Cardhu – 12 Year Old

About Cardhu 

Cardhu Distillery
Diageo’s best-selling single malt Scotch. Cardhu [Car-doo] derives from the Gaelic Carn Dubh, meaning “Black Rock”. This Speyside distillery was legally founded in 1824 by notorious whisky smuggler John Cumming, and his wife Helen, who had been producing unlicensed whisky since 1811. The distillery sits upon the Northern banks of the river Spey in Moraytown, overlooking the Ben Rinnes. Today, Diageo uses vast majority of Cardhu in the Johnnie Walker blends. A mere third of the distillery’s 2,390,000 litres is matured & bottled as a single malt. 

Cardhu 12 Year Old

This 70cl bottle of Speyside single malt stands at 40% ABV. It is most definitely award winning, having won three gold awards and five silver awards internationally.

Price: £34.08 (Master of Malt), £35.35 (The Whisky Exchange). 

Firstly, this whisky comes in an appealing decanter-style bottle, making you want to display it on your mahogany desk next to your Cuban cigars. It’s clear to see why this single malt is found at the heart of all the Johnnie Walker blends: well balanced and delicate. Cardhu 12 is a traditional flavour. It tastes as a pre-teen Speyside whisky should taste and isn’t trying to be anything more, nor should it. It serves as a gentle introduction into the world of Scotch whisky.

We were fortunate enough to be gifted this bottle – or at least what was left of this bottle – during our second visit to Manchester’s annual whisky festival, hosted by The Whisky Lounge in 2015 (thank you, Colin!). So without further ado, we bring you our tasting guide.

Appearance: Yellow-gold in colour, with well defined, fat droplets. A rather viscous dram. 

Nose: Herbs – particularly thyme – accompanied by autumn apples, toasted oats and maple syrup. There is a hint of soft smoke with a floral touch.
Madyson: 3/5 | Rami: 4/5

Palate: The herbs from the nose have passed to the palate, with a distinct hint of heather, sultanas and salt.  
Madyson: 3/5 | Rami: 4/5                                                                                
Finish: The heather travels into the finish, accompanied by a delicate, soft smoke, subtle oakiness and peppercorns.   
Madyson: 4/5 | Rami: 3/5                                                                          
Overall: A full bodied single malt that subtly evolves with each taste to ease you into a warming finish. Picture yourself beside a fire immersed in your comfy chair. A strong introductory Scotch.


3 thoughts on “Cardhu – 12 Year Old

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