Google A day(ish) of Clynelish

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

May 20, 2019


A day(ish) of Clynelish

And so they did a Clynelish ‘Game Of Thrones’! To me, that’s equivalent to a Patek Philippe ‘Nigel Farage’, a Cheval Blanc ‘Kim Kardashian’, or a Zind Humbrecht Rangen de Thann ‘Dan Quayle’ (please, don’t!) I had thought the Lagavulin GOT was okayish, but I’ve heard this Clynelish was better. But first the 14 that we haven’t tried since a few years, and perhaps a few other ‘lishes after the two OBs.

Clynelish 14 yo (46%, OB, +/-2019)

Clynelish 14 yo (46%, OB, +/-2019) Four stars
I used to think they had much improved the recipe over the years. I wasn’t a fan of the early releases, but the recent ones used to cruise along the 86/76-line. Colour: gold. Nose: starts a little sour (cider) and even vinous, all that being pretty nice, before it gets waxier, as expected. There’s quite some vanilla too, some coal smoke, a little sea water, and then some smoked ham or even sausages (or Landjäger), something I hadn’t encountered before. I mean, in the official 14. The vanilla’s a little bolder too, I think. More rejuvenated wood? Mouth: good! Once again it is a little smokier, perhaps a tad bitterer too, salty and briny, with oranges, ginger, turmeric, hints of gin (they could do martinis), and then some vanilla again. The smoky waxiness kept the lead, but I would say this OB’s globally more ‘vanilla-ed’ than most, if not all indies. Finish: long, beautifully bitter. Campari (and gin). Some kind of readymade Negroni from Brora. Comments: no quibble here, even if I like them even clearer and cleaner.
SGP:362 - 87 points.

Clyne(cough)lish (cough) Reserve ‘Game Of (cough) Thrones’ (51.2%, OB (cough), 2019)

Clyne(cough)lish (cough) Reserve ‘Game Of (cough) Thrones’ (51.2%, OB (cough), 2019) Two stars and a half
NAS and from the ‘House Tyrrel’, apparently. I didn’t know Uncle Ken had started some whisky business, did Jackie Stewart give him that idea? Colour: gold. Nose: clearly more oak than in the 14. Sawn wood, branches, a Saturday morning at IKEA, then limestone and concrete, grated dry coconut, paraffin and rusks. The jury’s still out. With water: vanilla and bananas. Typical fresh American oak. Mouth (neat): modern and quite good. Sweet oak, vanilla, paraffin, beeswax, lavender sweets (it’s got a Bowmore-y side indeed), then sadly, some much drier and bitterer oak. And cinnamon mints. I don’t know if the Tyrrels are villains, but this is certainly not the subtlest Clynelish ever. With water: the oak in the back feels too much for me. Finish: rather long but bitter. Green pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg. Comments: so, are the Tyrrels villains? As far as Clynelish is concerned, I’m sorry but this is not exactly my thing. Reminds me a bit of the late 1970s vintages.
SGP:461 - 78 points.

Let’s check a few indies if you don’t mind, starting with a young one…

Clynelish 2008/2019 (53.3%, Riegger’s Selection, Ice wine cask finish, cask #800191, 294 bottles)

Clynelish 2008/2019 (53.3%, Riegger’s Selection, Ice wine cask finish, cask #800191, 294 bottles) Four stars
What, ice wine? Canadian ice wine? We can’t use that appellation in the EU anymore because of some kind of trade deal, if I’m not mistaken. Colour: gold. Nose: you do find apricots indeed, which makes this wee Clynelish much softer and rounder than usual. More honeyed too, pleasantly herbal (lime blossom, honeysuckle), a wee tad mentholy, and with touches of easy sweet wine. Monbazillac, perhaps. With water: sweet oak, melon, banana, custard. Mouth (neat): it’s pretty. Not really Clynelish, but pretty. Some sour custard, apricot jam, pear juice, more Monbazillac, then a green spiciness from the wood. Maybe European oak. With water: same profile, plus a little liquorice wood. Plums. Finish: medium, just as apricoty. Some green tea. Comments: I would have said cask strength Glenmorangie. It’s true that both distilleries are neighbours, somehow. So not very Clynelish, but pretty pretty good.
SGP:551 - 85 points.

Clynelish 25 yo 1993/2018 (47.7%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #26.125, ‘Valentin’s Moustache Wax’, refill bourbon barrel, 175 bottles)

Clynelish 25 yo 1993/2018 (47.7%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #26.125, ‘Valentin’s Moustache Wax’, refill bourbon barrel, 175 bottles) Four stars
What Valentin’s moustache wax? It’s more and more obvious to me that they’ve smoked all their carpets, at the Vaults. Because I never use any moustache wax, mind you (isn’t that rather you, Charlie?) Let’s make this clear, I am not involved in this botting in any way, they’ve just used my name while I was busy elsewhere. Colour: white wine. Nose: it is a funny one, at that. Pointed cabbage, vase water, sweet mustard, manzanilla, old pears, heather honey, old dry muscat, a drop of vegetable bouillon, also a drop of miso soup (with bean curd)… And, how scandalous, no moustache wax whatsoever! And my lawyer who’s on vacation… Mouth: it is a loco Clynelish, indeed. More vegetables, lime juice, sour soups and juices, a touch of soap, some salted broth, Maggi… Actually, I’m wondering, isn’t this rather Glenturret? Or Tullibardine? Some salted caramel, a little pipe juice, artichokes… Now it grows on you, it’s just very unusual, and bizarrely salty. Split pea sausage soup. Never thought you could bring all this out of a bourbon barrel. Finish: rather long, a tad more leathery, waxier, with more paraffin and bitter oils. Comments: canned soup. Extremely hard to score. I’ll say 85 but it is kind of unparalleled in its salty oddness. I’m asking you, what can I do?
SGP:362 - 85 points.

Break! But we’ll be back with more Clynelish…

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