Whisky Review – Caperdonich 19 year old single cask – Lady of the Glen

Caperdonich 19 year old single cask – Lady of the Glen
54% ABV
£93.86 from MasterOfMalt

With only 120 bottles produced, I’m ashamed to say I’ve dropped a ball here.
Lady of the Glen were so awesome in sending me a sample of this just before Christmas, but it lost its label, and the season of good will got in the way of my reviewing habits. This is a first time Caperdonich, which is a mothballed (closed, not demolished) distillery. So, without further ado…

Nose.

Powerful citrus and malt. Quite a high ABV burn on the nose. Nice intense peppery spice. Lemon juice & rind. Sherbert lemons, complete with icing sugar. Some orange oil. There’s a malted biscuit quality to the nose also. Hints of flower beds also in the background.

Palate.

Very oily on the glass. In the mouth. Tart. Oily lemon juice. Lots of citrus sour, then alcohol nip, followed by a smooth malty experience, more sedate citrus, creamy orange and lemon barley. A pepper blast, some chilli. End development there is some sweetness coming through, proper sugary sweetness offsetting the heavy sour opening. This is a new experience for me, not had a Whisky this intense in the sour department to date. It’s quite eye opening, and rather an exciting change.

Finish.

Medium, drying. Pepper spice, a little oak, the citrus flavours returns, goes and returns again, with pepper interchanging. Interesting, different malt to any I’ve tried before.

Adding water.

I’m going to add in phases to find its ideal.
Phase 1. Few drops. More pepper and floral on the nose with the citrus still present, but slightly sweetened. The palate reflects the sweeter, with the sour attack lessened pleasantly, the citrus is now a little more fruity and less intense, with the malty backbone coming through. The finish, lighter, sweeter, a little longer, with some effervescence.
Phase 2. Few more drops. More sweet shops, lemon sherbert and citrus pips. Intensely sweet shop. Lovely nose. Palate continues to become more sweetness in the citrus, and some more fizzy sherbert coming in on the palate, some additional sweetness in the finish.
Phase 3. Few more. The scotch mist is finally coming through. More floral on the nose now, it still has the lemon barley, but more serene, with some subtle sugars integrated. Sweet shops are still there, but more at a distance, with some more pungent spices, cardamom, lighter pepper, anise, and a touch of liquorice. And the palate is reflected as such, sweeter, spicier, less citrus, but still very prominent. Some creamier elements to the fruit, with the sour notes popping in mid palate for a wee reminder of the intensity of flavour this dram is capable of. The chewy, creamy malt biscuit effect is still there end development and through to the finish, which remains drying and longer to the undiluted finish. Complex oak spices and some lingering lemon freshness remains to the end.

Conclusion.

This is an interesting one. Some intensely sour flavours in this malt I had yet to experience before. This is a challenging Whisky, not for the beginner, it has a lot of rewards locked within itself, and takes some serious exploration to get the rewards out, and some experimentation with water to get the best out.
This has now sold out on ladyoftheglen.com, and I’m looking forward to hearing of their next release. In the meantime a few bottles are available on MasterOfMalt.

Thank you to Gregor Hannah at Lady of the Glen for kindly providing a review sample. Eye opening and unique experience mate, thank you.

20140115-224457.jpg

Whisky Review – Ballantine’s Christmas Blend – release 4


Ballantine’s Christmas Blend – release 4
40% ABV
£25.00 at Sainsbury’s
*** At time of writing reduced to £18.75

Nose.

A variable menagerie of light charcoal smoke, rich dark fruit and treacle toffee. Some country fudge. Stewed spiced apples in the background. Truly does have a Christmassy nose, all things thick, sugared and sticky.

Palate.

Quite dry, but it’s all about the toffee sweetness. Burnt caramelised toffee, vanilla, light rum and raisin. Chewy. There are some good oils albeit it still feeling quite light.

Finish.

Short-medium smooth finish. Fruit and toffee stays on the palate for a wisp. With some spicy fruit pie filling.

Adding water.

A few drops brings more of a mustiness to the nose and weakens some of the toffee on the palate. It’s worth trying with a tiniest little bit of water but I feel it’s already at its most flavoursome straight from the bottle.

Conclusion.

A good solid Christmassy dram. Easy drinking, thoroughly enjoyable. Not immensely complicated or challenging but excellent for relaxing after a big meal and whiling the evening away with this tasty little number.

20140115-084808.jpg