Cardhu 12yr- None for me, thank you!
I have had this bottle for a little while now, but I kept it up at the local cigar shop, to enjoy while burning down a stick with friends (new and old). I never really gave it a proper review, as I never brought it home to enjoy. Well, I was in the other day and noticed the bottle was very nearly empty, so I figured if I didn't bring it home now, it was going to go the way of the do-do bird and never get reviewed.
I've finally found the time to sit down with a dram, and give it the attention it deserves, so here goes:
The color is pure sunlight, and the body in the glass appears heavy.
Nose: As I have been writing the intro, the sweet malty aroma has been filling my nostrils! This whisky has a wonderfully "malty" aroma, indeed! Now for the proper nosing: Plenty of flora on the nose, with some ripe fruit as well (pear, honeycrisp apple?) There is a malty base to this whisky, with just a bit of sea air coming out in the background. The nose is really well-balanced, much better than I remember (could have been all that cigar smoke in the air!) I'm looking for any trace of smoke, but I just can't seem to find any. No peat. Nothing offensive. I'm reminded of lavender and lilac. Swirling the whisky after letting it sit reveals a bit of barley/grain. I'm getting just a bit more sea air, but no amount of oak. This really has a nice nose on it!
Body: Light body, with a watery feel. No real structure that holds up. Seriously - it feels like its been watered down to around 30% or so. Did someone pour water in my glass!?
Palate: A faint bit of spice hit the front of the tongue. Not lively at all. A steady flavor of grain and herbs with just a hint of dried fruits. The fruits that did show up did so only after the dram was almost gone. Even then, they were the dried variety - dried dates? No, too sweet. You get my point...
Finish: medium-long, with a very malty finish. The fruit is gone. The sea air is missing. Spices? Yeah, a little. I go back to the nose, and there it is: ripe fruit and a bit of sea air. I go back for a taste: not very lively in the mouth, with a strong malty finish. Just a bit of spice coming out on the finish, but not a lot. The finish is a bit "gritty", coating my mouth with an oily texture. I swish my tongue about trying to clean off the roof of my mouth, but its not working. That taste is just stuck there...
For as nice of a nose this whisky has, the flavors just don't show up at all on the palate. I think I might just sit here and nose it for the rest of my time. I would enjoy it more than drinking it. Hmmm... I've still got a full dram's worth of liquid in the bottle (which may be the nicest part of this whisky, as the bottle is really sharp!)
I poured most of this bottle into other people's glasses at the cigar shop. I confess this was not just an act of hospitality, but I just didn't really care for this whisky, so I wanted the bottle gone as quickly as possible! Near the end of the bottle, I actually brought up an Aberlour 10yr for myself and other whisky enthusiasts to drink, and gave the Cardhu away to those who knew no better (like the chap who shot it like a cheap tequila!) Oh well, what did I care, it was only Cardhu...
Frankly, this isn't my cup of tea. I think I made that clear. However, if you like a whisky that is heavy on the malt/grain flavors and light on the honey/vanilla flavors, this could be your perfect whisky! For me, it was a decent enough whisky to have while smoking a cigar, as that oily/gritty texture in the mouth was not perceived as much when enjoying a strong maduro. All I really got was the nose and the malty finish.
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