Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cardhu 12

Oh, Cardhu.  One of the holy trinity from my early scotch drinking years.  Along with Oban and Dalwhinnie, Cardhu was a goal.  For special events or big pay cheques, these were the bottles I strived for.  Dalwhinnie suffered a devastating review after they got full of themselves and raised their price by 50%.  I wouldn't be sampling Dalwhinnie again anytime soon but nostalgia keeps me constantly looking for the other two.

My co-workers were extremely generous with an LCBO wedding gift and that provided the opportunity to revisit one of these all-time faves.  Cardhu was always the most challenging malt of the trinity and I felt like a challenge.

And the aroma, after all these years, was challenging.  Strong, edgy caramel with a hint of sweetness that has doomed lesser malts.  It's something that I might have walked away from if not for our intimate history.  And moving forward with a sip, I was rewarded with that bold complexity I remembered from 10 years ago.  It's a malted fire, fed by sea air.  The salt isn't the gagging content of an Islay malt but a texture that highlights the malted alcohol.  And then the alcohol blooms.  The fire fills your mouth and then your nose and then all the way down to your belly.  And then everything is fine.  Just fine.  Everything is cool.  Ripping your pants in half at work is a faded memory, burned away by a glorious single malt.

The experience is just like I remembered.  A fiery single malt that burns bright and mellows any storm.  But it is pricey ($75) and can't command full marks.

An unforgettable fire.  4 shots!

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