There are two Special Releases 2022 that I haven’t reviewed yet, and this Cardhu 16 Year Old is one of them. After last year’s red wine finish, they now used Jamaican pot still rum casks for an extra maturation.
Cardhu 16 yo ‘The Hidden Paradise of Black Rock’ (58%, OB Special Releases 2022, Jamaican pot still rum finish)
Nose: red apples and pineapples, fruit with a firm sour character. Then honey and a hint of ripe banana. Whiffs of paint varnish, and alcohol. Then some peaches and vanilla , with undertones of toffee. I’m guessing the rum influence is mostly in the tropical fruitiness. I find a hint of freshly washed laundry as well.
Mouth: again rather sweet, with tropical fruit notes. Mango, (green) banana and pineapple. Then mid-palate it becomes slightly darker, on caramelized notes and cinnamon pastry. The problem is that it’s very hot, with pepper, ginger and a numbing woody note swallowing most of the fruits. Hints of caramel (or maybe molasses?) in the end. Even a salty touch.
Finish: long and spicy, with honey, banana and vanilla.
A fine Cardhu, with inviting tropical fruits on the nose but also a firm oaky spiciness that is hard to tame on the palate. Water helps to make it rounder. Don’t expect a funky Jamaican influence though. Available from malts.com as well as a few retailers like HTFW.