Cardhu 1991

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Limited Edition
Stated Age
21 years old
Ex-bourbon American Oak
Number of bottles
54.2 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
08 Sep 2013 10:58 am
Cask Strength

Average value

€ 209,43

30 × in wishlist

106 × member ratings

201 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Cardhu 1991

25 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 87.54 points

  1. Marko_I did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    Tasty, fragrant, full-bodied, very nice just-only-Bourbon barrel whisky with no frills, but very interesting!
    • Nose
      despite 54% stings nothing, very soft and creamy, and still intense - apple and pear compote, applesauce with a little cinnamon, canned fruit cocktail, caramel pudding, fresh roses, some floor wax ... later still fresh hay
    • Taste
      Herbs! fresh hay, Ricola, Rhöntropfen, some cough syrup / Kamillan (bitter behind the tongue), with sweet-kräutrig water, honey, nougat and milk chocolate are added
    • Finish
      long, velvety, orange marmalade with ricola, some cinnamon

  2. hs305 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    [January, 2018]  My last visit to Cardhu distillery was during the Speyside Whisky Festival some years ago where I booked the special "Stillman's Tour".  This was a fantastic idea as the tour was not done by professional tour guides (that usually never did any production work at distilleries) but by the working stillman of the Cardhu distillery himself.  He was very nervous at the beginning (he never did such a thing before) but he delivered a marvellous job and showed us even the darkest corners of Cardhu where some very old production equipment is stored (among many other things).  At the end of the tour he even showed us his small personal collection of Cardhu and other Diageo employee's releases like the legendary Port Ellen Maltings bottle.  He said "I will never drink such pricey stuff - this is just my personal pension fund".  What a great idea of the Cardhu management to offer such a tour - I really enjoyed it (as did the stillman, too).

    This story came back to my mind when I received a sample of this dram today because this special 21-years old release was among the bottles of the stillman's small collection, of course.  So this toast is to the stillman of Cardhu (unfortunately, I do not remember his name).  The nose offers the typical fruity-floral Cardhu profile with lots of home-grown fruits (apples, pears, mirabelle) and autumn flowers on haystacks.  It is quite sweet on both barley sugary and honey aromas with appropriate wooden notes.  Not too bad!  The initial mouthfeel is a little hot (due to the high abv) and not really coating, rather thin (the texture shows a light oiliness only).  But no distracting bitter or adstringent moments either, what is good.  The taste is honey-fruity sweet and spicy with some minor herbal flavours.  Without any flaw but not very complex.  Just easy sippable.  The finish is of medium length with more spicy wooden notes (but again no bitterness or drying out, just a slight cardboardiness at the very end).  Some water makes this dram more approachable (and quaffable) but I recommend to try it neat first.  Actually I like the neat nose and a somewhat reduced taste.

    This is an easy drinkable Cardhu release but not a dram that I will remember (without looking at my tasting notes).  The Aussies would state "not too bad!"
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  3. Numwierum scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Nose: Very light and gentle. Caramel, toffee and not too little. Orange marmalade, a little nut and cinnamon. Very slight oak notes.

    Mouth: Again a very soft start in the mouth, immediately the caramel notes are there again. It will be pleasantly sweet and creamy, with some orange and roasted malt. Then the oak packs vigorously and it gets spicier, with hints of white pepper and ginger.

    Finish: Here the American oak dominates with dryness, spicy notes and oak spice. Nice long and gentle warming.

    What a gentle and balanced whisky that never gets boring.
    The alcohol is here, despite the 54% perfectly integrated and never bothers. Why does not #Cardhu make such bottling more often?
    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      90 90

  4. ffmdino did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    A great malt I like best of all standards closely followed by the Special Cask
    has depth, is challenging
    • Nose
      slightly oak, fruity (light fruits), apple (GrannySmith flavored with cinnamon), malt
      with water: more malt, peach, slightly nut
    • Taste
      full and strong on the palate
      fruity, herbs (mainly green), rich malt, sweet, spicy, vanilla,
      with water: more oak, slightly orange, clear vanilla
    • Finish
      Oak, bitter
      with water: herb and oak full

  5. schengel10 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    This Limited Edition shows the potential Cardhu has; a ripe, fruity Top Malt!
    • Nose
      full, aromatic bourbon nose, soft, a lot of caramel and vanilla, fruity;
    • Taste
      diluted: soft, sweet onset, voluminous, honey, caramel, oak, full-bodied, complex; oily body;
    • Finish
      long, sweet, creamy; in the finish, oak, dry-decaying;

  6. Totoro scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Grassy on the nose initially, with whiffs of marinated artichokes, Italian style. Definitely an acidic aspect: mixed pickles, light vinegar, sour wood. Speaking of: not a whole lot of oak on the nose (it provides more of a warm background than a front-and-center impression) and not a whole lot in common with the regular OB's (12, 15, 18). Honey, limestone, orange peel, a tangerine that's beginning to go off. Interesting, if a bit shy without water. Overall dry impression, I expect some tartness on the palate.

    Still a bit harsh without water. Tart, yes, but with some juicy sweetness in the middle. I say this needs...

    ...water! Oh yes: more honey, more aromatic old wood, more orange juice, less mouldy fruit. Now a dusty, leathery side appears as well. The age is starting to show. Way to go. The palate, much tamed and improved with H2O, remains unconventional with little to no mass appeal, i.e., tart, acerbic, strong, still a bit fiery, with all the sweet aspects packed smack in the middle, tapering off into a medium-long finish that mainly offers warm wood and honey notes that shade into maple syrup.

    I find this highly interesting, as I had previously thought that the (less sherried) 12-year-old OB was borderline bitter, whereas the richer, more sherried 15- and 18-year-old versions were very pleasant. So Cardhu seems to need quite a few sherry casks in the mix to lose its rough edges. Verdict: an unexpectedly edgy and fiery Diageo Speysider that shows what the distillate can provide as a solo act: a rough number that might even some win over some cask-strength Bourbon fans.

  7. rolabob scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  8. HunterRomario scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Aroma: Smells of classic malt, woody, somewhat windy anise and star anise, chocolate, vanilla. You can also discover milk chocolate, fried banana, honey ... At first, it seemed ordinary, but there is still something to be discovered when researching. When diluted, it smelled like a blend, so I recommend to enjoy the undiluted aroma. (87 b)
    Taste: Fine and spicy on the tongue at the same time. A little varnish, vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate. Adding a few drops of water becomes beautifully explosive, the shift is quite pronounced for the better. In oak flavor oak and vanilla. (88 b)
    Summary: I had a half-dozen sample that I tasted two-wheeled, at the same time I directly compared with blended malt Collectivum XXVIII, in this fight Cardhu clearly won.
    Points: 88

  9. RL_whisky scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      82 82

  10. jeoff scored this whisky 83 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      81 81
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      82 82


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