I’ve talked a little about Cardhu distillery and its history in a previous article when reviewing a lovely 1980’s 12 year old bottling. In summarising I did say that I’d like to delve more into the current range in 2017, so I’m slightly ahead of the game here with this recent purchase of the Cardhu Gold Reserve.
An opportunity presented itself at a local supermarket with the Gold Reserve being reduced to £25.
At that price I’m more inclined to try and see what the whisky is all about knowing that at £25 my anticipation has been lowered somewhat and keeps my wallet reasonably intact.
If the whisky was not an appealing colour then the old practice was to stick into a brown or green bottling for retail, or thinking more recently a blue bottle when it offers next to nothing at all. My favourite whisky tastings are those involving coloured glasses that remove the initial bias of the colour. Colour is the least important aspect of a whisky when judged against the nose, taste and finish. That’s because it brings nothing to the experience. Some do claim that too much caramel colouring (E150) does impair the actual taste of a whisky.
Cardhu Gold Reserve Review
Colour: good old karamel its on the box
On the nose: it’s very subtle initially and even then its gentle aromas of freshly cut wood. The faint aromas of oranges, apricots and a buttery quality. Time delivers toffee with a little seasoning and cinnamon bark. A touch of water delivers hazelnuts but little else.
In the mouth: the first sip has you reeling back against the oaky wood influence. Then that slight tingling of alcohol on the tongue suggestive of the youthful nature of this whisky. However I’m persistent if anything so we return for another. Popcorn and varnish. A little chocolate, with honey and a resin almost maple syrup quality. The finish is short and peppery.
A bitter disappointment in more ways than one. Lets try to be positive so I like the bottle stopper featuring a proper cork. I tried coming back this several times and it just didn’t sit well with me. It’s drinkable certainly but the price point at £40 is excessive indeed. I’d forgo the nice cork as a trade for an improvement in the contents, but alas its not to be.