...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Clynelish 13 year old 1995 Signatory, cask 12792

The Caol Ila-dominant period of this Caol Ila-Clynelish month is over. It's time for two Clynelish in a row. (Note: Clynelish is plural for Clynelish. Is this a thing? Can I make it a thing?)

Both of these Clynelish are from sherry casks. Though, Clynelish #1 Fan often takes issue with sherry cask Clynelish, I don't feel the same. Then again Serge has tried about 20x as many Clynelish as I. So who are you going to side with? Me? Great!

First up, a 13yo single sherry butt from Signatory that was bottled before I started blogging about whisky, which was a looooooooooooong time ago.

Distillery: Clynelish
Ownership: Diageo
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Age: 13 years (21 December 1995 - 15 September 2009)
Maturation: sherry butt
Cask#: 12792
Alcohol by Volume: 58.2%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
(from a sample swap with My Annoying Opinions)

The nose's top layer consists of dried cherries, soil, rock and kale juice. But its center is all dunnage and burlap. After 20+ minutes small notes of roses and mango appear. Beneath the palate's significant heat are notes of salt and dunnage. There's some sweetness (orange marmalade, maybe?) in the background, and an herbal bite in the middle. With time in glass, a creamy sweetness arises though the heat never subsides. The hot finish is a mix of salt, dunnage, herbal bitterness and citric sweetness.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or > 1½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose gets farmier and fruitier, like overripe cantaloupe rind and flesh. The dunnage and rose notes are subtler. Some wheatgrass in there, and lots of brine. The palate has the burlap and funky dunnage mustiness of the neat nose. Limes follow as does a mild sweetness, stones and a hint of extinguished matches. It MUCH less hot now. The sweetest moment arrives in the finish, reminiscent of citrus hard candies. Some salt and heat follow.

Though my notes might not say as much, I liked this whisky. The key is getting through the heat. As usual, the nose is the strong point, working with or without dilution. Water cools off the palate and finish improving them. It's lean and mean, feeling old school and spirit-forward. It's certainly not a crowd pleaser. Be sure to see MAO's review (from nearly 6 years ago!) and his comments section for alternate takes.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86 (with water)