Part of the 2021 Diageo Special Releases; a cask strength 14-year-old Cardhu matured in refill American oak casks and finished in red wine casks and bottled at 55.5% abv.
The annual Diageo Special Releases have been a hotly anticipated part of the whisky calendar for the past 20 years. The series sees Diageo take full advantage of the dozens of Scotch whisky distilleries in their portfolio. The Special Releases series sees Diageo showcase rare, ghosted and workhorse distilleries, such as Brora, Royal Lochnagar, Teaninich and Benrinnes, that are otherwise never seen as single malt expressions. It also allows for experimentation with the maturation and delivery of some of their classic malts, such as Cragganmore, Lagavulin and Talisker.
For this year, each of the eight whiskies in the collection express an individual character, inspired by mythical Scottish creatures that, according to legend, inhabit the lands surrounding the distilleries. This is brought to life with stunning bottle art, that was designed by renowned, Australian, digital illustrator Ken Taylor.
Offical Tasting Notes
Nose: Mild, fresh and lightly fruity, with white grape and lychee and sharper green apple, pear and orange zest, in buttery pastry. A light spicy note reveals the wine-seasoned wood. Water introduces a light note of meadow flowers, which become honeyed.
Palate: Soft and creamy-smooth, with a home-made toffee sweetness. Soon, fragrant with hints of Parma violets, winey red apple and pear fruit and crisp, clean oak. Water bring a creamy-sweet freshness, with a hint of spice.
Finish: Short, sweet and clean, with lingering perfume. With water, a pinch of white pepper and a final burst of green apple.
Cardhu is one of the oldest distilleries in Speyside. It was officially founded in 1823 (with the passing of the Excise Act), however, the Cummings had been producing ilicit whisky there for decades prior. Cardhu's spirit was originally heavy and meaty, however, what it produces today is a far-cry from this. Clear wort, long fermentation times, and a slow distillation today result in a lighter, grassier spirit. Cardhu is owned by Diageo, who utilise it heavily in their Johnnie Walker blends, as well as featuring it as a single malt.
- Single Malt