Filed under: Spirits
The Speyside single-malt, which is a key contributor to Johnnie Walker blended whisky, has been absent from the U.S. for many years, and was the subject of much controversy in 2003.
Faced with a shortage of Cardhu, created by increased popularity in several European countries, Diageo ceased selling a single-malt and launched a vatted malt expression it called "Cardhu Pure Malt." The bottle was very similar to the Cardhu Single Malt, and the liquor giant drew the wrath of whisky writers, enthusiasts and even the Scotch Whisky Association.
For a whisky to be called "single-malt," all the whisky in the bottle must have come from a single distillery. The Cardhu "vatted malt" was made up of whiskies from more than one distillery. "Pure Malt" was not a recognized designation at the time, and it was pretty clear that Diageo was being too cute by half in trying to meet demand for Cardhu among single-malt drinkers, as well as for Johnnie Walker. It was viewed as a deliberate attempt by Diageo to mislead the pubic about the Cardhu product.
Cardhu corrected its ways and re-launched Cardhu single-malt in 2005. The 12-year old it sells today, and is rolling out to U.S. shelves, will have a suggested retail price of $42.99.
Cardhu is a Speyside distillery near Archiestown, Morayshire, Scotland, founded by the whisky smuggler John Cumming in 1824.