Clynelish 18, Refill Bourbon Barrel 26.70, 54.7% – SMWS (Gobstoppers in the Headmaster’s Office)

Yes, one of those names that doesn’t mean anything to me unless I Google it. And even then relevance is highly limited. But in the end, it’s what in the bottle that counts.

Interestingly, this whisky is a bottle I had on the shelf for a very long time but the reviews weren’t too good on Whiskybase so I didn’t open it for quite a while. In the end I did open it for a whisky tasting during the pandemic. Now, when writing the review, I looked back once again to the Whiskybase page and the rating has gone up significantly. And understandably so…

But, in the end I see that most of the reviews are based on that tasting, so I was holding back on opening this bottle based on practically no one’s opinion. Silly me.

An extremely waxy and surprisingly mature Clynelish. Honey, candles, barley and oak. Warming with a bit of soft apples, and a bit of pie dough.

Barely any sharpness or heat. There’s waxy honey and a pastry sweetness. It’s offset by a very dry kind of barley ears and chaff. After a minute or two there’s some white pepper.

The finish brings some heather on top of a less waxy background. Still dry with oak and grain.

Rather quintessential Clynelish that really let’s the spirit shine. Quite mature, but the cask plays second fiddle. It does very well what you hope Clynelish will do. Waxy with a light undertone of honey sweetness. Of course, most of these bottles are long gone, but if you can get your hands on one, I would do so.



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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