This was THE bottling for The Whiskybase Gathering last November. For some reason I decided not to go in 2016, the first time it was held. I decided to correct that last November and had a blast. The festival itself is insane and I heard numerous references to “Limburg an der Maas”.
Before the festival started you could get your hands on a bottle, if you were keen on carrying it around all afternoon, which I didn’t mind. Luckily so, since they sold out very quickly and I heard some people missing out on a bottle during the festival. Maybe they were able to get their hands on one after, since the proprietors of Whiskybase held a few back for in the shop on the following Monday.
Anyway… Clynelish. 1997. Cask strength. What can go wrong?
It’s waxy Clynelish from the moment you pour a glass. No intense sniffing required to get that note! Lots of caramel too, but also peaches and nectarine. Honey and beeswax. A rather creamy Clynelish, with the caramel it reminds me of Caramac bars.
The palate is rather sharp, and a lot more crisp than the nose made me expect. Both fresh and stewed apple. Some dryness from the cask, with resin and beeswax. Rich and full.
The finish is dry at first, but the richness takes over after. More oak than before, and more like the nose in regards to there being quite a lot of caramel, with grilled peaches.
Well, apparenlty not a lot can go wrong with 1997 Clynelish. When the 1996 and 1997 vintages started coming out a few years ago, you sometimes found one that was just a lot of oomph with not enough mellowing, and flavor from the cask to back it all up. That period seems to have passed and this one is glorious.
If you like Clynelish, this does everything you want it to do. The only remark I have with this, and that’s not even really about this one, is that The Ultimate put out a 1997 one in the same month that cost less than half of this one, which is a bit peculiar.
But, I doubt it is as good as this, because not much is. Insanely tasty. I wish I hadn’t bottle shared it!
Clynelish 1997-2017, Bourbon Hogshead 12355, 55.8%, Archives – Fishes of Samoa