Cardhu, which means ‘black rock’, is situated at Knockando on the Craigellachie to Grantown road, very much in the heart of Speyside. The distillery was first licenced in 1824 by one John Cumming, the owner of Cardow farm. The distillery was made famous by John Cumming’s daughter in-law, Elizabeth, who rebuilt the distillery in 1872. This made her the first female distiller in Scotland, and her hospitality had a glowing reputation. Diageo continue this hospitality today as Cardhu is now the spiritual home of Johnnie Walker. ‘Cardow’ is the anglicised name for Cardhu and occasionally independent bottlers use this name, as did the owners Diageo for a brief period in late 2003 to early 2004. The vatted/pure malt controversy made Cardhu famous, and might yet make the short-lived red pure malt expression a collectors item.
Clear, golden amber in colour. Honeyed and leathery with white flower blossom, toffee, dark chocolate and spice. The palate shows light ginger, cinnamon, and light peppery spice add some balance to this rich honeyed and fruity malt, with caramel and baked red apple. Drier than the palate with lightly spiced oak, caramel, milk chocolate and digestive biscuit. The finish is honeyed and easy with an enlivening hint of spice, red apple, milk chocolate and digestive biscuit.