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Clynelish 1997 Oloroso Sherry Distiller's Edition

Whisky Advent Calendar - Day 23

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

24th Dec 2013


Clynelish 1997 Oloroso Sherry Distiller's Edition
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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There used to be two distilleries on this site: Brora (founded in 1819) and Clynelish (founded in 1967). Brora closed in 1983, and of course new releases command exorbitant prices and are highly collectible. Whiskies from both distilleries exhibit some common characteristics, though if memory serves, Brora is a little peatier, and with more body.

The Distiller's Edition is finished in Oloroso sherry casks. Because the 30mL sample from the Whisky Advent Calendar doesn't give any more info, I don't have much more background to give you - I don't even know the age statement of this. Let me know if you have more info.

The colour is a light golden - lighter than you might expect from a malt finished in Oloroso sherry. On the nose, a melange of Christmas scents (two days before St. Nick comes!) - citrus (orange, candied peel), spices (cloves, nutmeg) and rising hot cross buns. Nicely floral. A faint whiff of sulphur, which seems to work fine here. Water brings the malt forward. Very nice.

On the palate, very similar Christmas flavours - marzipan, more spices but the malt still comes through. Walnut oil with a silky mouthfeel. Gently tannic. Rum raisin. Water brings all the sherry and spice forward. Rich and delicious!

The finish is loads more raisins, with a bit more sulphur coming through. Some cinnamon right at the end. This is the first Clynelish I've written up (I tasted a DE at an Oscar party a few years back, and have had a bunch of other Clynelishes), and although some friends really dislike this, I love it. It is a rich, complex, fruity malt, perfect for this time of year. And coincidentally, Whisky Advocate Magazine just awarded Diageo (which owns Clynelish) Distiller Of The Year. Diageo? A distiller? I thought they were a conglomerate that simply owns a boatload of brands and distilleries (when not shuttering them). But I suppose due to the support and backing they've given to many whisky brands and distilleries, they count…I guess…I dunno, I just think it's weird, though. What do others think about Diageo winning this award?

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Nemesis101 commented

Clynelish has really grown on me in the past 12 months, but mainly through trying Signatory Indie bottlings. I have tried the 1992 Distiller's Edition which is still available at a reasonable price. But I've never seen the 1997 Distiller's Edition - where did you get this?

I had a rather feisty discussion/argument with Diageo Reps at Manchester Whisky Fest earlier this year, (it was after 4-5 hours of solid whisky drinking mind). We were praising them for keeping numerous decent distilleries running that might otherwise have folded. But also criticising them for out-dated techniques of caramel addition to (virtually) everything and still chill-filtering most of their range. If they'd modernise a bit towards the way the rest of the industry seems to be heading then I'd be OK with them winning some kind of award, (but yes, 'Distiller' just seems inaccurate). As it stands, no they shouldn't have it.

10 years ago 0

talexander commented

This was part of Master of Malt's Whisky Advent Calendar.

10 years ago 0

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