These Distiller’s Editions are always fun ones to try. Usually (not always) they choose good casks for the wine finishes. I’m a fan of the Islay DE’s, but let’s see how a Clynelish holds up. I’m an on-again/off-again drinker of the 14, but I’ve had some brilliant Clynelishes over the years. With a good sherry finish this distillery can make magic. Here we have the 1992 vintage, which was given a second maturation in Oloroso casks before being bottled in 2007.
Nose: Apple cider, apple vinegar, red apples, pears, plums, blackberries, grapes, cherry liqueur, sherry, anise, strong oak, dark chocolate, and a good dose of salt. This offers up big fruit and big wood with a nice balance and medium intensity.
Palate: Medium bodied and very fruity. Sultanas, rum, heavy oak spices, red wine tannins, raisins, cinnamon, chili, plum. The flavours are largely a continuation of the nose, but this intensity was unexpected.
Finish: Spices and fruits arrive, sorry… attack first. More rum flavours, wine tannins, blackberries, apple vinegar, huge oak, loads of salt, woodspices, sultanas, and plums. There’s an interesting sour plum/apple vinegar note that seems to counter the sweetness. Long, drying, and intense.
Ok, maybe it’s not perfectly balanced, but this whisky has character and a lot of kick. Is it only 46%? Feels higher. It’s pretty rummy, which is cool. Oaky, too. Lots and lots of oak. In fact it’s almost over-oaked. Luckily I can take some punishment, so the intense drying effect and powerful spices are within the realm of bearable. In fact the oak works well with the apple/plum vinegar note to counter the sweetness. Overall this one is odd and kind of clumsy, but it’s fun if you can take a punch.