Clynelish 32yo 1972/2005 (49.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, Hogshead #15619, 226 bottles)

Looking back, I see that two of the last four posts are old Clynelishes. One from 1974 and one from 1973. What could beat that? Well maybe another old Clynelish? Why? Because we can! And this time we’ll do a 1972! Exactly 1972, the year in which the adjacent (old) Clynelish distillery (a.k.a. Brora) reached the stellar quality we all (should) know by now. If you don’t know Brora 1972 by now, prepare to dish out some serious cash to do so, but then again, you might be a Sheik? Clynelish 32yo 1972/2005 (49.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, Hogshead #15619, 226 bottles)But that’s Brora, here we have a 1972 Clynelish, so it’s distillate from the then newly built distillery next to Brora…

Color: Light Gold

Nose: Old once (painted) wood. The whole nose has a nice oldness to it. A smell you don’t encounter in more modern malts. Lots of woody caramels. The whole nose has some similarities to the 1973 I reviewed some days ago. This one is more leafy though, and less waxy. It’s not only sweets and woods. Pencil shavings and fresh air. Quite clean. Apple skins, nuts and some flowers. Freesia maybe?

Taste: Wood and a thin kind of waxiness. half sweet and a spicy bite of wood (do I detect a hint of smoke?). The wood doesn’t dominate. Also some hints from the animal kingdom. Something along the lines of a sweating horse. Again the added leafiness. Dry leaves and cold and wet black tea leaves. The body is medium to full, but with a lot of character. Orange skins. The finish is longer than I thought, but also thinner due to the lack of the big sweetness and waxiness a lot of Clynelishes have. Having said that I do like this one. It oozes Whisky from times long gone…

Brora’s from 1972 are special amongst others by the use of peat. This Clynelish lacks that peat. The cask itself didn’t do a lot for the whisky, apart from giving some woody traits to the Whisky. Wood, vanillin, that sort of things. This does allow us to have a glimpse at the distillate of Clynelish.

Points: 90

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Clynelish 11yo 1994/2005 (58.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, Sherry Butt #4011, 367 bottles)

Clynelish is a very popular dram. There are several reasons why. First of all it’s a sister of Brora, which maybe the best malt of all. Second. Clynelish has a unique waxy personality and it’s spirit is always of high quality. It’s very hard to find one that is not up to par.

Color: Full Gold, almost Orange.

Nose: Clean. Paper and wood. Spice and white pepper. Oranges with almonds and toffee. Leafy, waxy and coastal fresh with some added sherry mustiness. Later on some vanilla ice cream, cardboard and dust. It stays spicy throughout. Perfumy and a beautiful balance.

Taste: Spicy and definitively from a sherry cask. Wood, beer and spice again. Sweet and tarry. Shortbread and gingerlike. Turkish delight and has some traits of a Riesling wine. Full bodied. Slight sour wood and licorice on the finish.

I think it’s a bit of a shame this got bottled so soon. It’s good now, but what would this have been when it wood be several years older. Nothing here suggests its over the top or even near the full potential it could have reached. Nice Clynelish, always worth checking out.

Points: 86