Cardhu 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

  • Country: Scotland
  • Region: Speyside
  • Category: Single Malt Whisky
  • Owners: Diageo
  • Bottler: Distillery
  • Brand: Cardhu
  • Age Statement: 12
  • Chill Filtered: Yes
  • Alcohol % ABV: 40
  • Cask Strength: No
  • Average Price (2023) £: 39.95
  • Colour Description: Golden Honey
  • Colour Status: Coloured
  • Peated / Smoke: Lightly Peated / Smoked
  • Cask Maturation / Finish: Unknown
  • Single Cask: No
  • Mash Bill: Malted Barley
  • Barley: 100
  • Whisky Experience Level: Beginner
  • Value Score : 83 out of 100
  • Bottle Stopper: Natural Cork
  • Packaging: Box
  • Core Bottle or Special Release: Core Bottle
  • Product URL:
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Cardhu 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

The light character of the 12 Year Old Cardhu is an excellent starting point for anyone starting on their whisky journey. Enticing and silky smooth, this is the quintessential Cardhu. Glowing with notes of golden honey and delicate, fruity character. Cardhu comes from one of the oldest of the Speyside distilleries, which have nestled in foothills near the River Spey for 200 years and the Cardhu range is an excellent representation of these Speyside whiskies. Known for its smooth, sweet-natured single malt whisky, the history of Cardhu’s rise to fame is to a large part told in the story of two determined women who were members of the founding family.


Golden honey.


Soft, pleasing and medium bodied.


At full strength, heady, nose prickle, pear drops and tightly integrated heather, resin and sweet honey-nut notes. Enticing. Intriguing. With a little water, still harmonious but less pronounced, allowing some malt cereal, soft, spicy wood, moorland and faint traces of wood-smoke to appear.


Well balanced, smooth mouthfeel; short punch, sweet and fresh, then a pronounced drying effect. Moorish. Enjoyable at any time, with little or no water.


Lingering sweet smoke in the attractive, drying aftertaste.

One comment

  • Review 76 19th August 2020

    Following on from review 75, we continue to look at Diageo 12 Year Old Single Malts, this time the Cardhu, another lightly peated/smoked speyside, however, this time it is matured in ex-bourbon casks.

    Bottled at 40%, it is chill filtered and colour adjusted. It retails for an average of £38.95, it has a value score of 83.75 out of 100.

    On the nose; it starts of honey, caramel and vanilla, typical bourbon infuence. There is some herbal notes, which appeared as heather. There are fruits, apple and pear drops. Once again, like the Cragganmore, no obvious smoke could be detected.

    On the palate; It starts with a lovely creamy vanilla and honey, reminiscent of Teachers Highland Cream. It finishes bitter and drying with oak. With regards to fruit, we could only really detect apple, but not a fresh crisp one, rather an apple on the turn, that has maybe been battered and bruised. Concentrate hard enough there is an earth quality, which could be peat with some of that heather re-appearing from the nose, but one again there is no sign of any smoke.
    The finish however is a little too drying and reduces any enjoyment.

    If this single malt was to be compared to another whisky that it has some similar aspects too, then it would be a Glenfiddich 12 Year old, however, a much more inferior version. For an overall score we give it 84 out of 100. It isn't bad, but its not a gateway whisky either to Scotch or a lightly peated scotch. Whilst it is a beginner whisky, Glenfiddich 12, Glenmorangie 10, Aberlour 10 or Glenfarclas 10 are superior and critically cheaper whiskies.

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