John and Helen Cumming first began illicit distilling in 1811. They were so successful, that in 1824 the distillery was licensed and named Cardhu. Cardhu is special. The distillery was successfully run by two generations of women- Helen and her daughter-in-law Elizabeth, who took over the running of Cardhu following the death of her husband Lewis. Both Helen and Elizabeth made Cardhu the whisky we know today, refining its flavour and character to produce an effortless, elegant, generous spirit, born of hard work and determination.
The origins of Cardhu trace back to 1811 when John Cumming and his wife Helen took over the lease of Cardhu farm. Like many of their farming neighbours, they took to illicit distilling, with Helen Cumming cleverly outwitting excise men by inviting them into her home, disguising the fermenting as baking, then slipping outside to alert her fellow distillers by flying a red flag.
Nose: Good body, decent sweetness, richness. Streaks of smoke, apple peels, bruised pears.
Palate: Smooth, rounded, gentle sweetness, soft peat. A little smoke whispers sweet nothings.
Finish: Long, dry smoke, malty touch of peat.
Nose: Oats and apples, malty caramel, plenty of fresh fruit going on. Hints of marzipan and almond pastry, sugared buttermilk pancakes.
Palate: Butterscotch, lychees and lots of banana! Rich tea biscuits dipped in a warm milky tea.
Finish: Super light and creamy, foam bananas, with suggestions of yoghurt and granola. There is an almost rum like quality to this one.
Nose: Not forward, yet attractively ‘natural’ and in time rich, balanced and very complex. Macerated fruits; pears, plums, cherries. Hints of pineapple develop a light, green, gooseberry-like edge. Delicate scents of wild rose, menthol and polished leather rise above a soft base of Christmas cake or buttery pastry. Water opens it all up elegantly, without altering the main themes.
Palate: A smooth and sweet taste, unctuous, yet with light and lively acidity. The soft, delicate, fruity core is cradled by rich, chocolate-edged flavours, the texture, chocolate and fruit combining to evoke a cherry liqueur chocolate truffle. Warming overall, it’s softer with water, when the balance of tastes remains the same, though lighter.
Finish: Exciting and complex, the conclusion is long, smooth, gently drying and rich in cocoa.