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Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Caperdonich 18 year old Peated, batch CP002

Hey, I have three Caperdonich samples! Time to drink 'em.

First up, a peated official bottling. Yes indeed, Pernod Ricard sat on a slew of peated Caperdonich casks for a while before offering up the first batch (CP001) in 2019. The whisky's distillation corresponds with Caperdonich's final year or two, with the distillery closing in 2002. My previous Caperdonich review (from FOUR years ago) was of a dirty peated creature distilled by Seagram Distillers in 1998, which leaves me wondering how long they'd been producing this alternate style. If anyone knows the facts, please let us all know in the comment section below. Thanks!

Distillery: Caperdonich
Distiller: Seagram Distillers
Current Owner: Pernod Ricard
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Age: minimum 18 years
Maturation: American oak barrels
Batch: CP002
Bottled: 04.02.2020
Alcohol by Volume: 38%
Chillfiltered? No
e150? Yes
(from a bottle split)


Had I tried this blind I would have thought it an Islay malt. Cinnamon, peat, baked pears, and zucchini bread arrive first in the nose. Spearmint gum, moss, and a slight leafiness appear next. The background gets more interesting with time, with drifting notes of manure, metal, and wood smoke.

The palate matches the nose at first, all cinnamon, peat, and mint candy. More character emerges with time: sweet apples, menthol, iron, oranges, and a sprinkling of cracked peppercorns.

It finishes sweeter and with a woodier smoke. Salt and lemon join the peat moss later on.


This is NOT a $300 18-year-old peated whisky (as of 2023), which is great! In fact, it can be found for less than half that price in Europe. It was priced even lower in Japan, when I was there this year too. But is it good whisky?

Yes it is. It won't stun you or inspire you to buy a case, but it's very solid, has an excellent ABV, and if you close your eyes you can pretend it was fashioned by the Ileachs. It isn't oaky, but does feel like it has a little bit of age to it. 21 and 25 year old batches have also seen the light of day (or of store shelves), but I think one may find more of the peated spirit in the 18s. Many thanks to Pernod for bottling this stuff. Hopefully they can ditch the caramel colorant in future batches.

Availability - other batches in Europe and Asia
Pricing - Japan: $100-$125; Europe: $120-$180
Rating - 86