Caperdonich 1972 (Whiskybase) Review

Country: Scotland 
Region: Speyside
Brand: Caperdonich 1972 (Whiskybase/Whisky-Faessle)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 39 Years
ABV:  45 %

Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: Relatively Light but very Crisp and Fruity with Pears, Apples, Banana, Kiwi and Lemon. There's Oak of course but a lot less than expected after 39 years. The whisky smells remarkably fresh and vibrant. There's Malt, Toast, Honey and some "Herbes de Provence". Sweet Marzipan and Pralines also come to mind. Floral and Mineral tones complete the picture. It's amazing that so much of the Fruity distillery character has been preserved after such a long time. I don't get much Sherry on the Nose which leads me to believe that a large number of 3rd/4th Refill and/or Sherry infused casks might have been used.

Palate: A Cocktail of White Grapes, Orange, Apples, Banana and Tropical Fruits sprinkled with a bit of Lemon Juice and some Pepper and Cinnamon. I get Tea, Honey, Oak and Mint as well. Again only faraway hints of Sherry.  

Finish: Short, Dry and a bit Salty with Fruits, Ginger, Lemon-Tea, Menthol, Oak, Nuts and slightly Bitter Grapefruit-Juice. 

I added a bit of Water and the Nose gets additional Floral tones. These tones get even richer when Nosing the empty glass after some time. But I also get Licorice on the Palate and in the Finish. Better sip this Caperdonich neat. Lots of people find completely different Flavour-Profiles when adding a bit of Water but I'm not one of them I'm afraid. Generally speaking I don't find improvements when adding Water unless  the ABV exceeds 50%. But please try it out by all means as your senses might differ in this respect!  

Rating: 85.5  

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: This is probably the most expensive Whisky I've tasted so far. I'm tasting a sample from this Special Edition. It's a Joint-Bottling of Whiskybase and Whisky-Faessle. It was distilled in 1972 and matured for 39 years in Refill Sherry Casks before being bottled in 2011. This whisky is Un-Chill filtered and has not been artificially coloured. It's priced at around 230 US Dollars. The distillery was built in Rothes in 1898 by the founders of the Glen Grant distillery. Initially named Glen Grant # 2, it closed after only 4 years and was not operational until 1965 when it was rebuilt by Glenlivet Distilleries and renamed Caperdonich. It was sold to Seagram in 1977 and subsequently to Pernod Ricard in 2001. It was closed in 2002 and demolished in 2010.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: Nosing and Tasting this 39 years old Whisky was quite a surprise. The Oak is there but it merely supports the Fruity distillery character that is still quite present. Quite some Floral and Herbal tones as well on the Nose. A bit more Sherry would have enhanced the overall quality of this dram. On the Palate the Caperdonich reminds me a bit of one of the more spicy White Whines of the Alsace on the Franco-German border. It's a nice dram for sure but I don't see me spending some 230 US Dollars on a full bottle. 

Jan van den Ende                                                                March 2013


Whiskycuse said...

Nice Review Jan, especially the palate seems to be my cup of tea (äh malt ;-) ). I like those fruity notes combined with the complexity of decades of ageing. Reminds me of the old Tomatins...

Cheers Marcus

Jan van den Ende said...

Hey Marcus, thanks for your comment. I'm sure you would enjoy tasting this one. Lots to discover, especially on the Nose. But it's too expensive to justify buying a full bottle imo. Cheers, Jan