Caperdonich 38, 1972-2011, 53.6% – Duncan Taylor Rarest of the Rare

Caperdonich 1972 is somewhat of a legendary dram. For most distilleries there seems to be a year in which their product peaked in flavour. Lochside 1981, BenRiach 1976, GlenDronach 1972 and so on.

Unfortunately this distillery has been closed and demolished so whatever delicious whisky comes from the Speyside stills is finite. In a rather odd way the stills live on in Belgium, since Etienne Bouillon of Belgian Owl has bought them and is installing them in his new distillery.

I got this sample through the Facebook Whisky Buyers group, which seems to have died out by now.

There have been quite a few bottles from this year and I’ve reviewed a few of them earlier. One of those is an all time favourite dram, some others were less interesting. Let’s see where this one falls.

Caperdonich 38 by Duncan Taylor. Image from Whiskybase

Caperdonich 38 by Duncan Taylor. Image from Whiskybase

A rich and spiced nose with lots of oak influence. It’s not clear to me whether or not this is a bourbon or a sherry cask. Pretty amazing with oaky herbs and spices, bees wax, curry like spices too. Allspice, banana, lemon curd. Millions of things to discover, but the main pattern is sweet and gentle spices.

Very gentle with bees wax and honey. There’s oak, full, rich, spicy. It has a sweet & spicy Mexican or Indian feel to it. It’s not sharp but it’s very rich. The wood has imparted a lot of flavours without becoming dominating at all.

The finish is tremendous. Beautifully waxy and honeyed. There’s quite some oak here too with old vanilla, spices, burnt orange wedges and lemon peel.

The finish might seem a bit strange but it feels like a natural evolution of the palate. A dessert if you will. The whisky is an absolutely stunning dram, with lots of deliciousness going on. I usually am not a big fan of whiskies that stay in the ‘spicy’ area too long but in this case there’s enough oaky sweetness to make it lovely indeed.

I might need to add something like this to my wishlist, before it’s all gone.

Caperdonich 38, 1972-2011, 53.6%, Duncan Taylor Rarest of the Rare. Should cost about € 250 if you can find it now.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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