Clynelish Masterpieces, 1996, bottled for The Whisky Exchange, 56.1%

It’s been a while since I posted a good old review since I stopped blogging every day. At that time I also decided I would be more picky about the stuff I post here, so not every random dram that comes from my glass is being placed on this here blog.

Only the more interesting drams then. I’ve never made it a secret that I am rather fond of Clynelish and when this bottle popped up in our Bottle Share group, I just had to participate. Since then I’ve asked the guys to get me off the mailing list since I was participating in way too many shares and that was starting to become most of my spending. A wise decision, but not such a fun one.

Anyway, this ‘Masterpiece’ is from The Whisky Exchange‘s series of not so ridiculously priced whiskies, which are also not overly aged but simply very good. According to them, that is. Let’s try it for ourselves, right?

Clynelish Masterpieces by Speciality Drinks Ltd.

Clynelish Masterpieces by Speciality Drinks Ltd.

On the nose it’s a not so intensely scented Clynelish with the typical waxy undertone. Much more gentle than the 1997s that came out a lot over the last couple of years. Some vanilla, apple and crumble pastry. So, apple crumble that is. Icing sugar too, and after a couple of minutes it starts getting a bit sharper. Some pine, pine resin and minerals after a while.

On the palate you get the expected oak, resin and candle wax. It’s pretty dry and sharp. Somewhat later it becomes a bit more greasy with thick vanilla and dry dark bread.

The finish is rich and more creamy than I expected with pastry cream. The waxy flavours are present here too. It’s not too long, but very delicious.

This is a damn fine whisky and deserving of the title Masterpiece. While this displays a lot of vanilla like some other drams I tasted recently, it’s not in the same, almost artificial way and in this case it leaves a lot of room for the distillery profile. And a lovely profile that is.

I think this is more or less how Clynelish of this age is supposed to taste and therefore I kind of regret not getting a bottle when it was still available.

Clynelish Masterpieces, 1996-2013, Bottled for The Whisky Exchange. It used to cost some £ 75.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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