Malt of the Month: February 2015
We choose our Malt of the Month to highlight some of the great whiskies of the world. Some are well known, some less so, but you can be certain that if it's our Malt of the Month, then you won't be disappointed. This month we've chosen:
Cardhu18 Year OldSpeyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Please wait Web Exclusive Price
One of the key components of Diageo's single malt portfolio, Cardhu is not only a popular whisky around the world on its own, but also the core of many award-winning blends. As a single malt, Cardhu is usually known for its soft and honeyed tones, but the 18 Year Old is quite a different beast.
Instead of the younger versions' soft caramel, this has rich fruit, touches of leather and chocolate. However, sitting at the core is Cardhu's trademark soft and rounded character, amped up by careful cask selection.
Tasting Notes From the Producer
- Nose: Not forward, yet attractively 'natural' and in time rich, balanced and very complex. Macerated fruits; pears, plums, cherries. Hints of pineapple develop a light, green, gooseberry-like edge. Delicate scents of wild rose, menthol and polished leather rise above a soft base of Christmas cake or buttery pastry. Water opens it all up elegantly, without altering the main themes.
- Body: Rich and smooth-textured.
- Palate: A smooth and sweet taste, unctuous, yet with light and lively acidity. The soft, delicate, fruity core is cradled by rich, chocolate-edged flavours, the texture, chocolate and fruit combining to evoke a cherry-liqueur chocolate truffle. Warming overall, it's softer with water, when the balance of tastes remains the same, though lighter.
- Finish: Exciting and complex, the conclusion is long, smooth, gently drying and rich in cocoa.
Starting from less-than-legal roots, Cardhu was licensed in 1824 by John Cumming. It is among the first Scottish distilleries in the records to have been run by women, with Cumming's wife Helen and daughter-in-law Elizabeth in charge through the mid-1800s. The distillery was sold to Johnnie Walker towards the end of the century, and today is still an important component in the blend named after him.
Cardhu is incredibly popular in the Iberian peninsula, consistently coming out as the top-selling single malt whisky in both Spain and Portugal. The soft and sweet character of the younger expressions is a perfect foil for hot weather and the richer tones of the older releases are ideal for sipping on a cool evening.