Seven years…that is how long it has been since I last tried the standard bottling of Clynelish. And since I have three sparring partners – all of them from Signatory by the way – I felt it was a good preparation to try the classic Clynelish 14 Year Old one more time. Funny detail: this bottling dates from 7th January 2016, my 46th birthday.
Clynelish is known for its waxy nose. We have that here for sure. A nice complexity of salt, sweet and mild smoke. Think pipe tobacco, liquorice, banana, Earl Grey tea that was left too long in the teapot, loads of mint and a surprising hint of mustard seeds. On top of that some fruit appears in the guise of oranges, apples and raisins. Maybe even a blueberry that made a wrong turn. Like I said: complex.
It starts on malt, quickly followed by vanilla, fresh fruit, honey and lots of tropical notes. Think mango and papaya. This is very good. Caramel and honey keep it sweet, while a big note of woodsmoke give it depth. Ginger, pepper, beeswax. All flavours work well together to presented a beautiful malt on the palate.
The finish is medium long on apples and tropical fruit, but both smoke and wax run off with the medals.
I do not exaggerate when I say this is one of the best standard bottlings on the market. Only 40 EUR. This should be in every cabinet. Thanks, Pat!