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Clynelish 14 Year Old

Best Standard

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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

26th Nov 2017


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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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!

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OdysseusUnbound commented

Thanks for the review. You truly seem to enjoy this malt. What would it take for Clynelish to be a 88-90 pts whisky? Higher ABV? More smoke? Richer mouthfeel? I thought about my Compass Box Oak Cross while reading this review. Most of that vatting is 6 year old Clynelish and a lot of those flavours are similar to what I found, albeit the extra 8 years (or more) yours spent in the casks seem to make a pretty big difference.

5 years ago 0

markjedi1 commented

Hmm, that's a tough one. It has little to do with ABV. It's more about the overall experience. I've had quite a few independent single cask bottlings from Clynelish that stand out more and are more enjoyable in both nose and taste that come close to 90points in my book. Especially Clynelish 1997 is outstanding.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

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