The distillery visit to Clynelish still remains one of the best for me so far. It probably has to do something with the fact that it was one of the first I visited, but also because we had a wonderful guide who gave us a private tour. And to be able to visit the defunct Brora distillery obviously added to the experience.
This particular Clynelish I’m reviewing here today is from Whisky Import Nederland. It got a lot of attention in The Netherlands for being extremely waxy (even for a Clynelish), so it is one that I’ve been anxious to try. Let’s see what all the fuzz has been about.
Clynelish 1996/2013 (54%, WIN, C#8800, 253 bts)
Nose: Citrus notes are accompanied by cumin and cardboard. It has a musty quality and there is also some of the typical Clynelish waxiness, although not too much. With water it opens up a little bit, it becomes cleaner. Not an overly complex nose: very soft without any rough edges. Taste: This Clynelish starts of zesty and has an almost coastal quality. There’s some grass or hay and earthy notes, next to the more typical lemon and wax. It is very gentle for a cask strength whisky. Water brings out a nice dry, sherried bitterness. I like! Finish: Grass and lemon surface here again, but also a sweeter note. Medium length.
Definitely a very good Clynelish. Not a lot of sherry influences despite the re-racked sherry hogshead. But I don’t mind that, because I generally like bourbon Clynelish better anyway. This is a well selected cask by the guys from Whisky Import Nederland.