There’s a couple of these newish bottlers out there that are going for quality instead of quantity. Of course, officially they all go for quality, but I think y’all know what I mean when I say this.
Most of them want exposure and want to cater to a lot of different audiences, while the bottlers I’m considering don’t really care if they miss the < € 100 audience, as long as everything they bottle is the best thing they can get their hands on.
Apart from WhiskyNerds, I’m thinking The Duchess, Michiel Wigman, Wu-Dram Clan and the like. I’m obviously missing a few and people have been raving about Asta Morris and The Whisky Jury too, but I’ve not had much, if anything by these guys at all.
Anyway, when an indie Clynelish comes out, I always get a bit giddy. When it’s from one of these kick-ass bottlers I really want to taste it. And when it is the favorite distillery of one of the guys behind the brand, I sort-of must have the bottle.
The massive drawback of this ‘quality first’ approach is of course the price tag, and therefore I don’t have a bottle of this, but I do have half a bottle. TvE was kind enough to split one with me!
Initially I get a note of acetone and lots of light fruitiness. The waxiness of apple skins, honey and beeswax, strawberries, and gentle notes of American oak. With some time the waxy notes get a bit stronger and focus more on the beeswax. There’s a whiff of salinity too.
The palate let’s you know it’s a cask strength bottling, with a bit of heat to back up the oak. Slightly spicy without being a clear peppery note. A different kind of waxiness, more like textural than the beeswax and apple skins from the nose. Dried apples, yellow wine gums, dark toast with butter.
The finish is slightly more lively than the palate with the strawberries making a come-back, and the apple being more prominent. The spiciness remains although the beeswax returns as well. Honey, oak, barley, a bit of toast.
I guess € 300 is what we have to pay for this kind of whisky nowadays. The Nerds aren’t even that exceptably priced, with long-time bottlers like Signatory quickly approaching these price tags as well.
Also, if I get whisky like this, I guess I don’t mind the money that much. Of course, it’s a shitload and you can also get very good whisky for less, but old Clynelish is something else. Much like old Springbank, for example. Shit’s expensive, yo!
A ‘verdict’ then! While Clynelish from the 80s and 70s was a lot more waxy, this represents the distillery very well, and that’s already a great thing. The fact that it’s a rather fruity dram with some spices behind the wax and fruit for complexity makes it even greater!
I absolutely love this bottling. It’s gorgeous and I was going to say ‘get one while you can’, but you can’t anymore. In the secondary market it’s already at € 500 after just being out for a week and a half or so.
But holy shit this is good.
Sample provided by The WhiskyNerds themselves.