Well, there’s no mistaking this being from a sherry cask. It’s a butt too, so a more proper sherry cask as well. No information about the kind of oak is given though.
Last year Cadenhead’s, the rather awesome bottler of liquid gold, celebrated their 175th anniversary. With it came a plethora of interesting bottlings, of which I obtained exactly none. I tried to do a bottle share with the bottles that came to the Netherlands, but they were sooooo expensive by then, that I passed.
The biggest problem for/with Cadenhead’s is that they are really expensive outside of the UK. This one went for, I believe, 360 quid in the UK, which translated to some 400 euros back then. In The Netherlands it went for 700 euros. A difference too big to overcome, for several reasons.
Anyway, I managed to get my hands on a sample of this thanks to a UK based bottle share club I’m in. And, now that it’s all gone, I am sooooo happy I got my hands on a sample.
The nose starts with very smooth and fruity sherry. Lots of oak, but in a way that it supports the other aromas instead of trying to trump them. There’s dates and figs, with some dry sherry. Cold brew coffee with steamed milk. Somehow it also reminds me of St. George’s NOLA Coffee Liqueur. Slightly foresty with moss and ferns. Plums and peaches later on.
The palate is slightly tingling, so it suggests a bit more alcohol than I’d expect at 39 years old (no ABV on the sample bottle and I didn’t look it up). Dry, warming and gently oaky. Hints of dry spices and a very light bitterness. Sweet citrus with blood orange, sherry and loads of other fruits, mostly dates and peaches.
The finish starts with a full and intense hit of sherry, with loads of fruit. A slight bitterness, with oaky and foresty notes. Very complex and long with plums, dates and figs.
To summarize: If I had properly reviewed this last year, it would have been my whisky of the year.
I’m still trying to find my way with ratings, especially in the 84-88 zone, but apparently that also goes for the 91 and up area of whisky points. This, however, sits at a comfortable 94 points for me, without a shadow of a doubt. What a stunning whisky.
The complexity is stunning. The depth and layeredness (a parfait, not an onion, for you Shrek lovers) is stunning. The combination of the sherry and the forest like notes remind me of (although not quite similar) the best Karuizawa and sherried Hakushu whiskies I’ve had. It’s amazing, believe me.
Caperdonich 39, 1977-2017, 50.4%, Cadenhead’s 175th Anniversary. Available in Denmark for 675 euros, if you manage to get one.