Here’s the other release by the new German bottler Maltbarn (after the Caol Ila 1980). As it’s a Caperdonich from the legendary year 1972, we were expecting a typical old fruit bomb with plenty of honey. With only 73 bottles (a very small cask), they are selling quickly.
Caperdonich 38 yo 1972 (55,6%, Maltbarn 2011, ex-sherry butt, 73 btl.)
Nose: warm and fruity Caperdonich, with lots of ripe apricots, quince jam and figs. Exemplary beehive notes as well (wax and honey). Soft spices. More buttery notes than other 1972’s though, mocha and praline as well, and then a peculiar element, a slightly overripe botrytis edge (difficult to describe) or the kind of dirtiness that a Sauternes cask can bring along. Well, maybe not dirty, but “wild” let’s say. Not uncommon for a sherry cask, but I’ve never seen this in a Caper 72 before.
Mouth: punchy and much more oaky now, very spicy (pepper, cinnamon) with tea notes and after that also a few chestnut / walnut skin notes. Quite wood-oriented, but luckily there’s still a big amount of fruity notes underneath: overripe oranges, gooseberries, persimmons. Honey and mocha again. Yellow raisins. I like it better with a few drops of water.
Finish: rather long, still quite oaky. Some green pepper and tannins.
This is good whisky, but the combination of the name Caperdonich with the year 1972 sets certain expectations for a particular character, and this one has a slightly deviant character of its own. Therefore not my personal favourite. Around € 200. Whiskybase would be your best shot at getting one of the last bottles.