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Clynelish 14 Year Old


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@NockReview by @Nock

10th Sep 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is my own personal bottle that I opened in October of 2013, and as of April it is about half full. I have tasted this bottle on 5 occasions with notes (83, 86, 86, 85, 83). The following represents my overall impression of this bottle as it relates to six different Brora’s tasted one night in April.

For bottle code people (like myself): L2227CM000 04172671

Some strange immediate peat and spice to start (after a lid has been on for 20 min). The peat is now dissipating . . . now gone . . . and I am left with sea salt coastal ocean mist. Behind that are some strong fruit notes: concord grapes, gala apples, and pears. There is malt and grain with a hint of wine influence coming through (a “light sherry dusting”). This is “farmy” without any of the authentic “farm” I love in Brora. The malt almost seems contrived and engineered. This is my classic “good” but “nothing fancy” nose. That first second after the lid had trapped the flavors was surprising and intriguing. Coming back after all the big brother Broras . . . this does seem much more like Grant’s Family Reserve: very fruity with faintest touch of peat and wax. The pears and apples really grew with time as did my score.

Fruity: pears, apples, wax, saw dust, orange peel, wood and a “hint” of that Brora tone (mustard) but you really have to look for it. There is a whisper of Brora here to be certain. Almost zero peat to speak of. You really have to hold this one in the mouth for it to develop to its full potential.

Nice spice on peaches, pears and apples. This as a light wave with nice spice on pears, apples and wax . . . with a whisper of peat. The fruit and wax is the main star here. I am getting some ozone and something like sitting beside a chlorine pool. The wax with hints of Brora’s “mustard” are there for those who strain to listen. It is a sad dirge to a wonderful old style of whisky. Not a star but something I would buy again for less then $50.

For all that I don’t like about this, it actually does a good job of balance. Where it fails is the “complexity.” I guess it does have three distinct flavors: fruit, wax, and malt. And they work well together. But everything is too muted on the nose and finish. Easily the least complex dram tonight (to be fair, the next youngest malt is 21 years old). However, it did have some fruit and spice to go along with the wax that definitely gave it some character. If Diageo would just bump up the peat level a tad (to the Benromach level) I would enjoy this far more.

I really like the name and style of this bottle. Love that Diageo is keeping this at 46% . . . but I hate Diageo! I think the age is great and the bottle shape is in my second-tier-style-enjoyment (behind the traditional style bottle shape of Laphroaig and Lagavulin).

Related Clynelish reviews


Rigmorole commented

Alas, poor Clynelish 14! I knew it, Nock, a whisky of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. It hath borne me on its back dozens of times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!

Where is the smoke? Where is the peat? Where is the complexity? It smacks of sugary tarts and sweets where once hung the most divine farminess that I had sipped I know not how oft.

Fie on Diageo's lack of respect for the tradition and the craft that was (pre-1993) Clynelish. Thank the gods that Brora went out with a farmy/smoky bang and not merely a fruity whimper.

5 years ago 0

Nock commented

Delightful sentiments! I have not tasted pre-1993 Clynelish. I would love to try this with more smoke and peat (and complexity).

5 years ago 0

FMichael commented

Just picked up a bottle of the Clynelish 14 yr...Finished my last bottle several plus months ago, and had a craving for a east coast highland malt.

5 years ago 0

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