Another day, another Clynelish. Or at least, that’s usually how I wish things went. Unfortunately, it’s been ages since I bought a bottle of Clynelish and even longer since I actually opened one. And that for a dram that comes from “one of my favourite distilleries”. Of course, one of means there are more, and in this case quite a few; Karuizawa, Lagavulin, Springbank, Brora, Rosebank, Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, Bowmore, BenRiach, GlenDronach, and if I’d spend a minute more, I’d be able to think of another few. Glen Garioch comes to mind too.
Anyway, this sample came to me as a surprise in a recent package of bottle-share stuff from the SMWS. I, shamefully, have to admit that I don’t remember who sent it and since Gmail is finding too many results I can’t quickly find it there either. Way to go, Sjoerd! You ass…
This is a rather young Clynelish, which is represented in the abnormally high ABV. This bourbon barrel (1st fill) must have been one tight grained baby!
There’s definitely oak on the nose, with some typical Clynelish spices. Some dried fruit too and I thought I got prunes and dates. Some raisins even (it’s a bourbon barrel, but I didn’t know that). There’s vanilla sponge cake with dried apple. Quite some, actually, that vanilla.
Sharp, but that’s also, in hindsight, no surprise. Some chili pepper, in a way that’s more flavoursome than hot. Crushed black pepper and vanilla pastry cream. It does build up a little bit to dried fruit again.
Dried herbs and spices and sweet oak. It’s very long and spicy and dry.
When I first sniffed this dram, I thought it would be from a sherry cask. Then I thought it was from an old bourbon barrel. It turns out it is neither and comes from a rather young bourbon barrel. This cask is divine. I wish I had a bottle of it, or better yet, two.
Especially, for a ten year old whisky, there is so much depth and flavour to be discovered. At 61.4% ABV it should also be able to handle water rather well, but my sample didn’t last that long since it was absolutely gorgeous as is. A stunning dram!
Thanks to whoever sent it to me (and again, sorry for not remembering properly)
Clynelish 2003, 10yo, Le Trou Normand, 61.4% (26.96), SMWS. No longer available but used to cost £ 47 (pretty cheap if you ask me, especially for this!).