Caperdonich was the lesser known ‘backup’ distillery of Glen Grant, before being mothballed in 2002. Both are located in Rothes. Caperdonich is used in the Chivas Regal blend and although it usually has a malty, oaky, fruity profile (check the wonderful Caperdonich 36y 1972 by Duncan Taylor), a few peated versions exist. There was only one official (unpeated) bottling, a 16 year old in the Chivas “cask strength” series (only available at the Chivas distilleries).
Update: there was also an official Caperdonich 5yo in the 1970’s (now extremely rare). Thanks Luc for informing me!
This heavily peated Caperdonich was released by Single Malts of Scotland and is available at The Whisky Exchange (around € 45).
Caperdonich 10y 1998 (58,5%, SMoS 2008, cask #1277, 251 btl.)
Nose: dry and peaty, but without the usual medicinal / coastal associations that you would find in peated Islay whisky. Smoky, very peaty and slightly farmy (wet wool). Grilled bread. Hints of terpentine (oil paint). Nice.
Mouth: there’s peat smoke, oil, soft citrus (grapefruit), some oak and bitter tea. Rather hot. Maybe a bit one-dimensional. Peaty finish, with a dry start but getting sweeter. Medium long. Hints of pear. Big coal smoke.
Unusual for a Caperdonich, that’s for sure. Quite pleasant as well although the dry peat is rather dominant.