Google A Pair Of Clynelish

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

October 14, 2017




Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild

A Pair Of Clynelish

I’m quite thrilled that Diageo will ‘do something’ with the old Clynelish/Brora distillery across the road from the ‘new’ one. It will take a while no doubt but thankfully there are still plenty examples of its sibling to keep us occupied in the mean time. And who could complain about that?


Clynelish 1996/2013 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseur’s Choice)

Clynelish 1996/2013 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseur’s Choice) 1996 is a slightly ‘trickier’ vintage than the ubiquitous 1997s in my opinion. Although plenty are still fab. Colour: Light gold. Nose: It’s a slightly more austere one at first approach. There’s a rather brittle mineralic aspect with damp hay, soot and coal dust but this quickly moves into fairly classical and very pleasing territories such as soft waxes, beach pebbles, bay leaf and a little wet earth. Little bunches of white flowers and linen. Somewhat straight forward but relatively uncompromising in style. Mouth: A nice assortment of waxes, white pepper, a little green fruit, some camphor, gooseberry jam, pine resin, gorse. It’s not the most sensational Clynelish but it is loyal and exemplary of the distillery character. Would be a perfect alternative to the official 14 year old. Perhaps some cold tea, sorrel and olive oil after a while. Finish: Medium with a nicely sooty, lemony and waxy aftertaste. Comments: A solid and fairly emblematic Clynelish. Just a little simple maybe. One for casual quaffing or the hip flask. SGP: 462 - 84 points.



Clynelish 21 yo 1983/2004 (56.9%, Dun Bheagan, hogsheads, casks #2552-2553, 516 bottles)

Clynelish 21 yo 1983/2004 (56.9%, Dun Bheagan, hogsheads, casks #2552-2553, 516 bottles) Serge tasted a 19 year old, sibling bottling to this one back in 2005 and found it quite disappointing (WF:70). Let’s see if it was an unfortunate fluke. Most 83s are fab... Colour: White wine. Nose: Ahh! We’re safe! This is a wonderfully harmonious mix of white fruits, waxes, oils, herbs, coastal and farmyard qualities. There is a shared DNA with the 1996 but this is just fatter, richer and globally more pronounced. With a little time a buttery, Riesling-esque petroleum note emerges. Goes on with little touches of dried mint, wild strawberry, a lick of tar, granny smith apples, sunflower oil, creel nets and bergamot. Some tiny suggestions of various medical tinctures, cotton wool, tool sheds and camphor. Big, classical and braw! With water: develops these wonderful notes of meadowsweet, buttercup and lime cordial. Wax jackets and gorse flowers. Mouth: A big, glistening and slightly medicinal waxiness. Full of herbs, wild flowers, pastry, dried seaweed, minerals and sandalwood. Becomes in turn peppery, grassy and oily with further various waxy and farmyard complexities. Old workshops and motor oil. A lick of paraffin and some aged Gewurztraminer. With water: perfect! A blend of aged Riesling, assorted waxes, furniture polish, Turkish delight, some Moroccan spices and a breezy, seashore minerality. Finish: Long! Full of white pepper, earl grey tea, lemon peel, buttered toast and dried herbs. Comments: These early 80s Clynelish really had something special about them. Almost a resurgence of the early 70s characteristics in some ways. This one was fab! SGP: 362 - 91 points.








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