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Clynelish has an apparent reputation as a barley centered dram that consistently ranks in the top dozen or so of Scotland's malt distilleries. And although not a rare malt, it seems to find a selective space in the better retail stores, and affords the customer a bit of pleasure when a bottle is encountered (a testament to the quality of the buyer as well as an understanding of the clientele). I picked this bottle up in Chicago in 2015 and paid just over $70. I have been nipping at the bottle for almost two years; I finished it off last night.
Color: Full amber ("natural colour")
Nose: A full on malt arrival with light licorice and caramel. There is an emerging sherry note which is quite subtle given that this malt has spent its 14 years in a sherry cask. A distant trace of peat plays a game with an intriguing mustard arrival. Very interesting.
Palate: Medium body with a very soft delivery. Oily and mouth filling. Barley!!!! Dried fruit (raisins, dates). Spices make an appearance mid-palate and play counterpoint to the barley sugars making for a very nice taste experience. The wood finally has its say as a slight bitterness develops.
Finish: Quite long with oak and the spices having the final word.
All in all, quite the beautiful malt. A single barrel release from Chieftain's Cask no. 4717 (Distilled April 1997; bottled 2011) which resulted in 331 Bottles. I love when I am able to acquire a bottle from a numbered run; knowing just how finite this malt is only adds to the pleasure.