Caperdonich 1996/2016 Cadenhead ‘Cask Ends’
This is actually a quite special Caperdonich. And I don’t mean because it is a closed distillery. Nope. I’m talking about the fact that you can only buy this if you do the Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting in Campbeltown. I did that tasting in 2014, and it is still my most memorable tasting ever. I’m going to do it again next week, and hope it’ll be just as great.
Since this Caperdonich was bottled this year, you probably already guessed that I didn’t bottle it myself. It was bottled earlier this year by a whisky buddy, who subsequently dubbed it his Whisky Club Ypenburg Festival Bottling. I was invited, but couldn’t attend his private whisky festival. Luckily he did save me a sample from this Caperdonich, which has first spend 17 years in an ex-bourbon cask, followed by 3 years in an ex-sherry hogshead.
Caperdonich 1996/2016 (48,9%, Cadenhead ‘Cask Ends’, C#452)
Nose: Rich and sweet. Raisins, marzipan, crême brûlée. Also some tropical fruit like mango and peach. Some damp wood too. A hint of lime stone. Extremely well-integrated.
Taste: Some mint and eucalyptus, but also subtle sherry. Lovely stuff. Fresh berries and cherries accompanied by milk chocolate and a touch of latte macchiato. Slightly spicy. Now also grapefruit and citrus. A bit oak-y. Great mixture of bourbon and sherry cask influences.
Finish: Dry, tannins. Some caramel and butterscotch. A bit of pear. Long.
Well-balanced and integrated with both lovely sherry and bourbon influences. I sure hope the cask isn’t empty yet, and it’ll still be there next week.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.