Edition No.23 from Whisky Sponge takes us to the demolished distillery of Caperdonich – from where I believe I’ve seen just as many bottles released in the past decade as I have since the site was purchased by Pernod Ricard back in 2001. It seems the desire for the distillate is still growing whilst the remaining stocks last – a bunch of OB releases (including 18 + 25 year old peated expressions) hit the shelves last year. But barring these and occasional dips into the Pernod Distillery Reserve Collection – indy bottlers are and likely will be your main avenue for exploring what was once Glen Grant #2.
The spongified release was distilled back in 1995 a few years before the bulldozers moved in. It was matured in a refill sherry hogshead before a mere 124 bottles were released at 52%. Long sold out of course.
Nose: Beehive stuff with honey, wax and pollen prominently expressed. Sitting throughout – pears poached in white wine and peach schnapps. Candy sugar sweetness is set against delicate touches of café latte and chopped hazelnuts, whilst tingling baking spices are punctuated by brass polish. The addition of water reveals additional textural cues – sunflower oil and wood wax, together with almond paste and fresh golden barley
Taste: Great arrival – partly creamy, partly oily and full of vibrant, communicative character. Ginger spiced orange marmalade, flambe bananas and tang of limes to open – following into sweet red liquorice, polished oak tables, golden tobacco and pangs of cinnamon ball heat. Reduction retains the weight and body of the whisky. Impressive. Lychee, melon and assorted fleshy stone fruits make for a juicy medley alongside grassy aspects of straw and reeds.
Finish: Medium on ginger and anise spiced orange segments.
Whisky Sponge’s Caperdonich 1995 possesses a memorably excellent initial mouth attack – bursting with vitality and definition. Then again – the whole thing is pretty excellent frankly with coverage across juicy fruits, well-judged spicing and intricate textural asides. Open your bottles – this one doesn’t deserve to be kept under a stopper.
Review sample provided by Decadent Drinks