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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

April 23, 2014


Three Clynelish including a 1972

A classic line-up, not much else to add. We had to recover by playing it safe after yesterday's very bizarre, err, drinks.

Clynelish 1997/2013 'Apple Basket' (46%, Wemyss Malts, hogshead, 339 bottles)

Clynelish 1997/2013 'Apple Basket' (46%, Wemyss Malts, hogshead, 339 bottles) Four stars How many 1997s have we already tried? A few dozens, I guess. Usually great stuff! Colour: gold. Nose: yeah well, it’s Clynelish. The most implacable wax-garden fruits combo known to Man. This one’s actually rather gentle, there are rather less oils and greases than in other ones, and a crisper fruitiness. Apples and citrons, I’d say. And paraffin! Mouth: starts with a massive fruit explosion that tops the waxy side. Tangerines, lemons, apples, even cherries, maybe apricots (apricots in Clynelish?) All that makes this baby sweeter than expected, and in that sense a tad un-Clynelish, but it all works very well. It’s only after a good thirty seconds that waxier and even dirtier (dirty in a great way) notes start to appear. Finish: long, with more white pepper and green tea, which fights the massive fruitiness and makes the whole less sweet. I almost wrote sugary. Comments: excellent, as expected, just a notch less ‘chiselled’ than earlier 1997s by Wemyss. Ah, the 'Spiced Chocolate Cup' from last year! SGP:641 - 85 points.

Clynelish 17 yo 1995/2013 (56.2%, Signatory for The Whisky Exchange, refill sherry, cask #12794, 622 bottles)

Clynelish 17 yo 1995/2013 (56.2%, Signatory for The Whisky Exchange, refill sherry, cask #12794, 622 bottles) Four stars The Whisky Exchange and affiliated brands have already issued some fabulous Clynelishes in the past, so our expectations are deep now, although I think sherry can be a little tricky on Clynelish in my experience. Colour: deep gold. Nose: ah. Its not an ‘obvious’ Clynelish indeed, and it does remind me of some sherried ones by Cadenhead’s. The sherry brings out a leatheriness as well as many meaty notes such as smoked ham, or beef jerky. It’s actually rather winey as well (old wine barrel) and a little cigary. With water: I love my water, because it made the spirit stand out. Clynelish! Mouth (neat): big stuff! Massive doses of bitter oranges, curry, thick apple liqueur, with notes of chlorophyll and green tobacco. With water: once again, water unleashes the spirit’s original character. Wax, minerals and blood oranges in this case. Finish: long, and much zestier when watered down. Comments: I’ve had some medium-aged sherried Clynelish that had been quite dirty, but this one isn’t. So it’s rather an interesting – and very good – variant that should appeal to Clynelish lovers who’ve already got six or more different ‘natural’ expressions. And it loves water. SGP:562 - 87 points.

Good, since we’ve had a sherried one, we could s well go for the full monty, don’t you agree?...

Clynelish 1972 (61.5%, Cadenhead for Oddbins, cask #5643, early 1990s)

Clynelish 1972 (61.5%, Cadenhead for Oddbins, cask #5643, early 1990s) Five stars I guess there’s no need to tell you about 1972 at Clynelish (and at Brora, and at many other Scottish distilleries). A miracle year! Colour: red amber. Nose: I don’t think I’ll need to describe this nose for you. I’ll simply say that it’s a slightly flinty and cigary, yet pretty magnificent and vibrant 1972 Clynelish from a more than perfect sherry cask. Big, big stuff. With water: excuse me, but wow. I mean, wow! Fir trees, mushrooms, a box of puros, blood oranges, burning vine stock, old chartreuse, burnt beef, gingerbread, hundreds of spices… Mouth (neat): hits you right between the eyes. High-impact orangey sherry, fabulously zesty and thick at the same time, with an incredible body and plenty of smoked meats. Will that do? With water: yeah, leather, tobacco, a curious feeling of overripe strawberries (that can happen with sherry casks), guavas, more blood oranges, an amazing spice mix… Please call the anti-maltoporn brigade! Finish: very long, smoky, jammy, spicy and, as expected, rather waxy as well. After all, this is Clynelish. Sadly, the aftertaste is a notch drying and too chocolaty for my taste. Loses one or two points here. Comments: absolutely superb, although it’s maybe not the best Clynelish 1972 ever to be honest. But we’re very close for sure! SGP:463 - 92 points.

(with thanks to Phil and Simon)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Clynelish I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback







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