Clynelish 10yo, 2003-2014, 60.5% – SMWS (26.98, Lively as an Electric Acrobat)

I have absolutely no idea what they mean with a name like “Lively as an Electric Acrobat” or how the SMWS thinks that works for marketing purposes. Then again, they are a members-only club which means they don’t have to market their individual whiskies as much, I guess.

When I bought this, I forgot about it when it was with a friend in the UK. Then I ran out of money and he took it off my hands. Then, a year or two later I re-bought it from him. Weird things.

Anyway, I love Clynelish, I doubt that’s a secret. I don’t generally mind when they’re young, but it generally gets better with age. With 1996 and 1997 being great years for the distillery, I wondered how a younger one would turn out, since I don’t try those as often.

Now I know.

An active bourbon cask, if you ask me. Coconut and sweet citrus. The typical Clynelish waxiness is there, but I doubt you’d find it if you weren’t looking. It’s insanely sharp and very numbing. Later I get crisp vanilla and rosemary custard.

SHARP. It’s like drinking razors. It’s sweet because of the alcohol and there’s certainly some oak influence. It’s idiotically sharp, sharper than many a dram at higher ABV I had. My tongue is in shock and it takes a while before I can actually taste anything again. After a while I get some fatty, waxy notes with vanilla and it does get a little bit easier.

The finish mellows quickly, thank God. The vanilla and slightly fatty texture lingers. The rosemary custard I found on the nose returns.

Well. This is a tough one. Both to drink and to rate. I think it’s way too sharp, and that’s not just the ABV. I think the cask imparted some flavors onto the spirit, but I doubt it did much to mellow it. This whisky tastes way sharper than a 60.5% whisky should.

Apart from that, there’s some nice flavors, but it’s not deep and a tad generic. Luckily there’s a bit of a waxy note happening as a redeeming factor. All in all, I’m not a fan.

Quite funny, since Gal is.


Clynelish 10yo, 2003-2014, 1st Fill Bourbon cask, 60.5%, SMWS, 26.98, Lively as an Electric Acrobat


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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