This week brings us to the Spirit of Scotland festival in Rome, so we need to train hard. While we wait and claim to be in the Whisky & Lode jury, we open a Clynelish by Max Righi, bottled three years ago. As you know, the distillery is one of our favorite and the bottler is simply a giant. Perfect combo!
N: our highest expectations are immediately confirmed. Intense, solid. The strong abv at the beginning is rather evident. A truly pure Clynelish, with its usual waxiness and brine notes (super coastal and salty). Olive oil, too, together with a mineral peatiness (no smoke at all). It’s pleasant and naked, without any wooden exuberance. It’s also delicate, with notes of flowers and coniferous forest, pine needles to be precise. There’s also a nice sweetness, focused on fruit (dried apples chips, pears) and raisins in alcohol. A gentle touch of custard and shortbread. Amazing.
P: what a full body. It’s chewy and dense, indeed. And its waxiness is simply unique. Oil again, with an elegant, faint smokiness and an impressive maritime minerality. A good, sweet and mature maltiness, with a vegetal, herbal nuance. This is a whisky totally driven by the distillate. Indistinct and powerful yellow fruit (again apples and pears). With water, the vegetal side unleashes notes of infused herbs and sugary flowers.
F: it closes with wax, peat and a clean malt, almost on bitter almond notes. Not infinite, but truly nice.
In his review, Serge writes: “Minimal wood influence, perfect age, brilliant spirit, that’s why I’m into whisky”. Any other word would be unnecessary, but we’re here to write something, aren’t we? This is exactly our guy: intense, clean, sincere, but dirty and intriguing at the same time. Astonishing. 92/100
Recommended soundtrack: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Stars fell on Alabama.