Clynelish 1984/2014 SMWS 26.106
You don’t see that many Clynelish from the mid-eighties, but if you do, chances are it is one bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. They’ve released a whole slew of single casks from 1984 for example, like the Clynelish 1984 I’ll be reviewing today, which is 29 years old and comes from a refill butt.
Clynelish is one of those magical names in Scottish whisky. Clynelish from the seventies (let alone from the sixties) has an almost mythical reputation. And modern day Clynelish, from the mid-nineties and especially 1997, is also held in very high regard.
That isn’t to say that Clynelish from the eighties is perceived to be less, 1982 is another legendary vintage for example. So what about 1984, you ask? Well, it’s not a vintage with a particular special reputation. But we are talking about an almost 30 year old Clynelish here. And in my experience, when Clynelish reaches an age of 20+ years, it is almost always super delicious.
Clynelish 1984/2014 (58,0%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, C#26.106)
Nose: Beeswax and overripe banana, followed by plenty of ginger and lemon zest. Vanilla is more than present too. Develops into more floral notes.
Taste: A nice coastal quality with a touch of smoke and candle wax, some chalk and a hit of white pepper. Very nutty, as well as some citrus fruits. Big and bold.
Finish: Long with honey and a slight bitterness.
Probably not the most complex, especially considering its age, but the flavours are big, bold and very well-balanced. Plus, it has a flavour profile that really works for me.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.