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

June 24, 2013


More Clynelish or a short waxy verticale

I’ve visited Clynelish Distillery again with some good friends a few week ago, and I’m not sure about what I like best there, the whisky or the people who make it. Keeping that existential dilemma in mind, let’s go for a short waxy (maybe) extravaganza… Because I think not all Clynelishes were waxy in the 1990s…

Clynelish 14 yo 1998/2012 (53.9%, Whisky-Doris)

Clynelish 14 yo 1998/2012 (53.9%, Whisky-Doris) Four stars Colour: white wine. Nose: paraffin, beeswax and apple juice at first nosing, with a wee salty touch flying over all that, then more lemon, seawater and brine. A very fresh nose, maybe even more coastal than other Clynelishes. With water: it’s the wax that comes out, together with hints of wet wool. Remains very fresh. Mouth (neat): zesty, a little eau-de-vie-ish in a good way, fruity, young… It’s not the most Clynelish of all Clynelishes, especially since the wax is relatively shy, but this feeling of fizzy pineapple and grapefruit juice is pleasant. A summery Clynelish? With water: indeed, it’s all fruits. Orange fizz. Earthier aftertaste. Finish: quite long, with touches of chlorophyll this time and the expected waxy signature. Zests. Comments: simply good good good. Unpeated coastality (ahem). SGP:552 - 85 points.

Clynelish 16 yo 1997/2013 (52.1%, The Whisky Agency, Liquid Library)

Clynelish 16 yo 1997/2013 (52.1%, The Whisky Agency, Liquid Library) Four stars Colour: straw. Nose: this baby’s more fragrant than the 1998, there are whiffs of peonies, fresh butter, meadow flowers… It’s rather more feminine, in a way, with always an impressive freshness but rather less waxy notes than in the 1998. Did I mention big juicy apples? And starkrimson pears? And mint? With water: same, all that became even more vivid. Lovely nose. Mouth (neat): perfect young Clynelish, exactly between a fresh fruitiness and this waxy, greasy and pretty phenolic side. A little olive oil, apple juice and grapefruits. A grassy side too. With water: Williams pears! That’s funny. Finish: long and, depending on the amount of water you added, either waxy or all on pears. In both cases, there’s a little salt and lemon in the aftertaste. Comments: two Clynelishes in one, how cool is that? SGP:562 - 87 points.

Clynelish 17 yo 1995/2013 (58%, Cadenhead, sherry, 540 bottles)

Clynelish 17 yo 1995/2013 (58%, Cadenhead, sherry, 540 bottles) Three stars and a half There’s another version from the very same cask, only a few dozen bottles bottled for the elusive Broracademy, with a very strange label ;-). Colour: pale gold. Nose: the sherry makes this one more buttery and kind of sour, not in a bad way. Dairy cream and overripe apples, a wee tarriness (nope that wouldn’t be rubber) and then lemon squash. Or grapefruit-flavoured Schweppes?  With water: beer and cider, I’d say. Not a prototypical Clynelish, that’s for sure. Also walnuts, probably from the sherry.

Mouth (neat): we’re closer to the 1997 on the palate, with less sourish sherry impact and more zesty lemons and grapefruits. And wax. And a little salt. With water: indeed, adios sherry, hello wax, lemons, salt and apples. Finish: long, just a notch buttery. Sour and overripe apples, a little leather and salt in the aftertaste. Add two sliced of tinned pineapples. Comments: once again, all pretty good, even if Clynelish need no wine generally speaking. In my humble opinion… SGP:541 - 84 points.

Clynelish 19 yo 1993/2012 (53.5%, Silver Seal, cask #7556, 322 bottles)

Clynelish 19 yo 1993/2012 (53.5%, Silver Seal, cask #7556, 322 bottles) Five stars Colour: straw. Nose: I think modern Clynelish needs time to lose its roughish – sometimes a little too estery - edges and to reach grandeur, that is to say the 90 mark. It seems that this one could make it, as it’s subtler than the others, with more almonds, beeswax, olive oil, seawater, mushrooms, cigars, brine… In short, a Clynelish that’s both more ‘Islay’ and more ‘Clynelish’, in a way. With water: bingo! Some tropical fruits start to appear, the cigars remain, the seawater as well, the wax too… All good. Mouth (neat): quite perfect, very assertive, leafy in a good way, acrid in a good way, lemony in a good way… The others still had a slightly vulgar fruitiness from their youth, while this one’s fully mature in my opinion. Perfecto! With water: indeed. Excellently balanced, between citrus fruits, other zesty tropical fruits, salty elements and this oily-waxy je-ne-sais-quoi. Finish: same, even if it’s not the longest Clynelish I’ve ever met. Lemon juice and brine in the aftertaste. Comments: minimal wood influence, perfect age, brilliant spirit, that’s why I’m into whisky. SGP:452 - 90 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Clynelish I've tasted so far







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