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Clynelish distillery is situated near Brora on the north-eastern coast of Scotland. It was built in 1968, next to the original Clynelish distillery which was closed. The original distillery was reopened in May 1969 under the name of Brora and until July 1973 produced a heavily peated whisky to supply the blending industry; this was done to cover a shortage of Islay whisky caused by a drought on the island. Brora Distillery produced whisky up until 1983. Of the whisky produced in the Clynelish distillery only about 1% is sold as single malt, with the rest going into the Johnnie Walker blend.
The nose is sweet with honey, grapes and some vanilla. The famous wax flavour that people often associate with Clynelish is also there, even unmistakably so. In addition there is a certain spiciness and saltiness that I found rather interesting. All in all a rather complex and very enjoyable nose!
The palate is medium-bodied and creamy. Honey and vanilla again make an appearance though rather subdued. In addition there now are oranges and a gentle touch of smoke, reminiscent of bonfire smoke. This is a great mouthfeel, almost perfectly rounded.
The finish is short, warming, very dry and a bit spicy at the end.
I enjoyed myself very much during this tasting session. This single malt has many attractions in store: a complex nose, a wonderfully rounded palate and an interesting finish (if only because of the astonishing dryness). This is what good whisky is all about, and it comes at an affordable price. What more can you ask for?