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CLYNELISH 1989 (2012, THOSOP BY THE WHISKYMAN, 53,5%)

Luc Timmermans is one of the Malt Maniacs, a well-known collector and big Glenfarclas fan. Together with his friend Dominiek Bouckaert, owner of the The Whiskyman brand, Timmermans occasionally bottles “real goodies” (as he proudly refers on his website) with the Thosop brand. The labels, in our opinion, are easily forgettable, unlike the whisky behind them … This Clynelish has aged in ex-bourbon barrels and has been there to rest since 1989.

N: pungent alcohol, a hard profile. Intense scents of Highlands (mineral, coastal), in total synergy with a monolithic vanilla: pronounced and very pleasant indeed. It also turns on toffee and cream. Can creaminess and harshness coexist? It would seem so, with this malt. Notes of very ripe orange and fresh ginger zest; light fruity notes (but it’s a sour-ish fruit: blueberries and berries, citrus peel, lemon). Light notes of wax, even some hints of ash. A beautiful “dirty” nose, as we like it: the sweetness is not cloying, at all.

P: Brace yourselves … An atomic whisky, a real bunch of flavor bombs. In order, very discreet and pleasant mineral and wax notes; then it displays a citrus sourness (lemon, orange peel); finally, swallowing, a vanilla explosion, without restraint. Surprising notes of tropical fruit towards the end (some of us feel a clear maracuja). Gently peppery, we could even find some salty ripples. Simply excellent. Clynelish as it should be.

F: neverending, with creamy vanilla, fruity and hazelnut notes. A little bit of wood. Is it possible that we found salt on our lips?

Fantastic. We love Highland whiskies, because they are full of what we generally call ‘edges’, that is: uncommon aromas and flavors, a bit ‘dirty’, mineral. This Clynelish is really excellent, and it represents at best what the distillery can offer to his many passionate admirers. Above all, the mineral and citrus side (That’s the Highlands, baby. And there is nothing you can do. Nothing.) It can be investigated extensively. Congratulations to Luc Timmermans for the selection; our vote will be 92/100. That’s what Serge and Ruben think about it. It was around 130 euros, but – alas – it seems to be out of stock.

Recommended soundtrack: MorphineHoney white.

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