Cardhu 14 Year (2019 Special Release)

Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

2.5 out of 5 stars
Nose (neat): Grainy cereal, rather hard and "shiny" in character with a youthful, yeasty personality. Some dusty notes on the periphery, like sawdust or grain-silo dust. The abv weight overpowers the nose, but some mild lemon peel and brine notes struggle through. Nose: (watered): Similar but with less impact. Dilution does release a cloud of floral notes that are not entirely positive. It gave me the impression of floral-scented bathroom soap. Palate (neat): Bittersweet/sour grassy cereal arrival with some lemon zest. The development (which is quite sudden and distinct) brings sweeter fruity notes, like stewed orchard and stone fruits (pears, peaches, apricots). The texture is forgettable. Palate (watered): As with the nose (in fact, *exactly* as with the nose) the palate loses some of its definition and presence and gains a prominent soapy floral character when diluted. Finish: Medium/Sudden. An unusual finish - the palate gives the promise of length and an unfurling of complexity, which it does briefly but then stops dead, like a door slamming. There is, however, an aftertaste of Nutella on white bread toast. Apparently "double matured" for two years in amontillado sherry casks, there is a suggestion of that sherry on both the nose and palate as briny notes and dryness, together with a bittersweet patina. Not a particularly impressive whisky, and certainly not worth seeking out. This reminded me of some of the lighter estery Speyside offerings in Diageo's "Flora and Fauna" range. Dilution is not recommended for this whisky as it does not contribute any positive effect. Overall, I was left with the impression that Cardhu is best used as a blending ingredient. Pretty uninspiring stuff, especially when you factor in the absurdly expensive price for what seems more like a garden-variety NAS than something that is supposedly 14 years old. If I'd tasted this blind I would have guessed it was half that age. Tasted from a 30 mil sample. "Average (at best)" : 2.5 stars
180.0 AUD per Bottle
  • cascode

    @PBMichiganWolverine Hah! Well summarised - full agreement 😄

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    I think these special releases fall into three buckets: 1) really good and affordable ( the Lag and Talisker), 2) the unaffordable and damn good ( their >$400 ones), and 3) take your chances, who knows ( Cardu and Craggammore)

  • ContemplativeFox

    Oof, never a good sign when you get that soapy floral flavor.