A while ago I did a bottle share with three Clynelishes
About every second post on this blog starts like that nowadays. And if it doesn’t start with it, there’s mention of some kind of share down the line. This one is no different and as stated above, I did a bottle share with three properly aged Clynelishes.
The idea came up after going to The Hielander Whisky Festival in February, where my father in law and I tried a 1984 Clynelish from Silver Seal, which is one of the greatest whiskies I’ve tried in a long time.
So, there had to be a Clynelish bottle share. That in combination with a great bottler, preferably. Adelphi kind of is, I’ve had a lot of great drams from their stables, and so I ended up ordering a few bottles from The Old Pipe, who have a vast collection of their whiskies.
Let’s start with the odd one out, since the other two are sister casks.
Clynelish 24, 1989-2013, Refill Bourbon Cask 3846, 53.1%
On the nose it start with a scent of old wood, slightly decaying (or rotting), with hay. So, more or less a wet field near a forest. Very light and even slightly mezcal like. A tad coarse with a whiff of wood smoke, lemon and an oily idea to it. The palate is sharp with lots of oak and that whiff of mezcal again. Slightly chemical, in a good way (I like Mezcal). Olive oil, lemon and agava, before the Clynelish resin shows up. The finish focuses on the oak and is dry with a hint of wood spices. Resin and straw.
Well, this is a good start, but it’s not what I expected. The resin notes typical for Clynelish are present, but not superfluous. The oak is a lot stronger and there’s a hint of spirit, like that smoky Mezcal hint I got.
Then we’re off to the duo. Both casks are distilled in 1990 and since they’re numbers 3233 and 3232 we can say they’re true sister casks. Also, my money is on them being distilled on the same day. The difference is that one of the two (3233) was bottled in 2014, and the other in 2015. In this case that makes them 23 and 24 years old respectively.
Clynelish 23, 1990-2014, Refill Bourbon Barrel 3233, 49%
On the nose this one starts out like a true Clynelish. There’s straw and candle wax. Oak and quite a bit of sharpness. Some brittle caramel and some fruitiness. Pear, and quite a mature nose in general. A whiff of wood spices pops up later. The palate is sharp with lots of oak. Resin and that brittle caramel again. Slightly bitter with apple seeds, old fruit and straw. The finish is typically Clynelish with oak and resin, candle wax. Quite a long finish too.
Clynelish 24, 1990-2015, Refill Bourbon Barrel 3232, 50.2%
The nose of this one starts quite similar to the previous one, but that’s not very surprising since it’s practically the same whisky. Smoother, even though it’s slightly higher in ABV. Oak, lots of resin and candles. Pear, apple and honey. The palate is quite smooth with honey, walnut and a creamy texture. There’s oak, resin, wax and a bitter note again. Very rich. The finish is smooth again, long and rich too. Wax, and some Scottish tablet (sugary fudge, if you like) and caramac bars.
The last two are far more in line with what I expected from well aged Clynelishes. Especially the last one does exactly what I expect a Clynelish to do. Both are good, but the last one is the best one of the bunch if you ask me. Especially since it’s a tad smoother than the other two (or my palate was more warmed up), but I really loved that one.
The sister casks are still available from The Old Pipe in St. Oedenrode (which is an awesome shop to visit, if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.