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The Clynelish distillery shares terrain with that other distillery, long closed and enjoying a near cult status, Brora (founded in 1819 under the name Clynelish). The current Clynelish distillery was built in 1967, right next to the ‘old’ Clynelish. Since 1968 they produced in tandem, until in August of the same year, the ‘old’ Clynelish was mothballed. Another year later, in 1969, the ‘old’ Clynelish reopened under the name Brora, and started using heavily peated malt, until it was closed permanently in 1983. The ‘new’ Clynelish is still operational. In 2002, this Clynelish 14 Year Old was released.
The nose is complex, lightly salted with dry pineapple, a smoky touch and rather flowery. The light peat is upholstered with vanilla and toffee. Lightly peppered and dry. Wonderful perfume, subtle and inviting.
On the palate, a creamy malt is being let loose on the tastebuds. I get some citrus (grapefruit?) on honey, peat and salt. Seaweed versus fruit, nicely balanced.
The finish is a nice and long extension of the palate, with the smoke and silt dominating. It ends in a bitter death.
I already tasted two sister casks from Clynelish, bottled by Malts of Scotland. They were divine. I expected the same from this official bottling. And while that expectation wasn’t exactly met, this is still a very good whisky, complex yet accessible. Definitely worth your attention.