The Whiskyman is a Belgian bottler of supposedly fine malts. He is very popular there, but in The Netherlands I have not seen his bottles yet, apart from this one which I ordered in Belgium…
He has a few different labels from this very austere white label (love it!) to the more gypsy -like ‘music’ labels with titles like ‘While my whisky gently weeps’. This cask was bottled under two different labels, together with Whiskysite.nl / De Druiventuin. A Dutch whisky shop based out of Leiden, with a vast collection. They released it for their festival last year.
Warm and spirit-driven. Slightly salty, hay, shaved oak staves. Also sawdust which made me want to sneeze a bit. Dusty with warm vanilla custard and banana crumble. Also some white fruits and earth floors in a dunnage warehouse. After a few minutes the typical Clynelish waxiness starts to set in. The style is more that of furniture or leather wax than beeswax.
Warming again, with vanilla and oak. Very sharp at first but mellows down if you give it a couple of minutes in the glass. Pepper, salt, chilis. Also some crisp fruit; grapes, fresh apples. Nutmeg, liquorice and cloves after that.
The finish stays sharp and spirity but with a clear wood influence. Spicy with toasted white oak.
I just read that it came from a refill sherry hogshead. I think this whisky makes a case for the fact that the wood matters more than the previous contents, especially after a few fillings.
I guess, but I am not sure, that the wood used is American oak since I get more of those flavours than anything else. I also love that the spirit of Clynelish is very present here and makes itself known without the wood ruling everything.
To me, this is an absolutely stunning dram. I had to get used to it at first because it was very sharp when I first opened it, but now it is maybe my favourite 1997 Clynelish. The Master of Malt version is also stunning but in a different way. These whiskies are rather different.
Funnily enough, both labels (The Whiskyman and Whiskysite.nl) are available from whiskysite.nl.
Clynelish 1997-2012, 15 years old, 53.5%, Refill sherry hogshead, The Whiskyman or Whiskysite.nl, available at whiskysite.nl for € 59.99