Clynelish 16yo, Oloroso finish, 54.9% – Darkness!

The last in a series of five Darkness! reviews. There was no particular order, so don’t assume anything from that. In this case, the fifth one is a 16 year old Clynelish. At cask strength. So far, that’s a recipe for success. Only when a sherry finish is added it might get a bit uncertain.

Not that I have not tasted any good or great Clynelishes from sherry casks, but there have also been huge misses. I seem to remember a 19 year old from Dun Bheagan from a decade ago or so that tasted more like alcoholic glue than anything else.

Anyway, let’s not make too many assumptions and just get on with it!

Clynelish 16yo by Darkness!

Clynelish 16yo by Darkness!

There is a lot of sherry on the nose. Maybe not as much as with the Benrinneses, but definitely a lot. There’s a bit of glue present too. Velpon would be the brand in the Netherlands. It’s a rather savoury kind of oloroso as far as I can tell, not so sweet and no fruit. A bit of resin after a couple of minutes.

It’s pretty sharp at first, but that’s not a surprise with Clynelish of this age. Slightly alcoholic before it gets more sweet and cherry-like. Notice the C instead of an S. There’s plums and sherry too, with oak, glue and some spices.

The finish is a bit more waxy than the palate and here the Clynelish gets to shine a bit more. Rather long with some fruity bits too. Lots and lots of sherry.

I’m not a fan. While I really enjoyed the previous four drams, on a level of finding the Macallan absolutely great, this one doesn’t do much for me. I bet there’s lots of people who’d love it but I find it rather inconsistent and confused. It’s like there’s a huge clash of flavours between the sherry that doesn’t know whether to go sweet or savoury, and the pine resin quality of the Clynelish.

Anyway, still not a bad whisky, but it’s not for everyone.

Clynelish 16yo, Oloroso finish, 54.9%, Darkness! Available from Master of Malt for £ 74.95

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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