Caperdonich Peated 18 Years

”Mr. Peatyful” 

Whisky Review # 961

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside - Closed Distillery
Brand: Caperdonich Peated - Small Batch Release - Secret Speyside Collection
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48%
Maturation: American Oak Barrels - Bottled: 2019
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$ 160-210 (August 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😑 I understand it can't be cheap but stil... 
Buying Advice: 😀 Certainly worth a try, especially when you like Ardbeg


Golden Amber (Probably artificially coloured)


Quite Light and Introvert on the Nose. It feels Younger than its age. The casks were not very active if you ask me. Still, the Peat & Smoke weave a pleasant web around Fruity, Floral and Mineral notes. The Nose is mostly Sweet with a few Tart and Salty notes for balance. The Alcohol is there but does not really interfere with the Nosing procedures. Be sure to give it some time in the glass before Nosing.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Cold Bonfire Smoke, Earthy Peat, Farm Yard, Straw, Smoked Ham and Shell Fish sprinkled with Lemon & Herbs, Ripe Banana, Seville-Orange, Grapefruit, Charred Oak, Nuts, Tropical Fruit Cocktail, Tomatoes, Mint and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Toffee, Tar, Ashes, Iodine, Band-Aids, Milk Chocolate, Wet Rocks, Blueberry Muffins, Pear, Leather, Cinnamon and Pepper.


A little on the Thin side despite the adequate ABV. I have to blame the casks here. It's still sufficiently pleasant though with a mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. Caperdonich was never known for its peated Whiskies but based on this expression I would say that that is a pity. Could be delicious when matured in first class casks.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Campfire Smoke, Earthy Peat, Ashes, Tar, Smoked Ham & Scallops on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon and Herbs, Milk Chocolate, Black Tea, Seville-Orange, Banana, Grapefruit, Charred Oak, Pepper, Ginger and Aniseed.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Soot, Rubber, Iodine, Orchard Fruit, Mandarin, Blueberries, Resin, Toasted Almonds, Wet Rocks, Cinnamon, Mint and Licorice.


Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour and Salty notes as well. A little on the Thin side. Quite Dry in the end. The Ashes remain in your mouth for quite a while but in a pleasant way. It reminds me a little of Ardbeg. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Cold Smoke, Earthy Peat, Ashes, Soot, Smoked Ham and Scallops on the BBQ glazed with Honey and sprinkled with Lemon and Herbs, Resin, Rubber, Black Tea, Seville-Orange, Nougat, Charred Oak, Leather, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Licorice, Aniseed and strong Espresso.

Drinking Advice:

Given the size of the sample, I only tasted this Caperdonich neat.

Rating: 86.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 8 (********)

Nose: 22 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good


This distillery was founded in 1897 by the owners of Glen Grant. It was closed five years later but re-opened in 1965 under the name Caperdonich. In the year 2002 it closed again and was sold to Forsyth in Rothes (Stills producer). A little later the buildings were demolished. Ex-owner Pernod Ricard (Chivas) released a number of peated Caperdonich malts in 2019. Normally, Caperdonich produced unpeated Malt.

I only tasted two unpeated Caperdonich Malts before today and they were okay but no more than that. I was pleasantly surprised therefore by today's peated version. The Peat and Smoke seem to combine well with the Caperdonich Spirit and remind me a bit of Ardbeg. It has its flaws though, mostly caused by the uninspired casks that leave this Single Malt a bit Thin and Youngish. But the potential is there and it's sad that we will probably never have the opportunity again to taste a fully matured peated Caperdonich that spent its life in quality casks. And that's a peaty pity!

Cheers! 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                       August 30, 2022

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