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New Zealand’s Cardrona Distillery Offers Up Some 7 Year Single Cask Whiskies

New Zealand’s Cardrona Distillery recently unveiled two single-cask whiskies that spent seven years in oak.

A statement from the distiller notes that the new ‘Full Flight’ expressions were hand-selected by Distillery Founder Desiree Reid from two ex-bourbon and ex-Sherry casks.

She explained that the casks were created to showcase the progress of Cardrona’s single malt, and the new additions will join Cardrona’s portfolio of single cask whiskies, which includes their “Just Hatched” single cask releases, as well as their five-year-old counterpart “Growing Wings.”

Cardrona Full Flight Whiskies
New Zealand’s Cardrona Distillery recently unveiled two single-cask whiskies that spent seven years in oak. (image via Cardrona)

The distiller’s notes explain that the new Cardrona Full Flight Single Cask Release Sherry bottling matured for seven years in a González Byass Oloroso sherry butt, and was then transferred to a Pedro Ximénez butt for a final finish. It clocks in at 67.2% ABV, and has flavors of hot cross buns with spice, combined with nectarine and borage flower honey. It sells for £125 for a 350mL bottle.

The Cardrona Full Flight Single Cask Release Bourbon was matured in an ex-Breckenridge Bourbon cask for seven years, and clocks in at 66.9% ABV. It has flavors of honeyed apricots, applewood, vanilla, finished with cream custard. It also sells for £125.

Reid said the arrival of ‘Full Flight’ is “taking us another step closer towards the release of our signature 10-year-old, and symbolizing the last stage of our progress report journey.”

She noted that Cardrona’s whiskies start life as a single malt base spirit, made from barley, yeast and Cardrona Alpine water. The whisky is then distilled in the distillery’s two copper pot stills, from Forsyths of Rothes, Scotland.

Cardrona’s icon is named in honor of its guard, the New Zealand falcon – kārearea. It’s often found perched at the end of the barrel house, and the story goes that the bird stood on the neck of the wash still as it was craned into the distillery.

Desiree Reid sold her family farm to pursue her dream of building a modern, family-run distillery in her native New Zealand. She said she chose the Cardrona Valley for its tranquility, clean air and the availability of quality local ingredients, perfect for foraging across the seasons. And it gave her access to the crystal-clear, mineral-rich Alpine waters of New Zealand’s highest mountain pass for production.

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Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether that be a novel project, a start-up, an organization, a fresh-face to the journalistic world, or even something as simple as a short story. A native Texan and a Pacific Northwest convert, he is a whiskey enthusiast who cut his teeth on it ... literally!

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