Google Ultimate duos today Clynelish

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

July 16, 2020



Ultimate duos and wee fights, today Clynelish


Which sparring partner shall we select this time? Perhaps one that comes with a little secrecy? In any case, it’s Clynelish day at Château Whiskyfun, so I highly doubt that anything bad will happen. Especially since the Clynelish within the Prima & Ultima series comes with an age statement this time. Phew.

The friendly sparring-partner:

Distilled in Sutherland 19 yo 2000/2020 (53.2%, Thompson Bros., Dornoch Castle Whisky Bar 20th Anniversary, refill hogshead, 462 bottles)

Distilled in Sutherland 19 yo 2000/2020 (53.2%, Thompson Bros., Dornoch Castle Whisky Bar 20th Anniversary, refill hogshead, 462 bottles) Four stars
Well, last time I checked Tain was not quite in Sutherland, and neither was Wick. Which leaves us with Dornoch indeed or, alternatively, Brora. Right. Colour: white wine. Nose: relatively hot at first, both slightly ethanoly and acetic (pinot grigio – I know), but other aromas are soon to enter the dance, with first a wee touch of vanilla and coconut, then new Wellies, new inflatable dinghy (that’s the same, S.), paraffin, beeswax, fresh almonds, tangerines, inner tube, touches of sage and tarragon, barley, pumpernickel… How ‘idiosyncratic’ is all that? In truth and in my opinion, not much. With water: toasted bread, gingerbread, black tea, nutmeg. Mouth (neat): starts unusually bready and spicy, that’s the cask. What was it actually? Caraway, cumin, cloves, ginger… It’s not that that would overwhelm the spirit, not at all, but there… Then black olives, wax, roasted tea (ho-chi-cha or something like that), salt, ginger... I’d be curious to learn about what was in the cask before it was filled with the latest make. With water: even breadier, with more gingerbread, cinnamon rolls, focaccia… Finish: long, bready and spicy. Salty and peppery aftertaste. Comments: alright, we shall call this excellent baby Mr. Enigmatic. There should be no doubts, but… Hey isn’t there a Sutherland county in Australia too?
SGP:362 - 87 points.

The Prima & Ultima:

Clynelish 26 yo 1995/2019 (49.8%, OB, Prima & Ultima, refill American oak hogshead, 941 bottles)

Clynelish 26 yo 1993/2019 (49.8%, OB, Prima & Ultima, refill American oak hogshead, 941 bottles) Five stars
According to the official literature, it was around that time that the glorious distillers understood where that famous, trademark waxiness was coming from. Well the official story remains very vague (the secret really lay in the way the stills were run, which affected how the feints and low wines gathered) but we do know that these waxy notes are imparted by some thick black sludge that builds up in the old cast-iron receiver. And that they found out about that when they replaced that receiver with some shiny new gear, which just made the waxiness disappear (and, consequently, the blenders furious). Well, that’s the unofficial story, please don’t quote me. Colour: straw. Nose: obvious, undisputable, and glorious. Tart, tense, pure, mineral, chalky, waxy, and all on cider apples as far as fruit are concerned, and otherwise on green olives. A true competition piece. With water: some steel, some grass, some clay, a lot of apple peel. Mouth (neat): oh please get out of here. Warming, yet tight, very vertical, briny and lemony, not that waxy after all, but full of lovely bitter herbs and chalk. High-precision malt whisky. With water: careful, don’t let it drown or it would get a little too bitter. Oh well just forget about water. Finish: medium, with more oak oils, eucalyptus, green pepper. Comments: remarkably pure and void of any obvious cask influence. Got to love those virtual statements by Dr. Jim.
SGP:462 - 91 points.

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







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