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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Caperdonich Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Speyside Distillery Information

Caperdonich Distillery History  

Major Grant originally built the Caperdonich Distillery, Gaelic for 'the secret well,' in 1898.


The distillery was constructed as an annex to the Glen Grant distillery to meet the increasing demand of the 1890’s whisky boom and was commonly known as Glen Grant Number 2  


One unusual feature of the distillery was that Customs & Excise insisted that the spirit be piped over the road to Glen Grant Number 1, which was located directly across the street. This pipe became famous as the 'whisky pipe' and it was not unknown for the locals to drill holes in the pipe to release some spirit.


The distillery’s early production life was short lived and in 1902 Caperdonich was closed down. With most of the distilling equipment transferred across the road to the main Glen Grant distillery as spares.


The collapse of the merchants firm of Pattisons of Leith in 1898 contributed to a general slow down in the industry. During this period the number of operating distilleries in Scotland fell from a high of 191 in 1898 to a low of 132 in 1908


In 1965, after a very lengthy silent period of nearly 65 years, the Glenlivet & Glen Grant Distillers Ltd rebuilt Caperdonich and in its first year produced 350,000 gallons of spirit.


Two years later the distillery was expanded by the installation of two new steam heated pot stills, (Making four Stills) an up to date tun room and the latest operating technology. This allowed the distillery to be operated by a staff of only two.


Approximately a third of the malt required was produced at Glen Grant and the remainder was brought in. The distillery was taken over by Seagram's of Canada Limited in 1977. The distillery was mothballed in 2002.


It is reported that the stills at Caperdonich were the same as those at Glen Grant; the distillery used the same water source and supplier of malt yet Caperdonich never attained the quality of Glen Grant and was destined to be hidden away in the various blends of Chivas Regal, Queen Anne, Something Special and Passport. However some bottlings have been very highly rated by Jim Murray in his 2006 Whisky Bible.


Caperdonich Single malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery Bottlings

The owners have bottled Caperdonich as a single malt but only in hard to find limited editions.


Caperdonich 16 years old Cask Strength Edition


Caperdonich Single malt Scotch Whisky

Independent Bottlings  


Duncan Taylor Collection,

Connoisseurs Choice  (Gordon & MacPhail),

Hart Brothers,


Lonach (Duncan Taylor)

Murray McDavid Mission

Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),

Platinum (Douglas Laing),

Provenance (Douglas Laing),



Caperdonich Distillery Rothes,


AB38 7BS

Tel: +44 (0)1542 783300


No Visitor Facilities

Built in 1898 by J&J Grant as an annex for Glen Grant

Location Speyside region Rothes Town district

Water source Caperdonich Burn

Status Mothballed since 2002


Caperdonich  Scotch Whisky Distilling Equipment

Copper domed mash tun

8 Stainless steel washbacks

4 pot stills

Caperdonich Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1980

Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice



Colour: Yellow gold.



Nose: Closed, some fruit with a nutty (marzipan) edge.

Palate: Sweet with aromatic flavours (grape stalks and crushed

pepper). A fruitiness slowly develops.


With water

Nose: Slightly floral - reminiscent of Edinburgh Rock, fruity -

toffee apples.

Palate: Smoky - charred oak, some aniseed and liquorice.


Body: Medium.

Finish: Dry & spicy.

Cask Type: Refill Sherry Hogsheads.

Whisky Style: Rich, aromatic whisky - after dinner.

Caperdonich Scotch Whisky

Distillery Style Tasting Notes


Nose: Fresh, grassy, spicy.


Palate: Sweet and oaky, dates and raisins.


Finish: Hot and spicy.