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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Single Malt Report: Clynelish 1974 Modern Masters

This was the third of my four pours at Bar Cordon Noir.
This one is a bit more of a mystery than the other three.  Modern Masters is a series done by The Dalriada Whisky Company, an indie bottler for which there's little info online.  Researching the company's financial info, I see they may have gone out of business a year or two ago.  If anyone knows more about them, please let me know in the comment section.

I'm not sure what this whisky's age is, though the Dalriada Whisky Company seems to have done many of their bottlings in the mid-aughts.  So I'm thinking this is around 29-33 years old.  In any case, the back label spends half of its text discussing the moody, "masculine", "working class" illustration on the front label.

Distillery: Clynelish
Bottler: The Dalriada Whisky Company
Series: Modern Masters
Distilled: 1974
Bottled: ???
Maturation: Hogshead
Bottles: 199
Region: Northern Highlands
Alcohol by Volume: 55.6%

The color, like this week's previous two whiskies, is a light gold. As with the Caperdonich, that shade has me thinking it wasn't a first fill cask.  Let's see...  The nose is slightly mossy, not a big splash of peat, rather a light brush stroke.  Then comes hazelnuts, rosewater, and limes.  It's mostly (aged) spirit so far.  It opens up with time as licorice, bergamot, and a farmy note arrive.  The palate is intensely sweet at first burst, with lots of orange and lime candies.  But then the sugar subsides, leaving the essence of tangerine and small limes on the tongue.  The farmy note arrives next, followed by hot oregano and rosemary-flavored hard candy (is that a thing?).  It finishes loudly with seawater, citrus, salt, and miso, leaving a cooling sensation in the mouth for a long time.

The nose shifts, picking up tropical fruits and smoky residue.  The palate remains just as strong.  Nectarines coated in honey and cayenne pepper.  The finish loses no power, as well.  Loads of citrus and tropical fruit syrup.

The oak stayed on the sidelines for both yesterday's Caperdonich and today's Clynelish.  But where the Caperdonich was gentle and soft, the Clynelish was a hellion no matter how much water I added.  I'm sure that certain Malt Maniacs will say that it's hard to go wrong with 1970s Clynelish casks, but with my non-existent knowledge of said whiskies, I'll just say that this was a killer selection by the Dalriada company.  A hardy whisky, this Clynelish succeeds and powers through on every level.

Damn, the fourth and final whisky has its work cut out for it.

Availability - ???
Pricing - ???
Rating - 91