Cardhu is a distillery focused on the lower part of the single malt market. In Spain for example, it’s one of the best known brands and even worldwide it boasts one of the largest volumes. But they are rarely seen in higher end independent versions.
Duncan Taylor surprised us with a lovely Cardhu 1984 a couple of months ago. Now there’s a similar release in the new Fungi series by The Whisky Agency.
Cardhu 27 yo 1984 (52,6%, The Whisky Agency ‘Fungi’ 2011, ex-bourbon, 199 btl.)
Nose: starts oily (plain vegetable oil). After a while it evolves to vanilla, hay, gooseberries and yellow apples. Lovely furniture wax. It’s not overly sweet, it’s warm but there are earthy and mineral qualities to it as well. I even detected tiny hints of medicinal notes. Quite special.
Mouth: mouth-coating and rather unique. Again very oily (lemon balm) but also quite spicy / herbal (aniseed, mint, ginger, liquorice) and mildly fruity (grapefruit, oranges, blackberries). Some chocolate notes and toffee. Great complexity, anything but boring.
Finish: slightly drier and grassier. Still some citrus and cocoa. Quite long.
This Cardhu has more to offer than just an “easy” fruitiness like some other old Speysiders – it has plenty character and it’s still really balanced. Around € 150.
ps/ If you’re surprised to see so many 90+ reviews recently, it’s simply because I’m scanning the highlights among the new releases for November-December. Always an interesting time of the year.