Clynelish 1996 24 Years (WhiskyNerds)
It’s that time again. The WhiskyNerds have released another single cask. This one is a bit special though, seeing as it is coming from one of the Nerds’ favourite distilleries. It’s located in Sutherland, has a neighbouring distillery that’s about to be reopened in a few weeks and is known for its waxy flavour profile. I’m of course talking about Clynelish.
Just recently I reviewed the Clynelish 14 Years, which remains one of the better entry-level single malts in the world. I’ve also just opened a bottle from my own Clynelish stash, which is rather excellent indeed. So you don’t have to convince me of Clynelish’ overall excellence. It has been proven over and over again. But this particular Clynelish 1996 24 Years was picked by the Nerds out of a lineup that also included other malts from Clynelish, as well as Bunnahabhain, Springbank and Ledaig. So that’s very, very promising…
Clynelish 1996 24 Years (54.9%, WhiskyNerds, C# WN001)
Nose: After a quick mineral hit this becomes quite a fruity example of mid-90s Clynelish. Some pureed bananas, quinces, pineapple and honey with a hint of vanilla cake. Just a touch of cumin as well. There’s the obligatory candle wax, but I’ve come across much waxier Clynelish. That’s not a bad thing though. Lovely stuff and actually a tad fresher than my notes might suggest.
Taste: A creamy (dare we say waxy) mouthfeel. Some gentle spices on the arrival with white pepper and ginger, but the fruity theme continues. More bananas, white grapes, dense kiwi and pickled lemon, but also honey and a touch of fudge. Just a hint of walnuts. The tiniest pinch of salt.
Finish: Lingering notes of beeswax, plaster and grass, but also apple juice.
A textbook Clynelish from the WhiskyNerds, who of course can be trusted to make such a pick. It’s truly a very good whisky and certainly in the upper ranges of what this vintage (and others from the mid-1990s) generally has to offer. It falls slightly short of my expectations, but that’s probably because they were unfairly high to begin with. Check out the Whiskynerd’s website for a list of retailers.
Sample provided by WhiskyNerds
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.