An exciting release from a new distillery that has just opened in New Zealand.
In the exceptionally beautiful Cardrona Valley you will find the (relatively) newly opened Cardrona Distillery. They have actually been operating since 2015, when the first distillate was produced and casks were laid down to mature.
The Distillery is the brainchild of Desiree Whitaker, who first felt a calling to the craft of distilling in 2011. She wanted to create a Kiwi malt that would be a fierce competitor both at home and internationally. There are a few other distilleries in New Zealand, including Thomson Distillery and Puhoi Organic Distillery.
Whitaker worked hard to hone her craft and spent a couple of years travelling between Scotland and America to learn as much as she could about distilling excellent malts. She even trained with Dave Pickerell, who was once head of Maker’s Mark.
Whitaker took all of her knowledge home with her again and established the Cardrona Distillery.
The Cardrona Range
Like many new whisky distilleries, the Cardrona also produces gin and vodka. They also have a Rose Rabbit liqueur range, which includes butterscotch, elderflower and orange flavours.
Their newest addition is the Just Hatched Single Malt New Zealand Whisky. At only three years old this is a young malt but it is well matured and has a lovely light body. It has been matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks to give it a full body and complex flavour profile.
TASTING NOTES FOR THE CARDRONA JUST HATCHED SINGLE MALT WHISKY FROM NEW ZEALAND
Bottle cost: £74.95
The nose begins with notes of moist cake, cream and tangy summer berries. Cinnamon spices really come through and add a lovely warmth. Sweet nuts also appear, giving it a nice sweet, earthy flavour.
The palate brings in more almond notes, with a big hint of marzipan and oak wood. It is rich and full of flavour. Vanilla, honey and caramel make a big noise in the body of the dram and go perfectly with the orchardy, earthy notes.
The finish is well rounded and full of sweet notes.
This is a brilliant malt, especially considering how young it is. Big things are still to come from Cardrona, if this is what they’re producing after only three years!
Are you a fan of Cardrona of whisky from New Zealand? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!