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

Clynelish 28 yo 1965/1993 Signatory #666 50.7% vs Clynelish 23 yo 1965/1989 Cadenhead 51.7%

I’ve been itching to do 1965 Clynelish (ie old Clynelish, the one that was renamed Brora) head to head, unfortunately it is not easy to find these old ones. Ideally I would liked to have both #666 and #667 together, but oh well:

Clynelish 28 yo 1965/1993 Signatory #666 50.7%

 Nose: The oak is fairly loud here – its one of those old oak casks that combines the wonderful aromatics of ancient crackling panels and centuries of genuine lacquer with a veneer of dried jams or some exotic berry paste. Seems closer to a sandalwood incense box really but thankfully the wood is all fairly controlled. The whisky also speaks of coal, wet rocks, dried branches a bit of black earth and whiffs of sea air. It is a sharp and narrow profile maybe the opposite of fat, but the exactness or conciseness of this profile is spine tingling. The concentration of many little ‘similar but different’ micro scents is apparent, it’s an olfactory bulls eye. This style of old Clynelish makes me very happy.

 Palate: The ‘sherry cask’ this was matured in seems louder here, and makes the profile fatter and sweeter or you might say rounder. But Clynelish does shine through, or cut through – its a sharp acidic tangy dagger of a Clynelish full of phenol-lite elements like this coal and clean black earth. One might even imagine some distant smoke and brine in the air at the top of a cliff. Still flinty and mineralled, and ‘dried out’ with this particular dried-resiny-sappy branches and leaves.

 Finish: Long. Sharp and drying not quite tannic. Full spread of micro-minerals-resins-bark-phenols-earthy complexities make this a great whisky.


Clynelish 23 yo 1965/1989 Cadenhead 51.7%

Unfortunately all I have is a sample:

 Nose: Wow. Turn the volume up. Take the #666, strip out the obvious wood, and fill it with a bigger more concentrated dose of the remaining Clynelish, and you might get this one. Amazing. I love it. An even bigger concentration of these micro flavours, with a sharp acid edge, an array of mineral oils, mini blades of quartz, granite, flints. Again scents of what might be windblown dried out grasses or scraggly bushes you might find at a clifftop, hints of rock salt and sea air. Desiccated calamansi even. Rather phenolic too, but the kind that sits in the higher register – dried up tins of old greases, clean hemp rope, unburnt dried peat heaps (shedloads of this on Islay!).  I feel this kind of whisky cannot be described adequately, one needs to try it.


 Palate: Explosive and phenolic without being peaty. Lots of clean but dirty (?) notes like soot, dried grease, cold ash. Old resins and engine lubricants. Thick mineral oils. ‘Windswept’. The dried citrus notes make a come back as well. Sharp, acidic and insanely deep, it’s a stiletto of a malt.  I love it.

 Finish: Long, and lasting with great aplomb. It persists on the tongue with a myriad of micro flavours.


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This entry was posted on December 19, 2017 by in Brora, Clynelish and tagged , .
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