Clynelish is one of the northern distilleries in Scotland (except from the isles), and it’s been founded between 1967 and 1968 in front of Clynelish (what?!), that therefore lost its name in favor of that – more evocative nowadays – Brora. Their story is definitely tied with a double thread, meaning that (you can read the whole saga here), the old Clynelish was intended to be closed soon after the opening of the new one, that was bigger. And actually the old one closed for a period, but the need of peated malt by the owners caused soon the restart. The story ended sadly in 1983, when Brora closed once for all, with tears and screams of pain from all the whisky lovers around the world. Anyway let’s talk about our Flora & Fauna, an official bottling from the 2000’s, released in various batches. Color is a pale yellow.
N: honey is obvious but what we feel the most is wax, such a Clynelish classic, that leads on a lovely scent of wet and musty wood. Then it comes the fruit (apple, raisin, orange zest) and big nutty notes. We have a buttery and creamy feeling, with soft notes of peat (without smoke) on background.
P: ok, it’s a bit disappointing compared to a nose that was delicious; oily and mineral notes prevail, with a pretty flat honeyed sweetness. A little vanilla. Definitely not a great body, without a strong structure.
F: medium length but low in intensity; to tell the truth we have only a clear and nice walnut, nothing more.
Official tasting notes on the bottle talk about fruit and a subtle smokiness, but we can’t agree. We have fruits but only nosing it, and smoky notes are very very faint. In the end, we would say this Clynelish brings a delightful nose, around 87 or 88 to say it in numbers; palate and finish barely reach the threshold of 80 points. Given the price (35/40 euro) we can’t really complain, but this distillery for sure is capable of crafting better malts. We are indulgent and our judgment is 81/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Eels – The look you give that guy, from Hombre lobo.