...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Clynelish 1997 Distillers Edition (2012 bottling)

Diageo's Clynelish Distillers Edition had a brief seven-year run, ending in 2012. Until now I didn't understand why they chose to end that one, but continue, say, Glenkinchie's DE. But I just realized Diageo also retired Green Label in 2012. Could they really have been facing a Clynelish shortage? Should I give them the benefit of the doubt?

No? Okay.

This final batch (Cl-Br: 175-7l) was brought out for a Columbus Scotch Night last year. It was a hit. People liked it better than Johnnie Walker Blue, because people have taste buds.

Distillery: Clynelish
Region: Highlands (North)
Ownership: Diageo
Range: Distillers Edition
Maturation: ??? years in ??? casks, then a brief finish in Oloroso Seco casks 
Age: 14-15 years
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered: Probably
Colored: Probably

The sherry cask keeps out of trouble in the nose. Brine, beachy kelp and miso lead the way. Then honey mustard and nuts. Small notes of cocoa and dried fruit round it out. More sherry cask in the palate. Dried stone fruits, buttery caramel and fresh ginger float in a mellow sweetness. Hints of flowers and limes. The edges feel sanded down. A lightly warm and sweet finish. Ginger candy, flowers, pepper, salt and a hint of drying tannins.

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose shifts to raisins, molasses, brine, vanilla bean and apple skins. No raisins in the palate, but there are plenty of nutty notes. Mint candy, a few peppercorns. A good earthy note leaps out of nowhere. It finishes with cayenne pepper, salt and mint candy.

Though the spirit is much shier than in yesterday's Clynelish, it's not completely drowned out by the casks. This is a simpler, cuddlier Clynelish than the regular 14 year old, but it hasn't slipped into the long line of multi-cask somnambulant Speysides. Its Highland roots are still showing, and its shoes are scuffed. I don't actually know what that means, but this is still Clynelish albeit very approachable.

Availability - maybe a few European retailers
Pricing - ???
Rating - 85

No comments:

Post a Comment