Cardhu 15 Year Old Scotch Review

By Emma Briones

Rating: B+

Cardhu 15 Year Old
(Credit: Emma Briones)

There’s a whisky brand that’s been leading the Spanish market for years. So, we Spaniards are, I suspect, Cardhu’s biggest drinkers. We drink so much Cardhu that some expressions, like this Cardhu 15 year old, are hard to find anywhere else. * Cardhu is mostly known for its flat Gold Reserve, and because it is the heart of Johnnie Walker. It is a successful single malt in southern Europe, while back in Scotland they don’t like it very much.

That is probably because Cardhu is a light and fruity whisky, better suited for warmer climates. This Cardhu 15 year old was launched almost ten years ago, and, even today, it is harder to find than Cardhu 18 year old (YO)! It is bottled at 40% ABV, with coloring.

The Scotch
Cardhu 15 YO is light and fresh on the nose. There are intense fresh fruit notes, highlighting green apples, and also some grain and malt aromas. Light nuts notes, mostly almond, are followed by sweet caramel and vanilla. A bit of ginger and nutmeg.

On the palate, it has a light body. Cardhu 15 starts with a burst of sweet honeyed vanilla and caramel. There’s also some brown sugar. Lately, it evolves to some fruit notes: green apple and a touch of candied orange peel. There are some cereal notes, with intense malt and butter cookies notes. Then there is a spicy touch: ginger, nutmeg, and a touch of cinnamon. Towards the end, a bit of dark chocolate. The finish is not long, and a bit dry, leaving a malt note in the background.

Cardhu is known to be a simple whisky, but in their 15 year old expression you can see a bit more complexity in the malt. The extra aging provides something different from its 12 year old sibling (and the uninteresting Gold Reserve) to show that the distillery can produce whisky with character. It is discreet and at the same time essential. One of those whiskies to have at home because it works perfectly for a quiet evening or for having visitors.

The Price
Sold mostly in southern Europe, it retails around €45.

* Editor’s Note: Cardhu’s top two markets are Spain and France, but I don’t know which one is the biggest seller. In my own observations, I agree with Emma: Spanish love for Cardhu is stronger than in France. It’s also big in Portugal, but that is a much smaller market.

Generated by Feedzy