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CLYNELISH 21 YO (1995/2017, SIGNATORY, 55.7%)

Clynelish 21 yo (1995/2017, Signatory, 55.7%)

Again from our blind sessions: could you guess our joy when we found that we have a friend so generous to send us a sample of a Clynelish single cask? Well done Andrea, thanks mate. Precisely, it’s from the #11228 refil sherry butt.
We’ve already had some Signatory Clynelish distilled in 1995, and we’ve never had reasons for complain. Remember: the review has been written blind. Colour: white wine.

N: pleasantly pungent, it must be at cask strength. Initially shy. Then, slowly, something happens: Rossana toffee and a note of vinyl glue that disappears in a few. The intensity of esters is astonishing, it almost smells like a Jamaican white rum… The alcohol is not particularly aggressive, but it doesn’t allow an easy expression of the aromas. Underneath, we can guess a fabulous world of fruit: lime, unripe pineapple, green apple peels. Everything is wrapped in a nice, light honey. It’s not herbaceous, so we would presume it’s not as young as we thought at the first sniff.

P: quite a kick, not for children! Again, the alcohol is not harsh nor aggressive, but it makes the first sip warm and intense. Super-fruity and full-bodied, with stewed prunes, apples and pineapple. It’s definetely tropical, lime is back. Sure we are drinking a cask strength whisky, no doubt. And we venture to say this is a Scotch from Northern Highlands. There are several clues, the main one being this elegant waxiness and this delicious oily profile. An aromatic woody aftertaste confirms our impression: this is not a young guy, it’s even more mature than we presumed. Concentrated flavors: it tastes like a Clynelish, with that particular candlewick note…

F: long and austere. Citrus essential oils. Is it a refil Bourbon cask?

Well, obviously it was a fluke, but we were right! When the cask is only a sparring partner, Clynelish spirit matures in a spectacular way. This bottling shows the classic profile of the distillery: intense flavors, a solid fruity side and an excellent waxy minerality. A less shy nose would have earned him a 90. Anyway, 88/100.


Recommended soundtrack: Eduardo De Crescenzo – Alle sei di sera.

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