Clynelish

   

Clynelish distillery, or at least this one now known as Clynelish was founded in 1968 by SMD.

There was an earlier Clynelish distillery founded in 1819, but that one was renamed Brora after the building of this new one across the road from the older one.

UDV took over the distillery and eventually became part of Diageo, the current owners.

 
 

Clynelish operates six stills (3 wash, 3 spirit) and has an annual capacity of around 3.4 million litres of pure alcohol.

Clynelish is within the Highland Scottish whisky region, located in Brora, Sutherland.

More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness

My thanks to Teun van Wel for permission to copy & use the distillery photos

General whisky characteristics: Smooth and light with rich flavours

 

 

 

  Clynelish (OB)    
 

 

Clynelish, 14y, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich gold, almost amber

Nose: Aromatic, quite floral, hints of gentle peat and coconut

Palate: Smooth and rich, only the slightest hint of earth (perhaps faint peat), but definite coconut.

Finish: Long

Overall Impression: Very enjoyable.

 

   
 

 

Clynelish, 14y, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich and shiny yellow gold

Nose: Airy and fresh with lots of open countryside which leads into faint hints of liquorice. Overall this is quite floral in a leafy kind of way.

Palate: Smooth and creamy mouth-feel with lots of exotic fruitiness (papaya, kiwi?) and some coconut right at the end, leading into the finish.

Finish: Long with some coconut

Overall Impression: A most enjoyable everyday dram.

 

   
 

 

Clynelish, Distillers Edition, 1992-2007, 46% ABV

Double matured in Oloroso Seco casks

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Bright, sunny amber

Nose: Fresh, light, fragrant. Some herbs and grasses interspersed with raspberry and just a hint of wood.

Palate: Delightfully smooth, hints of raspberries with custard, spicy herbs and fragrant wood with currants.

Finish: Very long and fruity.

Overall Impression: A delight!

 

   
 

 

Clynelish, Distillers Edition, 1993-2010, 46% ABV

Double matured in Oloroso Seco casks

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Subdued gold

Nose: Initially very aromatic and fragrant, albeit quite light in character. I'm thinking early summer country garden in full bloom with a nearby orchard. Lots of fruit, flowers and gentle wood.

Palate: Wonderful, everything the nose promised.

Finish: Long and floral

Overall Impression: Another DE-delight!

 

   
 

 

Clynelish, 12y, 46% ABV, European Oak (Sherry) casks

Bottled 2009 for Friends of the Classic Malts, NCF

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Bright, sunny amber

Nose: Aged oak, hints of leather, warm currants and the open countryside with grass, heather and fresh air.

Palate: Rich, creamy and smooth with a hint of coconut, liquorice and toasted almonds. Figs too?

Finish: Very long and right on the front of the palate with toasted dark fruits.

Overall Impression: Very smooth, creamy and an excellent 12y whisk
y!

 

   
     

Clynelish, 40% ABV

Brown & Orange diagonally split label, 1970's bottling?

Typical cost of this bottle; Originally  now

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Darkened oak / amber

Nose: Very fruity with a mixture of apple, pear, raisins, figs and a scoop of melon-flavoured ice cream on top.

Palate: Lots of tingle right at the front of the palate. Fresh melon makes an appearance but quickly fades to leave a slightly more bitter fruit.

Finish: Very long and changeable, but including more melon.

Overall Impression: A very good old bottling. Sadly no more.

 

   
 

 

Clynelish, "Cask Strength", Distillery only bottling, 57.3% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; 

"Dram-atics" live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light yellow, pale gold

Nose: Initially hay and straw, but growing fresher with minutes. After some time it has a very faint, almost antiseptic note, but this soon fades to leave very slightly smoky raspberry. From something which started slowly, there's a lot now happening here as it keeps evolving over 5-10 minutes.

Palate: A leafy but creamy start which then includes malt and something peppery which is almost liquorice, but not quite. Light treacle toffee? Also not quite, but in that direction.

With 4 drops of water: The nose is now slightly fruity straw and the palate is smoother with less pepper.

With 4 more drops of water: A very weak but definitely 'farmy' nose, but a more fruity and less 'farmy' palate. Also more pepper leading into the finish.

Finish: Long, fruity, slightly farmy.

Overall Impression: I really thought this to be quite weak at the beginning, but it just needs time to develop. Don't rush this one and you'll be rewarded with a fine whisky that just keeps developing and evolving. I highly recommend this one if you can get it, which means go to the distillery!

 

   

 

 

Independent Bottlers

   
 

 

Premier Malts, Clynelish, 32y, distilled 1971, cask 2704, 54.2% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Nose: Very floral with hints of liquoroce and malt

Palate: Deliciously smooth with an immediate nutty fruity tingle. This is extremely intense and you can tell it's CS at over 50%! The rich flavours of nut and fruit (apricot / peach) last almost forever on the front middle of the tongue.

