1997 Caperdonich – from a closed distillery to Cask Trade

At Cask Trade, we are fortunate to have a few of these rare casks that are very difficult to come by as single cask! They include ex-bourbon barrels filled with whisky distilled in January 1997 and Hogsheads containing Caperdonich from November 1997.

James Grant founded the Caperdonich distillery in 1897 by and built it across the road from Glen Grant distillery. He originally named it ‘Glen Grant Number 2’ as the distillery was built to increase the Grants capacity to match an increased demand from the market. It was, therefore, built as a replica of Glen Grant, including identical stills, water source and barley.

Fun Fact

Interestingly, a pipe was fitted between the two distilleries as they were both, in essence, producing the same spirit. That way, new make spirit from Caperdonich could be sent across the street to be put in casks at Glen Grant. Stories tell of locals trying to access the “whisky pipe” in the dead of night. At the start of the 20th century, there was a crash in the whisky industry, known as the Pattison Crisis. This event resulted in Glen Grant Number 2 closing in 1902.

whisky samples

Becoming Caperdonich

Glen Grant Number 2 lay dormant until 1965 when the distillery was revitalised by The Glenlivet and Glen Grant. The distillery had to be legally renamed in 1967, as laws had changed since 1902 that forbade distilleries from sharing a name. That is how Caperdonich, meaning secret well, was born and the distillery started producing whisky again.

Since then, Caperdonich’s spirit character had mysteriously changed and was no longer a replica of Glen Grants. It was mostly destined for the blending market, with the majority heading into Chivas Regal and Passport blends. Most of the Caperdonich produced was drunk young as a component in blended whisky. As a result, There is very little Caperdonich left, in casks, aging as a single malt. Pernod Richard purchased Caperdonich in 2000 and closed the distillery for a second time in 2002. The buildings were unfortunately demolished in 2011.

Caperdonich produced an elegant and floral whisky. Similar to Glen Grant but with less of its signature green apple character and more spice and plenty of fruit. Caperdonich’s distinctive and delicious whisky style, combined with its rarity, has resulted in a significant increase in demand since the distillery stopped producing new whisky in 2002. The demand and reputation of Caperdonich is reflected in the prices of recent single cask bottle prices. – Most coming in at £200-£500 a bottle for Caperdonich aged 20-24 years old.

Interested in having a closer look? Get in touch with us and let’s talk whisky!


Conor Strang