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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Single Malt Report: Caperdonich 36 year old 1968 Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseur's Choice (46%abv edition)

This was the second of my four pours at Bar Cordon Noir.

Distillery: Caperdonich
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Series: Connoisseur's Choice
Age: 36 years (March 1968 - August 2004)
Maturation: "Refill sherry casks"
Region: Speyside
Alcohol by Volume: 46%

The color is a very light gold.  The first note I get in the nose is used hay in a barn in the middle of summer.  A gentle waft of sweet basil and pineapple mint.  Mango skin (not the fruit) and grapefruity sauvignon blanc.  It gets more chocolatey with time, also picking up toffee notes.  The palate is so elegant and gentle that it's almost (*cough*) erotic.  Yeah, I said it.  Now let me move on with other descriptors like mango, lychee, milk chocolate, and toffee pudding.  But all of that is feather soft.  With time it becomes a lightly bitter tropical cocktail with just a hint of lemon.  But then the toffee gets a second wind and expands.  The aforementioned cocktail makes up much of the finish.  And the toffee.  And chocolate malt balls.

While this is an undoubtably delicate malt and, you know, sexy-ish, I was expecting a little more from it.  No, not more than sex.  Rather all of its nose and palate notes can easily be found in similar configurations in other less rare, more familiar single malts.  Meanwhile its delicate nature may have been influenced by a low bottle fill point.

What I'm doing here is whining about a very good whisky.  It was pretty and delightful and very drinkable.  But I was still left with this lingering "Is That All There Is?" feeling after the finish.  Most of G&M's old CC Caperdonichs are bottled at 40%abv, but they clearly couldn't do that with this one.

I have a feeling many of these 1968-1972 Caps have or will become outrageously expensive on the primary and secondary markets.  If this one brings asking prices of $500+, I'd say skip it.  But $200-$250 wouldn't be unreasonable considering its quality, age, and historical import.

Availability - Probably the occasional auction
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87

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