This blog post is an example of the perks of writing about whisky. When I recently placed an order at German retailer Whisky Maniac, its owner Martin immediately got in touch and offered to include a few samples as well. That’s why I’m now reviewing this Caperdonich 1992 30 Years, bottled by Sansibar exclusively for the 5th anniversary of Whisky Maniac.
Caperdonich built a reputation on the back of its 1970s distillate – especially the 1972 vintage has gained notoriety over the years. My experience with these releases is very limited. I’ve never reviewed any of the legendary bottlings, and have tasted less than a handful overall. However, I feel pretty comfortable with Caperdonich from the 1990s and onwards.
We’ve seen a few higher-end Caperdonich released in the past few years, including some by the WhiskySponge and Wu Dram Clan. They’re no longer as affordable as they once were, but I suppose that’s the case for any Scotch whisky these days. Thankfully, Caperdonich is generally really good. And after three decades of ageing, this Caperdonich 1992 30 Years from Sansibar should deliver as well.
Caperdonich 1992 30 Years (51.4%, Sansibar for Whisky-Maniac, C#121114)
Nose: Wonderful and elegant fruits with just a little wax. Plums, cotton candy grapes, Galia melon, pear skin and stewed apples. There might be a sliver of chalk too, as well as some honey, sweet barley and sugared cereals. Water brings out slightly more tropical notes, with pineapple leading the way. Taste: Full-on waxy mouthfeel. There’s some oak, gentle spices (black pepper), and enough tangy and sweet fruits to balance things out. Orange zest, fresh pears, nectarines, mushy bananas. Hoppy at times. But there’s also a soft and fragrant, almost floral element. Finish: Medium length with a gentle bitterness, a subtle grassiness and some gooseberries.
In my experience, 1990s Caperdonich often has this austere quality, in this case even after 30 years of ageing. Clynelish can have it. Pulteney too. It sometimes works to the distillate's detriment, but often adds an extra layer and richness. That's the case here. This Caperdonich isn't extremely polished, but it is extremely good.