This Cardhu 11 year old is the second from the Diageo Special Releases 2020 series that I am going to taste and I am actually quite curious about this one. As the 8 year old Talisker that I reviewed a few weeks ago did not quite meet my expectations, unfortunately. Not that it was super bad, on the contrary, but it really didn’t match that excellent 8-year-old, which was bottled in 2018 for the Special Releases.

However, I haven’t tasted Cardhu in years. The last time was probably on an edition of Spirit of Speyside years ago, when I had a tour of the distillery and where I had a tasting afterwards. It’s also one of the brands I first tasted back in the early 2000s, but swapped for other brands soon after, because I started to find it a bit dull. The original bottlings do not exactly have my preference anymore and there are actually no independent bottlings. So I thought that a Cardhu, bottled at cask strength, could be interesting to try and decided to buy a bottle. So…. Here you have my first ever Cardhu review! 🙂

This Cardhu has matured in virgin, refill and ex-bourbon fresh-charred American oak hogsheads and is bottled at a strength of 56% ABV.

Cardhu 11 year old tasting notes:

Nose: rather fruity and sweet nose. Yellow apples and ripe pears. Vanilla custard. Honey. Later also lemons and a floral note. Followed by a layer of caramel.

Taste: vanilla custard and also the pears. Which is followed by oranges and lemons. Honey mixed with just the tiniest hint of liquorice and ginger. A little peppery too.

Finish: mid-long and slightly dry. Honey and vanilla custard.

Nice to taste Cardhu after so many years. It’s lovely actually, well balanced too. Don’t expect a fancy and complex dram, but just very good flavours that make this a rather enjoyable dram.