Single malt whisky - tasting notes

13 Mar 2010

Cardhu 12yo (Wax & Vitale)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Cardhu

Although Cardhu is one of the most popular brands in France and Spain, there’s not much interest from connoisseurs. Part of this is due to the controversy about the ‘pure malt’ name on Cardhu bottles around 8 years ago. Cardhu was mixed with whisky from other distilleries to meet the high demand. Most single malt fans saw this as an effort to mislead whisky drinkers and sell a vatted malt as a single malt.

Anyway, the slightly compromised fame didn’t keep LT from selecting this bottle at his birthday tasting. This Cardhu 12 Years old was bottled for the Italian market before 1974.

 

Cardhu 12yo Wax Vitale Cardhu 12 yo (43%, OB 1970’s, Wax & Vitale, white rounded label, cork stop)

Nose: very smooth and gentle. The malty centre is mixed with some caramel sweetness, a touch of honey, apricots and quite some citrus. A few floral elements. Hints of paint thinner (I personally love that). Marzipan. Very nice. Mouth: oily / waxy texture. Again rather malty with lots of sweet grains and hints of roasted nuts. Very light smoke. A bit of toffee. Grapefruit. Almonds. Not extremely complex but very pleasant.  Finish: first sweet, then drying with hints of peat.

A very good Cardhu which shows that old standard bottlings tend to be a lot better than current ones. Occasionally it shows up at auctions – prices vary from € 100 to 150.

Score: 87/100

Cardhu 12yo (Wax & Vitale) 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2010-03-13
  • Charlie

    What makes the old standard bottlings a lot better than the current ones? Is it the malt, the cask, or maybe the maturation condition?

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be WhiskyNotes

    One thing that I like about old bottlings, is a certain roughness which is probably due to the limited control in those times. Everything was pretty much hand work instead of the current computer controlled process. Also, in those times they still used peat to heat the stills, even in the Speyside area, which gives the end result more depth.

    Remember that they also made really bad whisky in those times! Last but not least: after 40 years in a bottle, modern stuff will also become different!

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  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael): Just tasted this one. WOW. i am very very impressed Ruben. Amazing BFYB for 40 euro. this feels much older and so complex. WOW again. dang!
  • bakerman: I will look for the cheaper unpeated Caol Ila as I am interested to compare it with the younger versions released earlier (8 and 12 years). I will als
  • WhiskyNotes: It may be just a detail, but I said "a relatively modest price increase", not a modest price! It's true that the price is heavy, especially because I

Coming up

  • GlenDronach 1993 Oloroso cask #494
  • Glen Elgin 1985 (Maltbarn)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)
  • Ardmore 2000 (Liquid Library)

1612 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.