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Clynelish 20 yo (1996/2016, Signatory Vintage, 46%)

Signatory Vintage, an independent Scottish bottler born in 1988, has a serious problem of lack of moderation. If it happens to bottle a 20-year Clinelish at 46 degrees, as usual for the Un-chillfiltered collection, they don’t just make one release but they make four. Even if we do not spend our lives drinking Clynelish (even though we particularly love the distillery), we had already drunk one of their 20 years Clynelish from 1996, but they were two other sister casks (6408 and 6409) married for the occasion. After a year, instead, we taste cask 6407, a hogshead that previously hosted bourbon. 

Clynelish_Signatory

N: open and nice, it starts with very ‘yellow’ notes: white and yellow fruit (white peach and yellow apple, for the pedants), rather creamy with custard, vanilla and lot of raw short pastry – it has a deeply buttery character (fresh butter), tending to wax and waxed marzipan fruit. It also has a nice lemon zest note.

P: very full and explosive, the body and intensity are strong in spite of the low degree. It reproposes some happy adage of the nose, including a robust and structured vanilla sweetness, and a ripe and full yellow fruit, at the limit of the tropical: peaches, surely. However, an oily and compact texture is surprising, referring to the classic suggestions of mineral wax, typical of Clynelish, which the nose didn’t seem to promise at this level. There is also a bit of citrus, something like the white part of citrus fruits (albedo, for the pedants above). 

F: long and malty, very clean and just mottled by an acrid mineral and herbaceous vein, almost peaty. A memory of olive oil. 

Reading again the review compiled a year ago, we are pleased with the substantial constancy of both the distillery and our impressions, in a triumphant convergence between subject and object, between reality and percept. Returning to earth, let’s say that this Clynelish perhaps will not enter into mythology, perhaps also because of the reduced degree, nor it won’t allow us to explore abysses of complexity, but it seems to have found a perfect balance between sweetness, acidity and minerality. Rich and austere at the same time, is there a whisky like that out there? Yes, it is Clynelish. 88/100

Recommended soundtrack: Paolo Nutini – New Shoes

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