Love at First Sip
In honor of the 200th Anniversary of the distillery, Clynelish released this exclusive bottling, composed with a very small amount of sherry casks that were especially put aside for the occasion in 1996. I don’t need to tell you these sold like sweets – even though it was only available at the distillery and despite the hefty price tag of 350 pounds. Today you’ll pay double or triple that amount. Oh, well. Luckily I was able to score a bottle at the original price through a friend. Let’s dig in! At the same time, the distillery also released a 10 years old single cask ‘hand-filled’ at the exact same ABV. That cannot be a coincidence, can it?
The nose is a divine mix of fruit and beeswax, so typical for the better Clynelish. Oranges, apples, strawberry, melon, mango and pineapple. A bit of burlap and soft spices. Some wet earth. Surprisingly soft. You would not guess this is above 50%, which is certainly is.
The body is oily and soft on the spices. Think cloves and a single chili pepper. Wonderful beeswax, quinine, grapefruit, tobacco and Gyproc. The influence of the sherry casks is nice, but far from dominant. The typical character of Clynelish has no problem shining through. Oranges are in the lead while cherries and peach follow. Eucalyptus. The alcohol is perfectly integrated, hence this does not need any water.
The finish is long, soft on the spices, fruity sweet and very enjoyable. After ten minutes, I still taste candied peach…
Yes, yes, yes! Here we go again. Ah, mid 1990s. Can’t go wrong. This is love at first sight. Better yet: love at first sip. Pity it is so expensive or I would sip it more often.