The Dramble has covered a range of recently released Caperdonich’s – the distillate’s limelight seems to be increasing (alongside Imperial) the longer the memory of the actual physical distillery fades. Anyhow, this 21 year old has been maturing in a single ex-bourbon hogshead since 2000 and has been bottled as a TWE exclusive from Signatory at 56.9%. Still available from the retailer’s website for £299.
Nose: Chalky oak sits with orange juice (with the bits left in), whilst desiccated coconut and marzipan join vanilla pods, griddled waffles, Italian meringue and planed oak. The addition of water reveals dry soils, whipped cream and a general sense of fustiness, moving away from some of defined fruit notes one would expect from this distillate.
Taste: Cask-forward. Banoffee pie with a good dose of spray cream. Orange liqueurs livened with stem ginger. And a honey-drenched bowl of apples and pear slices. The development is oak-centric with vanilla, toffee popcorn and lingering pepper. Reduction offers syrupy ‘green’ fruits alongside a fairly tannic, drying, sticky oak and burnt toffee. Far better at natural cask strength.
Finish: Quite long with orange zest, ginger-spiced chai and toasted oak.
TWE’s exclusive Signatory 2000 Caperdonich squarely falls into my ‘like it, don’t love it’ category. There are certain cues I expect, look for and also yearn from this distillate and here they’re conspicuously subsumed by palpably active oak. That’s not to say that the end result is bad – it isn’t – but the bright, zingy fruitiness many would expect here is pared back, and not amount of dilution will help to discover it. It’s agreeable stuff. But honestly, I find myself a little disappointed.
Review sample provided by The Whisky Exchange