Google New Brora plus sparring Clynelish

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

October 10, 2019





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
New Brora plus sparring Clynelish
There’s a new Brora in town but, alas, I’ve no other Brora to pair it with. However, in such vexing circumstances we can always go ‘over the road’ so to speak… as if an excuse were ever needed.


Clynelish 38 yo 1972/2010 (45.8%, The Whisky Agency, sherry hogshead, 134 bottles)

Clynelish 38 yo 1972/2010 (45.8%, The Whisky Agency, Private Stock, sherry hogshead, 134 bottles)
Colour: coppery gold. Nose: tobacco leaf, gunmetal and shoe polish. You feel the sherry but it’s superbly and rather thrillingly elegant and well-integrated. Wee touches of miso, quince jelly. Some mustard powder, soft beeswax and heather honey. Crystallised exotic fruits, warming spice notes and an increasingly plush leathery note. Totally superb! Mouth: Gloriously earthy, gamey and full of this nervous saltiness. Salted walnuts, balsamic, camphor and bitter herbal cough medicines. Some kind of super old green chartreuse mixed with natural tar and pine resins. Majestic texture as well. Full, polished, waxy, earthy, menthol and profoundly complex. Herbs, fruits, medicines, waxes, spices… everything glimmering and sloshing about in the darkness. Finish: long and leathery again. More meaty stock notes, salinity, preserved dark fruits, toasted walnuts and spiced damsons. Comments: Clynelish and sherry don’t always tango too well but this combination treads a pretty breathtaking nano-tightrope. 
SGP: 662 - 92 points.



Clynelish 32 yo 1972/2005 (53.5%, Glen Master, cask #14354)

Clynelish 32 yo 1972/2005 (53.5%, Glen Master, cask #14354)
Colour: light gold. Nose: seashells slathered in petroleum jelly, waxes, putty and paraffin. Straightforward and blindingly excellent. Pure old school Clynelish. Immediate and unmistakeable. Some dusty wax paper, a touch of linseed oil and a few lemon cough drops. Takes no prisoners! With water: abundant freshness now. Coastal, blustery, mineral, floral and singing with notes of pollen, gorse flower, hessian and salty old mead. Mouth: Pow! More waxes, jellies, medical tinctures, pebbles and a rather chalky minerality. Just totally thrilling! Some dried herbs and mint tea as well. With water: perilously quaffable; “Siri… call the ‘anti-maltoporn bridade’… no! ‘the ANTI-MAL… of forget it!” Finish: super long, bone dry, luminously waxy, herbal, coastal and uber-fresh. Comments: No messing about here. A serious old Clynelish that deserves its fairly hefty reputation. 
SGP: 563 - 93 points.



Brora 41 yo 1978/2019 (45%, OB ‘Casks of Distinction’ for Emmanuel Dron, Bihan Yang & Edward Zeng, refill hogshead, 60 bottles)

Brora 41 yo 1978/2019 (45%, OB ‘Casks of Distinction’ for Emmanuel Dron, Bihan Yang & Edward Zeng, refill hogshead, 60 bottles)
A new cask from Diageo’s ‘milk it for all its worth’ series. A series which has regularly managed to epitomise the extremes of being ridiculously expensive and annoyingly good at the same time. But then, don’t we live in an age of extremes? This one is done for a trio of good friends and well known whisky fanatics. Colour: straw. Nose: Light at first, a very lean waxiness, fresh malt, cereals, things like lemon peel, canvas, a light sooty note. Gets increasingly mineral. Mineral oils, coal dust, light herbal notes, a hint of petrol. Not unlike some old riesling and really increasingly reminiscent of old official Clynelish 12s from the early 70s and 60s. You have this same kind of extremely lean purity going on. I’m a total sucker for this profile. Mouth: Definitely from one of the lighter 70s batches. There’s little in the way of phenolics but instead the whole is very sooty and full of soft waxes, powerful mineral notes, raw cereals, petrol, lime zest. My beloved preserved lemons. In time it’s getting rather coastal and punchy. Hints of chopped chives (hello Roddy!), parsley and grassy olive oil. Really excellent, wonderful purity and texture. Metal polish, old oily tool boxes, some bitter herbs, cough medicines. Finish: Again fresh herbs, waxes and plain cereals. Wonderfully elegant, crisp, long and increasingly fatty and greasy in the aftertaste. Pure old school Clynelish-style sinew and salt. Comments: What I love is that you really feel the difference here between the early 70s ‘new’ Clynelish with their more playful aspects and the latter 70s Brora character. Even without peat the Brora still has something more unequivocally raw and pure about it. It reminds you that this style of whisky, unlike the great tropical fruit bombs or earthy peaty drams of old, is really a more evasive and intellectual style. However, once bitten, you just cannot help but lose yourself in these kinds of whiskies. A little extra oomph would have propelled this one higher but, as it stands, this a beautiful dram and we’re splitting hairs. 
SGP: 572 - 93 points.



Very happy with this wee session. It’s good to remind yourself from time to time, when Scottish single malts are on form, they are just unbeatable spirits. 









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