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

Clynelish 19yo 1995/2014 Liquid Library vs 17yo 1995/2013 Signatory The Whisky Exchange #12794

When I drove up to Highland Park (ferry ride in between), one of the must-stop gawking highlights along the way was Clynelish. And gawk I did.


This site is holy to real whisky enthusiasts the world over because the site originally housed Brora.

Pictured here is the old pagoda roof and smoke stack at dusk.


Clynelish itself is often left in the shadows when talking about Brora, but itself has shown to be able to consistently produce magnificent spirit. 1997 is a modern golden year for Clynelish and I think there’s a good chance it will set the bar for the next 10, 20 years of distillate.

Here is the very modern stillhouse, note the windowed front open to the cold air, and the  large boil balls on the stills. Cooler copper encourages reflux, as does boil balls.


And here’s a final treat, zoom in and have a look at the vintages on these samples.


Clynelish 19yo 1995/2014 Liquid Library 51.7%


Nose Nose: A reminder of all that is pure and natural in this world. Big white wine minerals, wet kaolin and dry grass. Straw and little yellow flowers. Some salt too, and wet gravel. Maybe some sour fruit. After a few moments the sweet wood comes out a bit with some hot sugar/caramel and oak. Expressive and close to the distillery. Love it.

Taste Palate: Surprise sweet entry makes me think of bourbon but Clynelish very quickly establishes its magnificent self. All these minerals, dry grass etc that was in the nose arrives in full force . Dry but good weight oily feel to the body and in fact leans heavily to the sour/bitter now.

Finish Finish: Rather long, and quite dry but touch bitter, medicinal herbs – nutmeg leaf? Camphor?


Pure and natural Clynelish, full of character. The opposite of say, Auchentoshan Three Wood.


Clynelish 17yo 1995/2013 Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange #12794 56.2%


Nose Nose: After the Liquid Library this comes in at the other end of the scale for sweetness – cocoa, dark jam, dried fruit sweet oak and dark oak spices. That’s thanks to the refill butt of course. But under that there is a discernable fatness to the spirit. Wax? Vague fruit, and yes again the minerals and clay pops up.  A little dirtiness before a bag of sour wine gums arrive.

Taste Palate: Quite a spicy one, and quite quite leathery, dare I say a hint of savouriness? Didn’t get that one the nose. Sherry is modern but oh well dryly aromatic enough. Strangely, even somewhat farmy to me. Licorice, cardamom, touch of earth. Ok yes it is a bit dirty. Can’t really get the Clynelish in this until close to the finish, when the minerals and green fruit peek out a bit.

Finish Finish: Long, fairly complex, wood, sherry and distillery in a punchout.


And this was a refill, I suppose this is what you get when you pair an almost fresh sherry butt and an austere distillate for 17 years. I prefer the natural stuff but I know people who love this sherried kind of Clynelish.

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2016 by in Clynelish and tagged .
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