With water: The nose had gained a little vanilla. The flavours are the same, but fiercely more intense.

Verdict: I love this whisky!!!

Whisky & Chocolate: A fantastic combination to this 32y Clynelish was found to be the Olive Oil truffle by Franz as it enhanced the palate with absolute finesse.

 

   
 

 

Murray McDavid, Clynelish, 14y, distilled 1990, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Nose: Liquorice, vanilla

Palate: Immediate faint liquorice turning into smoke and heather. Tingles on the centre of the tongue and leaves a long but dry aftertaste of toffee and liquorice.

Overall Impression: A good, solid whisky.

Whisky & Food: I served this with a Carpacchio-style beef served with pasta in a light sweet-mustard sauce and the combination worked perfectly!

 

   
 

 

Duncan Taylor 'NC2', Clynelish, 13y, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Nose: Very weak smoke with an even weaker hint of ground coffee-beans

Palate: A Sunday joint of roast beef coated in a peppercorn crust.

Overall Impression: This one is quite difficult to judge. From my notes one would expect strong flavours, but they are really rather weakened. A slight disappointment.

 

   
 

 

Whisky Doris, Clynelish, distilled 10.96, bottled 05.09, 12y, 58.3% ABV

Sherry Butt, one of 221 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Rich gold, almost amber

Nose: Slightest hint of smoke, hardened leather, weathered wood and a hint of raisins.

Palate: Marzipan and ice cream with just a touch of peach.

With 5 drops of water in about 1.5cl: A little more wood and smoke on the nose. Much smoother palate with nuts, but more fruit. Almost cherries!

With 12 drops of water in about 1cl: Faint nose but delightful palate with a hint of smoke and lots of rich, dark fruits.

Finish: Very long, almost everlasting with the drops of water. Slightly sweet and very fruity.

Overall Impression: An extremely good whisky. I really like it!

 

   
 

 

John Milroy, Clynelish, distilled 1982, bottled 2010, 27y, 52.6% ABV

Refill Hogshead, Cask No. 5886

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich yellow gold

Nose: Light perfume with malt and honey and then something which reminds me of the aroma of a rapeseed field during a summer evening after soaking up a full day of sunshine.

Palate: Malt, milk chocolate and creamy toffee with a suggestion of pear and apricot.

With 4 drops of water: A little more wood and vanilla on the nose then much more depth to the palate as a little raspberry appears. This now has an exceptionally smooth and creamy mouth-feel.

Finish: Long with wood and fruit.

Overall Impression: A very good whisky which is made even better with the 4 drops of water, I love that raspberry and smoothness.

 

   
 

 

James MacArthur, "Old Masters" Clynelish, 1997-2010, 13y, 52.1% ABV

Matured in Bourbon Cask No.4643

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Extremely pale yellow

Nose: Leafy farmyard with lots of hay, all of which expands with time in the glass. Eventually some light liquorice and more floral fragrances.

Palate: Quite creamy in a leafy vanilla kind of way. Then come some lovely hints of raspberry.

Finish: Long and leafy with some fruit, but also quite dry.

Overall Impression: A most enjoyable whisky.

 

   
 

 

TWE, Clynelish, 1982, 28y, 43.1% ABV

"Single Malts of Scotland" series

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow (9ct) gold

Nose: Initially lots of creamy leafiness followed by a definite burst of orange. A faint suggestion of herbs (think mixed Italian selection) remains quite constant in the background along with malty vanilla.

Palate: Light and leafy with baked apple and vanilla seeds plus hits of water melon. This is always light, but with lots of flavour.

Finish: Medium length, fruity and light with water melon.

Overall Impression: An a-typical Clynelish, but light, fruity and thoroughly enjoyable.

 

   
 

 

Blackadder, Clynelish, 15y, 22.9.1995 - May 2011, 46% ABV

"Aberdeen Distillers" series, Refill sherry cask No.ABD1007, one of 224 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light yellow gold

Nose: This is initially quite difficult to ascertain, there's some maltiness, vanilla and wood, maybe even a little smokiness, but not peaty so definitely wood-smoke. Then comes a fresh (Atlantic) saltiness alongside the light smokiness which now both expand further.

Palate: How about 'vanilla sandwich using granary bread and eaten sitting on an Atlantic beach'? Well, that's what I think of here. Then leading towards the finish is a slightly dry fruitiness.

Finish: Long and slightly dry.

Overall Impression: A light and difficult to ascertain nose doesn't stop this from being a decent dram, maybe a good aperitif before the evening meal.

 

   
 

 

D.Laing "OMC", Clynelish, 21y, Jan.1990 - Feb.2011, 50% ABV

Refill Hogshead, one of 265 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle; to

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light yellow gold

Nose: Lightly perfumed and very aromatic with various suggestions of flora give this a wonderful nose. There are hints of wood amongst the light aromas too. Somehow it sits right between bitter and sweet without actually being either.

Palate: Creamy smooth mouth-feel with a perfumed leafiness turning rapidly to delightful slightly peppery vanilla. The creamy vanilla is concentrated on the front and middle of the palate whilst the light pepperiness right on the roof of the mouth.

Finish: Long and creamy with that vanilla and light pepperiness.

Overall Impression: A quite amazing whisky especially with that fantastic nose.

 

   
 

 

Archives, Clynelish, 1997, 53.9% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very pale yellow gold

Nose: Lots of vanilla ice cream with leafy apple, a hint of peach and just the faintest smokiness. The faint smokiness expands with time in the glass to the point of a rather nice Black Forest ham. At the same time the vanilla fades somewhat.

Palate: Smooth, rich and creamy vanilla abounds with just a hint of red peppercorn. A slightly spicy woodiness leads into the finish.

Finish: Very long and lightly peppery.

Overall Impression: Very nice, most enjoyable.

 

   
 

 

Single Cask Collection, Clynelish, 14y, 14.7.1997-13.2.2012, 56.8% ABV

Cask 6891, refill sherry hogshead, bottle 189 of 302

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark gold with a hint of glowing brass

Nose: Different, quite different in a roast pork with herb crust way. Yes, really. Something creamy and also quite "countryside", grassiness? hay? Maybe it's that herb crust?

Palate: Amazingly different to the nose; there's a fruity tingle, vanilla, maybe even custard with baked (green) apple and pear, also a suggestion of redcurrant.

Finish: Very long with a gentle tingle.

Overall Impression: Yes unusual, this even exhibits some light grappa qualities but with whisky richness and body. Very nice.

 

   
 

 

L'Esprit, Clynelish, 15y, 22.9.1995-25.8.2011, 46% ABV

Cask 8657, first fill sherry butt, bottle 216 of 384

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light amber

Nose: Grilled sausages? Not really, but almost as it's rich and 'meaty'. Dare I once again suggest "herb crust on a Sunday roast"?

Palate: More dark fruitiness than Sunday roast. Raisins, currants, almonds, even hints of dark chocolate and freshly ground coffee beans.

Finish: Long, very long, very rich and very intense.

Overall Impression: What started out as a Sunday roast turned rich and fruity with a suggestion of chocolate and coffee. Nice.

 

   
 

 

Wemyss, Clynelish, 1997-2012, 46% ABV

"Fresh Fruit Sorbet, hogshead, one of 331 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Extremely pale yellow

Nose: Lightly perfumed, very lightly. Floral, maybe hyacinth, English country garden in early summer.

Palate: Very light and gentle with the floral aspects building with time on the palate.

Finish: Long with floral fruitiness and almost, but not quite a hint of liquorice root.

Overall Impression: Very light and floral but with lots of character.

 

   
 

 

The Perfect Dram, Clynelish, 23y, 1989-2012, 49.7% ABV

Bourbon wood, one of 229 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light yellow gold

Nose: Very fresh and clean. With time growing almost antiseptic but not quite. Doctor's or Dentist's surgery, quite possibly. Breathe deeply now.

Palate: Nice, very nice, lots of Atlantic ocean and a light peatiness. I must be in hospital heaven.

Finish: Long and clean with a lightly clinical peatiness.

Overall Impression: What starts out as clean, clinical and antiseptic turns into a seashore delight.

 

   
 

 

Samaroli, Clynelish, 1983 - Sept. 2002, 47% ABV

Cask 2685, bottle 160 of 306

Typical cost of this bottle; Unknown

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich golden

Nose: Lightly smoky vanilla pod or seeds with fruity undertones. The smokiness is quite sweet and it also intensifies with time in the glass. The nose also has a richness or depth of aromas which also grow or intensify with time.

Palate: That vanilla and smokiness initially hit the palate with lots of tingle too, but there's also a light woodiness, perhaps pine-like? Coming along after this initial burst is a definite suggestion of potato, yes really. Not unpleasant either, but it doesn't stay as this is again replaced by that woodiness, dry malty vanilla and light smoke which lead into the finish.

Finish: Long, very long .... extremely long.

Overall Impression: This offers so much, excellent, I love it.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2009-2015 by Keith Wood - All rights reserved - Whisky-Emporium / Whisky-Emporium is not responsible for external website content