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Excepting Islay, my favourite two distilleries sit diagonally opposite each other at the far extremes of Scotland's mainland. These are Springbank in the warm gulf-stream lashed south-western Mull of Kintyre. And Clynelish in the cold, desolate and remote north-east, (OK, I might be exaggerating for poetic effect).
I've also got to admit to having a fondness for Diageo's 'Distiller's Edition' range. They all seem to have a 'warmth' about them, particularly the Dalwhinnie and Oban Distillers Editions. So let's see what they do to the traditionally dry and briney Clynelish....
Nose: Yep, it's definitely dry and briney. But with some red fruits, plums, a touch of treacle followed by cooked dark fruit. Blackberries and also a slight shortbread-type edge. Saltiness is the most apparent factor but not so that it overpowers everything else. Very nice.
Palate: Quite soft and sweet. Raspberry jam. Treacle sponge pudding. A return of black fruit. Dry, but the briney saltiness has now taken a back seat, allowing the fruitiness of the sherry cask to really show its quality. Really flavoursome.
Finish: Well it was never going to be anything else - very very dry, salty and briney. Sweet fruit tempers it, but I love dry finished malts. And this really lasts and lingers.
A wonderful whisky - I love it. But I was very surprised it was still available at a relatively cheap price. Distilled 1992, bottled in 2007 yet still available for £50. This is a cracking bargain. Grab one while you can.