Cardhu is still the best selling single malt in Spain (and popular in the rest of Southern Europe as well), making it a top-10 malt worldwide, but it’s mostly overlooked by connoisseurs.
This Cardhu 21 Years Old, distilled in 1991, is part of the Diageo Special Releases. The last time that happened was in 2005. The spirit was matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks.
Cardhu 21 yo 1991
(54,2%, OB 2013, 6.000 btl.)
Nose: pretty neutral. There’s orange peel, yellow raisins and apples. Nice enough, but there’s something of sharper fruit vinegar that I don’t like too much. Almonds. Leafy and grassy notes as well as some floral hints. Very light waxy notes.
Mouth: clean, malty and fruity in a slightly generic way. Oranges again, green apples, honey sweetness and plenty of spicy notes. Cinnamon, chilli, mint. Soft resinous notes. Rather grassy again, with lots of green notes and some tannins. Liquorice.
Finish: long, spicy, with some orange zest and bittersweet herbs.
The grassy / herbal and spicy notes in this Cardhu are a little loud. It never wins me over completely and the price is hard to justify. Around € 200.