highland distillery 2011 12 years stirk brothers 383 review

A Highland Distillery 2011 12 Years (Stirk Brothers)

After a few quieter years, David Stirk is back in full force. As a writer (not just books), retailer and independent bottler. One of his latest ended up on my desk. It’s an affordable Highland Distillery 2011 12 Years, which quite probably was distilled at Clynelish.

David took some distance from the whisky industry after selling the Creative Whisky Company. But he never completely left. Not really. After writing in-depth about the history of independent bottlers, I suppose it was just a matter of time before he would fully re-enter the arena. He’d been consulting others behind the scenes. But Stirk Brothers, his new label, is a project completely his own.

The new range’s initial outturn exists of a handful of whiskies, including this Clynelish, but also an undisclosed Glenlivet, Bruichladdich, and Blair Athol. The overarching theme? Affordability, I would say. This is David Stirk not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.

highland distillery 2011 12 years stirk brothers 383

A Highland Distillery 2011 12 Years (50%, Stirk Brothers, C#383)

Nose: Quite sweet but not without its waxiness, albeit slightly dialled down. Pollen, beeswax and notes of wet pebbles, but also a touch of butter. Then some jammy apricots, lemon verbena and other juicy fruits. Even some pineapple, but also green banana peel.
Taste: Thick and reasonably waxy mouthfeel. Honey, beeswax and a good pinch of white pepper. Also mineral oils and butterscotch with just a touch of fresh oak. Not the most coastal Clynelish ever, but satisfying.
Finish: Medium length. Pepper, a sliver of mint and oily with sugary malt. Even something (very slightly) herbacious.

Maybe not quintessential Clynelish, but certainly recognisable enough. And most importantly, delicious. I don't account for price in my scores, but I'd be remiss not to mention once more this Stirk Brothers release is highly affordable compared to other Clynelish from similar vintages.

Photo: Whiskybase

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