The Caperdonich distillery was built in 1898 and was originally known as Glent Grant No.2 as it was built opposite its big sister, in response to the increased demand for whisky. However, as with many other distilleries built in the whisky ‘boom’ of the 1890’s, Glen Grant No.2 closed its doors only a few years later. An immediate slump in demand at the turn of the new century meant that from 1902 Glent Grant No.2’s stills were inactive, but they continued to operate their malting floors, kiln and warehouses.
In 1965 another whisky boom saw Glen Grant’s trade with Italy experience substantial growth. This led to an expansion at the Glen Grant No 2. distillery in 1967 which saw the number of stills doubled to four. In 1977 after gaining popularity as a stand-alone brand, Glen Grant No. 2 became Caperdonich.
The distillery continued operating until 2002. Pernod Ricard bough Caperdonich in 2001 but stopped production a year later. Various parts of the distillery and land were sold off and in 2011 the buildings were completely demolished and there are no plans to rebuild it.
Because Caperdonich started life as a sister plant to Glen Grant, it was set up to produce the same character whisky. However, this was not the case. It is light and floral like Glen Grant, but less green apple is present and more creaminess, mint and pear. The difference is very subtle, and it is believed the reason behind the slight difference is down to the different shape stills. However, in 1985 Glen Grant style stills were re-installed and the characteristics continued to differ, so there is an air of mystery as to why the two whiskies vary.
The whisky produced at Caperdonich was for some reason considered mainly as a second rate malt however, today it is considered to be one of Speyside’s hidden gems with a passionate following of loyal fans.
There are very few official bottlings available from Caperdonich but various aged bottlings from independent bottlers do appear on the market from time to time.