Google Little duos, today Clynelish

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

February 14, 2019


Little duos, today Clynelish

(for Valentine’s Day, ha ha!)

I don’t think I need to tell you that Clynelish is one, if not my favourite Scottish distillery. Neither do I need to add that 1995 and 1983 were great vintages – should you believe in vintages in whisky (which are not the same thing as vintages in barley, whisky isn’t wine).

Clynelish 23 yo 1995/2018 (54.5%, Signatory Vintage, refill sherry butt, cask #8674, 266 bottles)

Clynelish 23 yo 1995/2018 (54.5%, Signatory Vintage, refill sherry butt, cask #8674, 266 bottles) Five stars
In general, ex-sherry Clynelishes aren’t exactly my favourites, same with other bold distillates by the way, but some have been very good, including a brilliant sister butt by LMDW last year (WF 91), so let’s see what gives here. Colour: amber. Nose: no clashes and no extreme leather! Wonderful! Rather smoked raisins and figs, kumquats, pipe tobacco, miso soup, bresaola, marrow soup, parsley, walnuts, thin mints… And not one single molecule of sulphur. And it’s not even heavy; it’s pretty elegant, actually. With water: menthol and raisins in full swing, old garage, chalk, a little bit of smoke, perhaps pickled fruits, chutneys… And behind all those aromas, a certain Clynelishness that manages to find its way to your nostrils. Citrons! Mouth (neat): well it is a little heavy this time, concentrated, herbal and bitter, with artichoke liqueur, bitter oranges, more tobacco, ginger, leather, more miso soup, umami, salt… There’s a feeling of European oak, not too sure about that. With water: go to adore water, as thanks to just a few drops of Evian (we ran out of Vittel at WF Towers!) it became purely Clynelish. Wax, plasticine, oranges, citrons, lemons. Nothing more, nothing less. Finish: umami striking back. Long. A few struck matches in the aftertaste. Comments: no dissonances here. Very well done, but it’ll benefit greatly from ten of twenty extra-years in glass. Yes patience remains a virtue, just ask the distillers.
SGP:462 - 90 points.

Clynelish 35 yo 1983/2018 (52.2%, OB, Casks of Distinction, for Aaron Chan, hogshead, cask #2566, 144 bottles)

Clynelish 35 yo 1983/2018 (52.2%, OB, Casks of Distinction, for Aaron Chan, hogshead, cask #2566, 144 bottles) Five stars
You know you’re getting a little older when you still believe that a new 1983 should be 20 years old – and certainly not 35. It seems that this cask has been exclusively bottled by Diageo for various honourable Asian customers in different lovely countries, which sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but that’s not what’s important is it! What’s important is that this is a 1983! Colour: gold. Nose: maltoporn alert! Please call the Brigade immediately! It’s not spectacular whisky, it plays no tricks, it’s not doped, it’s just the most astounding combination of beeswax, orange skin, chalk, and lemon. And behind those, honeysuckle, citrons, paraffin, and a little bit of camphor. Perhaps a little coffee too. But you may ask, which kind of coffee? Well, that would be biodynamic hand-cultivated fair-trade coffee from a very small parcel of land in a well-preserved rainforest right in the middle of a tiny Bolivarian country (S., we know this is Clynelish, right…) With water: unimaginably fabulous. All herbs, all waxes, and all citrus fruits of the creation. Plus one marshmallow for good measure, a strawberry-flavoured one. Mouth (neat): this, is huge. There’s rather a lot of oak I have to say, some kind of green, sharp, almost lemony oak with a coffee-ish side (same coffee as above), but the spirit speaks out too, with citrons again, waxes aplenty, a little pancake syrup… A little uncertain at this point… With water: no, water cures it, the oak beats a retreat and gives the waxes and citrons the floor. Some fine touches of herbal oils in the background, essential oils… I’m sure this would cure some diseases. Finish: sadly, yes. Long, tense, a little tart and bitter, but that’s pretty perfect in this context. Green pepper from the oak that, apparently, had not yet said its last word.. Comments: absolutely marvellous, but certainly not bottled too early.
SGP:471 - 92 points.

(Thank you Aaron and Roger!)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Clynelish we've tasted so far






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