So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Clynelish 14 yo

It would still be summer in Scotland. ‘At most a light sweater or jacket’, I nodded agreeably, after all recent weather forecasts suggested as much. What would be more natural than for my visit to coincide, to the day, the arrival of the remnants of Hurricane Bertha blowing in from the States.

Skye was awash in rain and wind. The picture of sunny grandeur I held in my mind a foregone lost hope, the Cuillins was instead coloured a stormy melancholy, but no less majestic.

Leaving Skye behind did no good either. The Muir of Ord was wet and cold, Inverness was wet and cold, Elgin was wet and cold, Grantown, Aberlour, Dufftown were all wet and cold. ‘Welcome to Scotland’ said one sympathetic BnB owner, ‘but really we did have such excellent weather. Until this week.’

The weather did let up somewhat though. Tain, Dornoch (Dornoch Castle whisky bar!) and Brora were warmer and much much dryer, so we did end on a high note. I’ll just have to return to stunningly beautiful Skye some other summer.

Clynelish 14 yo OB 46% ~ 14 bottling

Incidentally I had this while a lodger at the Clynelish Farmhouse, a farmhouse on part of the grounds of the distillery but let out by Diageo and converted into a BnB. So in effect, walking distance from the stills from which it poured.

Also, what’s with the wildcat? The old Flora and Fauna range each had a particular animal/plant referenced on the label. Clynelish’s is a wildcat and the choice echoes of some deeper history. The modern label will hint of the founding of the old Clynelish (Brora) by George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Marquess of Stafford, who was to become the Duke of Sutherland in 1833. A man not without controversy because of his role in the Highland Clearances. But the wildcat doesn’t quite appear on his Arms but rather his Crest instead and looks something like:



Anyway the whisky:



Nose Nose: Soft and elegant with a certain precise and narrow lushness. Vanilla bean, grain of salt, handful of wet gravel and a merest bit of diesel. Perfect backdrop for a bowl of fresh apple and pear parings. Touch of pepper. After a few moments and behind all these a faint but not unexpected waxiness arrives.


Taste Palette: As the nose suggests but bigger minerals more floral notes more wood spice on the tongue and an effervescent (pepperiness?) follows. Lost a bit of that elegant precision of the nose.


Finish Finish: Medium long, bit of a musty note.



Nice enough in every way, allowing distillery character to emerge without too much of those active oak notes common in entry level OBs. Character wise, who can complain – it’s Clynelish. Good OB.

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This entry was posted on August 27, 2014 by in Clynelish and tagged .
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