Even if they are hard to find in Italy, today we’ll sip something from the German bottler Malts of Scotland: we were never disappointed by a whisky from their selections before (you can find the few ones we drank here, and others will arrive soon…). Today we are tasting a Clynelish – if you read us, you know that we are quite passionate for Brora distillery – distilled in 1982 and bottled two years ago, in 2011, just before turning thirty. Ex-bourbon barrel, probably second fill, color is clear pale straw.
N: Immediately, a great intensity and richness. At the same time it is exquisitely austere and ‘Nordic’. We recognize the clichés of the distillery: slightly peaty, slightly coastal (brine) and with a large, very large mineral suggestion. Alongside, there is a truly monumental “sweet dimension”: honey, cream cake (pear cake?), fruit pastries… Remarkable creaminess. Notes of candied lemon, yellow apple, and (little unripe) banana. Wet wood; notes of brown sugar, also slightly grassy… It is complex, isn’t it? And amazingly full of nuances. Finally, a powerful note of wax that fosters peat smoke (barely perceptible, but growing over time).
P: deep, beautiful, even more ‘mineral’ and naked, in the attack. Then, the creamy sweetness comes out, and it is balanced by a bitter, woody note. The result is a very particular flavor, we could say “dark” (we have been producing synaesthesia since 1983: whiskyfacile.com, and you know what you read), with a great malty personality. A rain of almonds, a lot of barley, brown sugar, honey, citrus fruits (lemon, above all, but also pink grapefruit), green banana and vegetable suggestions (fresh grass, really!) … Then a wall of wax, very unique, followed – towards the finish – by peppery notes.
F: wax again, very long and intense. Great elegance. Almonds, wood notes, hints of grapefruit accompany the slow end of a creaminess that fights unto death.
Ladies and gentlemen, here is a sparkling Clynelish in all its austerity: simply excellent, it carries thirty years of age as if they were nothing, as if the time spent in the barrel was only a dot in the line of eternity. A full whisky, never too flirty, despite the glittering Bourbon creaminess: it remains composed, elegant … If it were an actor, it would be Micheal Caine. The only big flaw is that, at some point, it ended … 92/100 is our opinion, here you find what Serge and Ruben think.
Recommended soundtrack: Sonny Rollins – Alfie, soundtrack of the credits of a film that made the good Michael Caine so famous.