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A while back, before Christmas in fact, Abbey whisky contacted me asking if I'd like to try their new whisky bottling, Caperdonich. They asked me this after I'd contacted them asking what Silent Distillery bottlings they had and might be getting in the near future as my wife and I are heading over to Scotland in the next few months and I'm looking to stock up.
When Abbey Whisky informed me about the Caperdonich bottling, I just stared blankly and said "Caperwhasit?"
I'd maybe encountered the name in my reading about the different distilleries in Scotland, but not enough so that it stuck in my head, not enough to recognize it past it being a single malt.
Maybe not even that to be honest.
However the lovely folks at Abbey Whisky were more then happy to give me a real quick rundown on the distillery's history.
Quick little excerpt from Facebook "it started its life as a sister distillery to Glen Grant, build just across the road, and was built to basically supply similar whisky to GG... Rumor had it that there was a pipe that ran across the road connecting the 2 distilleries, and the locals used to drill a whole in the pipe and steal the spirit! It was given the well thought out name of Glen Grant No 2! But this changed in 1967 or so, to Caperdonich... As its been basically used in the past for blends etc its rather rare to find this released as a single casks... This is because the distillery was demolished in 2002."
God I love history lessons!
Anyway when Abbey Whisky asked me if I'd like to try this new whisky I said the only thing that I could...
So they send out my whisky sample and I wait...and wait...and wait...and wait.
Then my spidey sense starts tingling. I have brought in enough whiskies over the last year or so that I have a pretty good idea on how long it takes to come in from the UK, clear customs and arrive at my doorstep.
This whisky was way too late.
So I contacted Abbey Whisky, asking if they knew where the whisky was on it's journey.
It had been delivered...to the wrong address.
Possibly to an address that didn't exist.
The post during the holiday rush had misplaced my precious whisky sample, my rare whisky sample, had either been completely lost, or had gone to somebody who was going to mix it with COKE AND ICE?!
Oh the humanity!
Abbey Whisky lets me know right away that they're getting another sample shipped out to me and hopefully it'll be here by Christmas.
God I love how Abbey Whisky kicks butt when during the rare times something happens to an order that the Post loses or misplaces!
Now I just have to cross fingers that the Post doesn't misplace it again!
Christmas comes and goes.
New Years comes and goes.
And I start worrying. Has it been lost again? Misplaced? Hung up in customs?!
Then today, after a back breaking day of moving pallet after pallet of heavy cases of beer, as I'm sweaty and sore and achy I call my wife as I head home and she informs me that the sample has arrived!
Oh sweet baby jebus it's here!
This right here was brilliant news! Better news then I could have hoped for when the day started.
So I head home and my wife finally arrives home with the sample.
It's in a cute little box filled with straw, black wax covering the lid. Very nice looking.
Pale pale liquid.
This whisky is from a single barrel, bottled at cask strength of 57.8% and the barrel only produced 96 bottles. So this is going to be a treat!
I pour the sample into my glencairn and just grin as I watch the thick sexy legs climb down the glass. Pale yellow and with a nose that starts off simple, but then gets sexily complex.
Starts off with heaps of vanilla and oak, then moves to a sexy peppery fruit salad. Pineapples, cherries, bananas, hints of lychee. The nose is thick and creamy and has my mouth salivating within about 10 seconds.
I'm literally smelling this dram for about 40 minutes as I almost don't want to take a taste.
What if it doesn't live up to it's nose, what if it's only meh. I don't want to be disappointed.
But you know the old saying don't you? Whisky isn't meant for looking at or smelling, it's meant for tasting!
Time to taste!
I take the first swallow and I roll it around my mouth and I hold it there for about 15, 20 seconds. Until it's coated my entire mouth.
It burns, but god it burns good. This is no blushing violet of a whisky, this is a whisky with balls!
Big pepper chilli kick to it, but it's also sweet with honey and some very shy fruits. I'm picking up a small amount of pears, but that's just the sideshow. The main event is all those sexy spices, peppers, oak and vanilla, all backed up by a strong malt backbone. As the whisky develops some floral notes develop. But once again that's not the main event.
God that's good, with a nice sexy creamy mouthfeel and I'm in heaven.
Nice long bitter floral finish with vanilla and hints of cocoa and I'm a guy who's left with a giant grin on his face.
Now here comes the best part, the price. Roughly $60 AUS. For a 17 year old, cask strength, great quality, silent distillery. That price is nothing short of stupid. To the point that I'm picking up at least one bottle for me, possibly two if I can convince my wife without getting murdered by her.
And this whisky has led me to one undeniable conclusion: Abbey Whisky is bad for my budget, because they seem to have this talent for choosing brilliant whiskies, then pricing them at a more then reasonable price which makes it so hard for me to resist so that every time they send me a sample I wind up buying a bottle. This is going to get real expensive, real quick I both hope and fear...
If you get a chance to try this whisky, to buy this whisky, don't hesitate, DO SO. Right now I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to get my hands on my bottle.
Now where's my credit card.....