Clynelish 1984-2010, 25yo, 57.3% – SMWS (26.71 – The Great Outdoors)

When given half a chance, I try to pick Clynelish and Springbank as whiskies to taste. As in, I generally like most of what comes from these distilleries and find they have a truly unique character.

When leafing through the book at The Vaults, the book with whiskies we could pick I was very surprised that after five years of giving away samples, there was a 25 year old Clynelish left. This either indicates that most people who take part in The Society’s Share are idiots, or the level of samples available was ridiculously high. I do know that only last year there still was a Glenugie in there, so the latter is at least partially true.

Anyway, Clynelish from the eighties, at cask strength. It ticks all my boxes. Strangely, this is from a refill Sherry butt, which is not noticeable in anything. The price indicated at Whiskybase was the original selling price, I think. It was € 86. This makes me cry, since things have changed so, so much…

Image from Whiskybase

Image from Whiskybase

The nose starts with vanilla and beeswax. Pine and resin, some lactic acid too. Quite a lot of oak, but also honey for sweetness.

The palate is sharper than I expected, but has hazelnut, pine, resin and beeswax again. It’s quite autumnal with dead leaves and forest floor. Slightly acidic, that lactic acid again. Black pepper, vanilla and ever so slightly salty.

The finish is very consistent with the palate. Pine, resin, oak. It’s quite long and surprisingly fresh. Old wood, and conifer.

It’s a bit as with the Ardbeg from yesterday. As in, it’s not the most complex Clynelish from the early eighties I’ve had. But it is, in its essence, exactly what Clynelish should be.

Nowadays, that is already quite hard to come by and therefore I was thoroughly loving this whisky. As in, I could only just keep myself from jumping up and down by how awesome this is. The pine, resin and beeswax are exactly what you’re hoping for when opening a bottle of Clynelish, and that tiny whiff of salt that was there just makes it a top notch dram.

The only thing that has me scratching my head is that this is from a sherry cask. I didn’t pick up any sherry notes at all.


Clynelish 1984-2010, 25yo, 57.3%, Refill Sherry Butt, SMWS (26.71 – The Great Outdoors)


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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