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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Clynelish 16 year old 1996 AD Rattray for K&L Wine Merchants

I've had this sample for five years. Luckily the sample bottle was still full after all these years. Probably have the polycone seal to thank for that.

This sample was given to me by Tetris, a fellow who indulged in K&L's exclusive bottlings before I did. And, frankly, I don't even remember Driscoll pimping this one. But it exists/existed, as you'll see from the bottle pic near the bottom of the post.

Like Monday's Clynelish, this one was aged in a sherry butt, though I believe it was a refill, as per my sample label. I tasted the two Clynelish side-by-side for their reviews.

Distillery: Clynelish
Ownership: Diageo
Independent Bottler: A. Dewar Rattray
Exclusive to: K&L Wine Merchants
Age: 16 years (8 October 1996 - 17 December 2012)
Maturation: refill sherry butt
Cask#: 8781
Outturn: 555 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 58.2%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
(thank you, Tetris!)

The nose is very buttery, and that's all I can smell at first. But after it airs out, notes of brown sugar, brine, peppery sulphur, concrete, apples and grain float up. The palate is better than the nose leads on. It has a balance of brown sugar, citrus and savory. There are also black raisins, cayenne pepper and moldy oak. It gets limier with time. Limes, salt and cayenne in the finish. Very little sweetness to it, sort of like a super dry white wine. But hotter.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or > 1½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Almost no change to the nose. Maybe some maple, lime and raisins show up. But the palate becomes much easier. Oloroso and earth. Raisins and tart citrus. Chili oil, butter and moldy oak. The finish nearly matches the palate, with a good length and maybe some more sweetness.

Though I'm not a fan of the strange buttery note, I do like what lies beneath it. The palate is less problematic than the nose, working decently with or without water. Its ABV is almost identical to that of Monday's Clynelish, but it reads less hot. It also comes across slightly more generic compared to the 13yo. I will say this, I'm three Clynelish in, so far, and I'd still pick the 14yo OB over them all.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $99.99
Rating - 83

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