A Clynelish from the early years of the distillery! After it was opened in 1968 it was only in production for three years before this barrel was laid to rest. It waited a glorious 38 years before it was bottled at a fairly high ABV of 47.9%.
I bought this bottle some years ago, just when it came out and I think I was right on time, since at the price of € 140 I still believe it was a steal for this kind of dram. A serious amount of money, yes. Expensive, no.
Slightly spicy at first with quite some waxed oak that’s gone shiny with ages of use. Beautiful and complex, but not overly so. Mint, cinnamon, pine resin and beeswax. Warming and sweet.
Spicier than expected with dark bread, pound cake, bread pudding, black pepper and a touch of salt. I wrote down acacia honey. Dry wood as well. Maybe some ginger and mint.
The finish has salty honey, with milk chocolate. It’s not overly long, but a touch of vanilla and old oak remains.
This is was one of the best whiskies in my collection. I absolutely loved every drop of it, although it is one to sit down for since it has too many flavours to offer on just a quick sip. If you can get hold of this, get it. I think after only the Prestonfield 1973, it’s the best Clynelish I ever had*.
The wood spices are very present, but never dominate the taste to become bitter as is the case in some whiskies. There is a certain smoldering fruitiness in the background too, but I found it very hard to wrap my taste buds around. There is just so much going on, it’s barely possible to write everything down, but the resin, wax, mint and wood combination makes for beautiful Clynelish however you put it. The rest is just bonus.
Clynelish 1971-2009, 38 yo, Douglas Laing, Old Malt Cask, 47.9%, hogshead.
*: If you believe I am mistaken, please send me a sample of a better one as proof 😉