...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Caperdonich 23 year old 1979 SMWS 38.12

Last week, before I sat down to drink this Caperdonich, I tested out my nose and palate and discovered that I could neither smell nor taste anything. That was a first. A Covid test told me I'd avoided that shitty virus. So, I don't know. This has been the worst year of allergies I've ever had, so I hoped that's all it was. 24+ hours later, my senses returned to near 100%, and have not abandoned me since. And now I'm back to drinking. Slàinte Mhaith!

Today's Glen Grant 2: Electric Boogaloo (also known as Caperdonich) was bottled by SMWS 20 years ago, back before their cask names became "funny". The spirit was distilled in 1979, and judging by the color, its sherry cask may have been very gentle. Which could be a very good thing, as I've always enjoyed Caperdonich more than oak juice.

Distillery: Caperdonich
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Distiller: Seagram Distillers
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 23 years (November 1979 - March 2003)
Maturation: sherry butt
Cask #: 38.12, "Spiced cooking apples"
Outturn: 608 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 55.3%
(from a bottle split)


Peachy! Fresh peaches and peach candy hit the nose first, then strawberry Bubble Yum, roses, and mango juice. It gradually shifts to dried apricots and gooey toffee across the expanse of an hour. The palate strikes boldly, very tartly, with a moderate sweetness. Ginger beer, roses, and an almost smoky woodiness plays peek-a-boo. It finishes tart and gingery, fizzy, not too sweet. A hint of the nose's peaches makes a cameo.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

It's become very delicate now. The nose is more floral, with subtler peaches and mangoes, though an orange oil note has appeared. Malt and limes show up in the palate first, then toasty oak spice and fresh ginger. The sweetness remains in check. It finishes with wood spice, limes, and peach skin.


One can't always judge a whisky by its color, but that works for this Caperdonich. This refill sherry butt contributes only moderately to the bottled product. The whisky does seem a bit fragile as it almost collapses at 46%abv, but since I don't know how long this this bottle had been open, I'm not going to assess this one too aggressively for it. But I do prefer it at full strength, wherein the palate is never shy, and the nose is a particular treat. As much as I enjoyed this particular Caperdonich, it did have a sparring partner......

Availability - ???
Pricing - ???
Rating - 88 (when neat)