The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2010

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Page 84 of 112

NOSE-ABLES Cardhu’s Back! A Cardhu had been available in the U.S. from the 1960s, but only on an extremely limited level. However, following the success of their Classic Malts line in the 1980s, Diageo decided to attempt to make Cardhu a similar international hit. And success they achieved—beyond their wildest expectations. Cardhu quickly became the world’s fastest-growing single malt. In Spain sales doubled in five years to 60% of the single malt market. And herein lay the problem: Diageo didn’t have enough whisky to keep up with demand. Now, the difficulty with making and selling a 12-year-old whisky is that you can’t just ramp up production the way you would with widgets; as the label says, it takes 12 years. So Diageo withdrew Cardhu from the U.S. and other markets to concentrate its dwindling supplies on Spain. However, at the time of the initial success, Diageo stepped up production of Cardhu, and those supplies are just coming online in sufficient quantities to allow them to reintroduce it into the previously abandoned markets. At last! But what of the whisky itself? It’s a classic Speyside malt, rich and smooth with a creamy, honeyed texture, extremely approachable and easy to like. If you know Johnny Walker Black Label, you will be familiar with the style, because Cardhu serves as a primary ingredient in this prestige blend. The reappearance of Cardhu 12 Year Old (SRP $42.99) in the U.S. marks the return of an old friend after far too long an exile. —Nick Passmore fter an absence of a decade, Cardhu 12 Year Old, the much-admired single malt scotch, has recently returned to the U.S. market, and the story behind this renais- sance is an intriguing lesson in the pitfalls of success. Camus Focuses on the U.S. Market Venerable cognac house Camus, founded in 1863 and currently headed by fifth-generation Cyril Camus, is renewing its focus on the U.S. market. The effort is headed up by U.S. Market Sales Director Emmanuel Burnichon. Four cognacs destined for the American market show the range and style of this formidable house. Camus’s Elegance series includes a fragrant and supple VS ($25), a mellow, complex VSOP ($45) and a bright and lovely XO ($120) with hints of rancio. The stunning Camus X.O. Borderies ($140) is floral, feminine and rich with toasty vanilla oak and lovely depth. Camus is one of the largest vineyard-holders in the Borderies region. Camus has secured exclusive distribution partnerships with Premier Beverage in Florida, Wine Warehouse in California, Stoller Wholesale Wines & Spirits in Illinois, Rhode Island Distributing Company in Rhode Island, Perfecta in New Hampshire, Savannah Distributing Company in Georgia, Slocum & Sons in Connecticut, Classique Wines in Missouri, United Wine & Spirits in Texas and RNDC in Colorado. —Anthony Dias Blue 84 / the tasting panel / september 2010

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