Oh Clynelish! Ever since trying the Distillery Only Clynelish bottling, I’m always on the lookout for new Clynelish! Luckily SMWS have been pumping out quite a few recently. This particular bottling was spruced up and presented with the release of their whisky ice creams. That’s right! SMWS made ice cream using single cask whiskies. They were as delicious as they sound. They also promoted this bottling quite a bit at this years Whisky Solstice. As a result, the bottles sold out quickly. But lucky for us and strangely enough they seemed to have found more bottles of this. So as of today they are selling this again on their website. Not sure how long they will last. I’ve been watching the page and the bottles remaining count seems to be dropping fairly quickly. Well anyway, it just so happens that we got a sample of this and it seemed like a good day to review it.
Oh yeah fun fact, Clynelish is actually the second distillery by that name. The first distillery by that name is now known as Brora. Brora has been closed for a while but it is on the same site as Clynelish and you can see the still house if you visit Clynelish. When the current Clynelish Distillery was built they just kind of transferred the name. Interestingly enough both distilleries have quite a reputation among whisky geeks.
Name: Grandma’s summer jam recipe
Age: 11 years old
Cask: 1st Fill Barrel
Distill Date: 16 June 2003
Bitter fresh cut grass. Lemon grass. Japanese gummies. Cloves. Strawberry tarts. Creamy vanilla custard. Fresh made short bread with that sweet buttery texture. A bit of the smell of algae growing from streams in Southern California during summer. Grape jelly. Strawberry jelly. A bit of sweet meatiness like Chinese roast pork buns.
Bam! Huge rush of sweet berries hits you right away. With a super spicy tanginess like fresh citrus fruits. Also bitterness of citrus rinds. So immensely sweet and spicy. Reminds me of mango chutney.
The aftertaste of eating a jelly sandwich. Bitterness of pink grapefruit rinds or pomelos. Actually very much like peeling and eating a fresh pomelo. Fresh oak bitterness. The inside of a newly made wardrobe.
If you like big bold flavours from a whisky then this is it. Really hard to miss it. It seems to just hit you in the face with it’s upfront personality. It definitely has a unique flavour profile which for me is a big plus. I like whiskies with big personalities. The bitterness at the end is just a bit overwhelming though but I think over time it would register as being more refreshing as opposed to overpowering. The ABV of this whisky really comes through though. There is no denying its power. With some water added it becomes much more manageable (even though I rarely enjoy watering down my drams). I really enjoyed this one but I think this may be more of an acquired taste. If you like smooth whiskies. then this might not float your boat. But if you like big character whiskies, then you might like this very much.
Fresh pear and pine needles. Crisp. The workshop of a coppersmith.
Bitter apple. Wet leaves. A hint of sweet vanilla but closing with spice.
Cinnamon heart candies. Spicy but sweet to the end.
Very refreshing. Really enjoyed the crisp notes. Good pick me up. Improves with a touch of water.
Image at top source from here: