A new Dutch distillery has emerged: Cley. The distillery can be found in the heart of Rotterdam. Their whisky is produced from a malt and rye based 17th Century recipe. It is triple distilled and then matured for at least three years on ex-bourbon casks, followed by a finish on new oak casks. The malt and rye are fermented together. The name Cley actually refers to the clay of Rotterdam.
The nose is rife with wood. That must be the virgin oak. Reminds me of brown bread with a thick layer of butter. Some coffee grounds and nutmeg. Fairly dry. If you are patient enough, you’ll also discover some raisins, fresh fig and dried apricots. Not bad (in its genre), but it needs time.
It is a lot sweeter on the palate. The brown bread is still there, but easily overpowered by lovely dark and sweet notes as if from apricot marmalade, some bitter oranges and some coconut. Vanilla, nutmeg and a pinch of saffron make it spicy.
The finish is medium long, somewhat drying, but sweet enough to keep the tannins in check.
I was not too fond of the nose, but on the palate and in the finish, this is good fun already. Around 40 EUR for half a liter. Thanks to owner Paul den Dulk for the sample.