alcoholism, in which you can also find other basic Diageo whiskies, including Johnnie Walker.
The nose is greeted by nail polish remover and green apple, with a herbaceous component that initially struggles to emerge, battling with the more chemical and citric aspect of the nose that with time recedes, making way for a softer, more accepting spirit. Floral hints of heather on tones of honey, vanilla, citrus, pineapple. Giving it time, it becomes more pleasant while remaining simple.
On the palate it reveals a surprising puff of smoke, which quickly fades away dragged by the watery consistency of the distillate, to which the low alcohol content extinguishes all fervour (while maintaining an unpleasant alcoholic sting) leaving bland fruity notes (pineapple and apple prevail), mottled by the more acidic components with hints of grain and wood. Hints of hazelnuts and cinnamon.
The finish is short and dry, of wood, cereals, citrus and alcohol.
Dull and unremarkable but not bad, it encapsulates many of the aspects of speysiders but in a version so underwhelming as to make it almost irritating for what it could be and isn’t, especially when tried in more assertive and structured versions.
Reviews of Cardhu whisky in the blog:
Cardhu 11yo Special Release 2020
Cardhu 14yo Special Release 2021
Cardhu Gold Reserve Game of Thrones – House Targaryen