Clynelish 14yo 1989/2003 Blackadder Raw Cask

Vanilla Wine

Another week, another Blackadder Raw Cask, I guess? This week an old Clynelish from 1989. Thus far I’ve only tried the 14yo official bottling and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Clynelish, a very distinct taste. 

whisky-news.comClynelish is probably one of the odd distilleries out there, while founded in 1819, the name is currently used for the new distillery that was build right next to the old one, that was renamed Brora. Interestingly enough, although the old distillery was called the Clynelish distillery for over 150 years, people still think of Clynelish as a replacement of the old “Brora” and state that Clynelish has Brora stills.

The whisky is a favorite of many blenders, thus the distillery concentrated on volume rather than developing its own expressions, so initial bottlings of the single malt are rare. Only in 2003 the standard 14yo expression became available for the wider public.
As far as lighter peated highland whiskies go, to me this is one of my favorite distilleries with a solid spot in my top 10.

The bottle: a 5cl miniature, normally they just contain some small particles from the cask, this one is downright filthy. The colour is very pale, un-chillfiltered, no colour additives and cask strength as usual.

The malt simply begs for a couple drops of water.

whiskyminibottles.euNose: Stunning, a very powerful but fresh nose: vanilla (not just hints of it, feels like you’re actually sniffing a vanilla stick), coffee, ripe durondeau pears, coconut, mowed grass and quite a blast of smoke.

Taste: a fruit basket: apples, pears, mango, white grapes. This one needs water to come to life, cause the smoke is actually quite overwhelming. A whisky with a farmy quality to it.

Finish: long and smoky, a waxy citrus aftertaste.

The Verdict

What a refined dram: very fresh and fruity, tastes very young and lively, but still with a lot of depth. Layers of various white fruits one after another, with a powerful blast of smoke. Great distillery or great bottler? I guess both.



Score: 89