The Cardhu Distillery is the spiritual home of Johnnie Walker. This Speysider has been (and continues to be) the fingerprint malt in the world's best selling whisky. Until 1981, the distillery was called Cardow. Only 25% is bottled as single malt. This is one of them: the Cardhu Amber Rock. I guess you could call it Cardhu's answer to the NAS-releases.
The nose is very sweet on honey, Granny Smith apples, yellow raisins and mandarin. It also has a herbal side and some freshly sawn planks. Evolves towards fresh figs. Very softly spiced. After a few moments, it falls somewhat apart and goes all stale ale on me. So do not leave it too long.
The body is rather light, but not watery. On the palate, it is less round than on the nose, to be honest. Loads of sweet malt, oranges (peel included), raw sugar and even coffee grounds. It has a slight bitterness too, probably from the wood.
The finish is surprisingly long on cinnamon and oranges.
Not a grand malt, but very accessible. Just a tad to better to my taste to be really good. Goes well with a sweet plum pie, though. Not even 35 EUR.