Two Clynelish opened and tried side by side: G-o-T and the standard 14yr old (20cl.) 51.2% vs 46%. £35 for the G-o-T and £44 (equivalent.) for the 14.
Initial nosing: the 14 has the edge - softer, richer, smokier and more expressive. G-o-T is shyer - thinner, sharper more hidden behind a damp wood note. It’s as if the extra 5% is just that - which dilutes the Malt flavours. ... Both have expressive noses which demand careful nosing, but the 14 is a touch more defined and articulate. 14 yr old yields Light esters, mirabelle plums, some pear, bands of distinct sweet smoke, touches of sherry, perhaps coconut and then heavier syrups.
The G-o-T plays hide and seek with a damp wood / cardboardy overcoat. Light esters, more pear, spirity eau-de-cologne mint, narrower bands of delicate sweet smoke that take longer to emerge, blasts of icing sugar, touch of sherry and spices. Just when it seems to have gone flat it drops its overcoat and out pop the fruits and flashes of smoke again
Taste: both initially sweet, then more on bitter herbal notes carrying the nose onto the pallet and on to the finish which is medium but lingering.
Both whiskies clearly from the same stables and to be honest there’s not a huge difference. The G-o-T Is just more muted and diluted despite its higher abv. Both suffer from chill-filtration - but they represent great value - it’s a shame there isn’t more naturally presented Clynelish in this price range!
85 for the G-o-T ( 87pts for the 14yr old).