...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Clynelish 29 year old 1984 SMWS 29.105 (and Easy Rider)

(...continued from yesterday's post)

Despite all the editing flourishes in Easy Ryder, Peter Fonda's performance makes the most lasting mark in my memory of the film. He imbues Captain America with a yellow sheen of melancholy that can be felt from the instant he stuffs his cash stash into the red, white and blue gas tank. And though it isn't until the end of the film that he has a visual premonition of their fate, there's always a weight to his face and body that seems like he always knew what was going to happen. It's not just a distant stoned gaze into the abyss, it's resigned despair. He doesn't even have to speak the works "We blew it", it's in his flesh long before his bike burns.

The Clynelish tasting ended right before Billy and the Captain's Mardi Gras acid trip. Sadly, I can't pin the names "Billy" and "Captain America" on the two Clynelish because there would need to be considerable leaps to find parallels between the nonfiction whiskies and fictional bikers. But despite being of the same age, distillation year, bottler and cask type the two single malts were significantly different.

Distillery: Clynelish
Owner: Diageo
Region: Northern Highlands
Independent bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 29 years (28 November 1984 to 2014)
Maturation: Refill sherry butt
"Poetic" name: Bumblebees by the sea
Cask number26.105
Outturn: 548
Alcohol by Volume: 57.6%
(thanks to Brett P for the sample!)

Wildflowers, chewed grass, honey, honeydew and lemon on the nose. After 20-30 mins, notes of raspberry jam, herbal smoke and caramel sauce join in. The thick, oily mouthfeel reveals notes of ginger beer, lemon custard and lime juice in the palate. Meeting up with the fruity sweetness is a solid mineral nip. Soft oak-like notes of caramel sauce combine well with chili flakes and ground mustard seed. Its finish does have lemony notes similar to yesterday's Clynelish, but here it's more of a custard and marmalade than a juice. Mineral notes and chili flakes sparkle along the extensive length.

DILUTED TO ~50%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Now the nose has mustard, marzipan, parsley and peat moss. Guava and lemons. Toasted cinnamon bread. The palate becomes sweeter and more herbal with a touch of bitterness. Fresh ginger, lemon juice and honey. A mix of fresh green herbs. The finish keeps its great length. It's sweet and tart, focusing on limes, while also sneaking in parsley and brine.

Finally, an SMWS bottling that reflects its "creative" name. And alas, there's one Clynelish this month that shines with the distillery's great reputation. Similar to yesterday's whisky, the oak rarely appears and the sherry is absent. There's just big graceful age. While the nose etches out more detail, the palate shows great depth and balance. Despite the two whiskies' technical similarities, this one came with a $25 higher price tag. In my opinion, the high quality is worth some sort of premium. Yes, I just wrote that.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $175ish
Rating - 90

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