Single malt whisky - tasting notes

27 Aug 2013

Caperdonich 1977 (Cadenhead)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Caperdonich

Cadenhead, Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, recently revised most of its packaging. They introduced a new dumpy bottle style, a Cadenhead Creations range (also dumpy) and a cask strength Small Batch range with rectangular bottles.

It seems they wanted to celebrate this small revival with a bang, releasing whiskies that have become thin on the ground these days (Banff 1976, Caperdonich 1977 and Littlemill 1977). Some of the new bottlings received quite some praise so we’re eager to try them.

We’ll start with the 35 year old Caperdonich 1977. Never tried this vintage, let’s hope it comes close to the legendary 1972.



Caperdonich 1977 Cadenhead Small BatchCaperdonich 35 yo 1977 (50,2%, Cadenhead Small Batch 2013, sherry butt, 384 btl.)

Nose: starts in a rather fierce way, with polished oak and an alcohol tingle blocking most of the nose. Underneath is some beeswax and mint. Oranges and spices (ginger). A few drops of water highlight citrus and some peach jam. Mouth: a similar fruity core (apricot, citrus) alongside heavy spicy notes (pepper, ginger, mint, eucalyptus). A few waxy notes. Herbal tea and plain oak as well. Water doesn’t change it much, it stays on the resinous / minty / tannic side. Finish: more oak and spices. Drier and less thick.

Funny how Caperdonich follows its sister Glen Grant when comparing vintages. This late 1970’s production has some loud oak and doesn’t have the same amount of jammy fruitiness and beehive notes as the 1972’s. Nonetheless it’s still attractive. Around € 300 – a heavy price.

Score: 88/100

Caperdonich 1977 (Cadenhead) 4 Ruben Luyten 2013-08-27
  • Teun

    About € 100,- less if you buy it in Campbeltown.
    Looking forward to try this one tomorrow. Hope I can try it without thinking of those excellent november 72’s.

  • Kian

    Picked up a fantastic 25 Year Old HP from this series last week, a lot more reasonably priced at £120.

  • EMalt

    And in Germany €50,- Euro’s less. So too expensive in BE and NL, how comes?

  • Teun

    That HP I love! And indeed reasonably priced. Especially if you compare it to the standard HP 25 bottling. Got mine for just 90,- GBP at Whiskyshop Dufftown :)

  • WhiskyNotes

    I’m surprised by the big differences in prices for these new releases. Cadenhead should cap them for their own good.

  • Mick

    RRP was 86,50£
    Cadenheads London sold it for 120 £ which makes me kind of p…. off.
    The original Cadenheads Shops should sell for RRP.

  • S.

    Hi Ruben,

    I got the Cadenheads Small Batch Convalmore 1977 at 58.2% also online from whiskyshopdufftown at £179.95 (+ £8 Posting & Packaging) instead of £245 from the London shop!

    The question I really wanted to ask you is if your score for this Cadenheads Small Batch Caperdonich 1977 of 88 Points is a “forgiving score” like you gave for the Benriach 1976 Sherry Butt (cask #6967) or is it your real score?
    Did you really like it, or did you judge it analytically as something that isn’t your taste but that very good in its own style?
    I’m asking you because I was thinking of getting a bottle initially.
    (*Forgiving scores could lead us to confusion in the long time)
    Oh, are you reviewing any Benriach S.C this year, or are you fed up with all their wood finishing? Have you tried any of batch 10?

  • WhiskyNotes

    It’s a real score in any case. The Caperdonich ’77 is good whisky, it doesn’t need a forgiving score, but as with BenRiach 1976 it’s hard not to think of all the wonderful ’72 predecessors (which had less oak) and judge the bottle on its own. I wouldn’t buy it but I understand some people like it very much.

    Not sure I will review the new BenRiachs or GlenDronachs. Once I find a sample, they will be sold out anyway (some of them don’t even come to my country). In a way it would be self-torture.

  • Tony

    That’s the Serge effect. They just can’t resist… And neither can I, even at £120 instead of £90! Still a few HP left there – and this Caperdonich at £175. No Convalmore or Banff though, sadly.

  • Tony

    I nearly got the Convalmore at £245 – but thought it a bit too much – then saw the Diageo price for the 1977 (£600!) which made the Cadenhead price more attractive… at which point they were gone. C’est la vie.



November 2015
« Oct    

Coming up

  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1930 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.