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Caperdonich distillery is located at the northern end of Moraytown Village in Rothes and began its existence in 1897 under the name “Glen Grant #2”. It was founded by J. & J. Grant, the same people that had also built Glen Grant distillery. Glen Grant #2 closed its doors again in 1902 as a consequence of the crisis induced by the Pattinson scandal that caused panic in the Scottish whisky industry around the turn of the century. The distillery remained dormant until 1965 when it was rebuilt by Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd who resumed production. By that time, British law prohibited simultaneously operating distilleries from using the same name, and Glen Grant #2 was reopened as Caperdonich (meaning “secret well”, after the well from which it draws its water). The distillery was sold to Seagram in 1977, and sold again to Pernod Ricard in 2001. One year after purchasing Caperdonich, Pernod Ricard closed the distillery. In 2010 it was sold to Forsyth’s, the manufacturer of copper pot stills in Rothes. This particular expression was distilled in October 1968 and bottled by Duncan Taylor in November 2006 as a 38-year old from cask #2616. This review refers to bottle #58 out of a total of 174.
The nose is sweet and fruity, in a somewhat restrained way. There are lots of orange flavours, followed by notes of pineapple and banana; with water vanilla comes to the fore, together with a touch of honey. Not the fruitbomb that I had expected but overall very well balanced.
The palate is medium-bodied and prickly on the tongue. The oranges are back, together with the banana flavours. The addition of water brings forth notes of caramel and just a hint of vanilla but tends to flatten the palate a bit.
The finish is long and warming, ending on flavours of orange peel and honey.
While the nose was absolutely gorgeous, the palate turned out to be somewhat 'weak'. When I tasted this the bottle was only one quarter full, so perhaps it had been left open for too long. Still, Caperdonich from the 60s and 70s is getting more and more rare and I jump at every opportunity to taste what remains from that era.