Highland Malt Whisky 11, 2010-2022, Barrel 2534, 58.1% – Whiskybase Gathering 2022

It is a public secret that this whisky is an 11 year old Clynelish. Not always do you get to know which distillery a ‘secret <enter region here>’ whisky is from, but in this case, Whiskybase didn’t really hide it.

The release was done at last year’s Whiskybase Gathering. An awesome whisky festival that I can almost never visit due to it always happening in autumn break, when we are travelling or are celebrating my daughter’s birthday. Or both. Maybe this year…

Image from Whiskybase

Clynelish is known for being a rather great distillery, although they seem to peek at certain vintages. 2010 is starting to look like another really good one with Boogieman / Passie voor Whisky’s release from 2020 being in that batch too. I had some others along the way that really had their perks too.

Sniff:
Quite spirity with lots of green malt, moss and fresh grass. There is some wet tree bark, fresh oak shavings, and a bit of heather. In the background there’s a bit of candle wax too.

Sip:
Very sharp and quite dry. The sharpness is ‘youth’, white pepper and fresh oak. Strangely the texture is rather syrupy. There’s some sweetness from the alcohol with a hint of rotting hay.

Swallow:
The finish mellows quickly but stays youthfull. Syrupy with hints of oak, moss and some cloudy apple juice.

Of course this isn’t an old whisky, but even for its 11 years of aging, it tastes rather young. The focus is still very much on the spirit, which isn’t necessarily bad of course. In this case it just really shows that it was either a very tired cask, or just lazy wood. I guess this could have scored higher with a couple more years of aging, but I guess we’ll never know.

All in all, it *does* show the cleanliness of Clynelish’s spirit, and that too is interesting to taste. I’m just not sure if I’d buy this over the official entry level 14 years old.

86/100

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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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