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

Clynelish: 1982/2011 28yo Silver Seal 30th Anniversary vs 18yo 1984/2003 Silver Seal

Something of a special weekend, good and bad in parts. And so in selecting what to taste, I find myself drawn back to the 80s. This Clynelish distillery is itself not an old one, having opened in 1968 complete with a massive (at that time) 6 stills to do the job of it’s predecessor and more. It’s telling when the stills are designed as exact duplicates of the originals, and the malt and water sources are identical, and as far as I know the distillation regime was copied, and yet you might say the spirit produced was rather different. Anyway in my opinion its done brilliantly on its own.

Pot Sills

(Photo whisky.com)

Silver seal is an Italian independent bottler owned by Max Righi who does stop by Singapore now and again. It’s always easy to spot his bottles on a shelf – they come with a distinctive shape and fancy fancy labels.

Clynelish 1982/2011 28yo Silver Seal 30th Anniversary 46.4%


Nose Nose: Seriously big. Thick waxy honeycomb and beeswax – which is quite distinctive, we use beeswax to coast the hemp that lines the drone slides on bagpipes. Yellow flowers – I get camomile and dandelion and lots of fresh yellow pollen. Old lacquered wood, and something else that’s old and dusty and I just can’t pinpoint it. Dried sprigs of thyme next to a bowl of ancient dessicated (rather just forgotten)  lemons. Not very complex but very big and very beguiling.

Taste Palate: Amazing. Rather more fresh and livelier on the tongue, full of zests and waxes, yes a lot of beeswax and honey. Little fleeting notes of sweet and sour herbs like thyme and lemon mint. All the while thick and unctuous like a emollient for bad luck and crappy new whisky.

Finish Finish: Long, balmy, clean and lemony-fresh without being actually lemony.


Jackpot.  I could not stop drinking this. Just a tad easy but that makes this super-accessible.


Clynelish 1984/2003 Silver Seal 57.3%


Nose Nose: Well, this is very different. Less accessible, but more phenolic. Not an easy one. Smoking toffee hints at the fair wood influence, and the wax is still there but somewhat muted. Instead this is all quite austere and really doesn’t give much. There is a massing of smaller scents that are hard to pick up on. There are minerals and a bit of clean earthiness, cold air and wet stones. A tiny bit of honey.

Taste Palate: Huge body though. Thick and oily. Yes, full blown wax and grease, and hints of sweet fruit (can’t tell what) but also hot and tingling with capascium and black pepper. A lot going on: yes, woody tannins and dried out vanilla pods, yes some salt,  yes mineral undercurrent. Not an easy one. All the while lots of sourness – I swear, sauerkraut! And lots of little herby green notes again maybe chives, maybe oregano or tarragon. Again really not an easy one, very complex. This one is somewhat beyond me.

Finish Finish: Long, some wax lots of citrus-herby sourness again, but clean. Aside from all this, this is the only whisky I have had that turned completely milky with a bit of water. So milky I cannot see through the glass.


Very different! I cannot say why, call it magic or instinct, but I know this is top notch stuff.


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This entry was posted on April 24, 2016 by in Clynelish and tagged .
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