Clynelish 17 - The Creative Whisky Co - 55.2%
Since sampling a fabulous 29-year-old Clynelish from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society at the Glasgow Whisky Festival back in 2014 (26.105: Bumblebees by the Sea), I've fallen in love with this distillery, snapping up as many varieties as I can get my hands on.
I reviewed the standard 14-year-old in January 2015, and thought it was a good dram. That said, the current batch of 14 is, in my opinion, much better. The label is slightly different and the liquid is sublime. My advice, buy a few bottles. I did... but keep that to yourself, OK?
I purchased this 17-year-old from The Creative Whisky Co in August 2015 from the team down at Glasgow's Good Spirits Co. and, after finding a sample I had snaffled away in the "whisky drawer" for a rainy day, I thought it was time to get my thoughts down.
Unlikely that you'll find this one on your travels as there were only 274 bottles produced - but I thought it might be of interest to compare with other indie bottles of Clynelish.
Just for the record, I compared my new notes to ones I had scribbled down in a battered old notebook. I also let this one sit in the glass for around 20 minutes before sticking my beak in.
And talking of beaks, this is quite astringent on the nose, with a fair bit of nail polish. Lots of herbs too (basil, mint) and there's a nuttiness to it. Fruit notes are buried underneath - pear and some citrus - but at 55.2%, I find this really needs a few splashes of water.
The water gives the dram a bit of zip and fizzy orange Haribo sweets take over. I also get lemons, gooseberries and that astringent note completely disappears.
The palate is initially quite sweet with a dollop of cream and some syrup, but it then becomes a little more savoury in its character. The fruit is trying to come though, but, again, water is needed to coax out more flavours. Water brings through that delicious burnt candle note that Clynelish is famous for and introduces a slight sour note (grapefruit, maybe).
The finish continues with the waxy note and some dark fruits come though with white pepper and a little liquorice. The water adds toffee and vanilla, and also ramps up the woody cask flavour.
I did enjoy this dram - and bottle - but it's certainly not the best Clynelish out there. I'd even say that the current batch of 14 knocks this out of the park.
Also, in case you were wondering, I eventually bought that SMWS bottle - and a review with be coming up at some point in the future.