Ok here we go, more Managers’ Choice madness, today it is the turn of Clynelish, already considdered one of the highlights of the series. My love of Clynelish and all its waxy, coastal glory is well documented by now so I’ll spare you any excessive pre-tasting blether and get on with it.
Clynelish 13yo. Douglas Laing OMC. refference OMC1845. 50%. 70cl.
Nose: Hints of wine, saivingnon blanc, grass and nail varnish. Lots of pear drops, little whiffs of candle wax and a delicate minerality. Gooseberrys, white flowers, pebbles, a little coastal character and some slight notes of varnish.
Palate: Quite zingy and sharp with notes of wet gravel, lemon juice, cereals, coal, soap, lavender, wax and sheeps wool. More sharp fruits like grapfruit and gooseberry with more drying coastal saltiness towards the back. Develops some nice, crisp spiciness after a while and becomes quite warming.
Finish: Good length, warming and fresh.
Comments: Fresh, tasty, uncomplicated, quaffable Clynelish. Not earth shattering but very nice.
Clynelish 1997-2009. OB ‘Manager’s Choice’. 1st fill bourbon barrel. cask: 4341. 2126 bottles. 58.5%. 70cl.
Colour: White wine.
Nose: Much richer and more direct than the OMC, with sweet vanilla on top of some really beautiful classical Clynelish aromas. Sea breeze, melon, citrus rind, key lime pie, salt, oysters, seaweed, beautiful coastal aspects to this one. Super clean, invigorating and a great example of how good a first fill cask can be when it’s balanced. Becomes a little chocoaltey and mentholated after a while, like mint choc chip ice cream. With water it becomes even more aromatic with notes of bubblegum, herbs, sandalwood and pink grapefruit.
Palate: Surprisingly powerful notes of air freshner, pine resin, beeswax, menthol, vanilla cream, a really beauitfull sweetness and candied peel. Honey glazed nuts, marshmallows, then hints of salt poking through the sweetness, lovely balance between sweet and dry. Now notes of parma violets, seaweed and cured ham. With water… softer obviously but still fairly similar to undiluted, same freshness, same zing, maybe more intense citrus qualities and a more luxurious, mineral coastal feel.
Finish: Long and full of bubblegum, vanilla, seashore, salted almonds and wax.
Comments: For all my harping on about how I’m not a fan of first fill bourbon casks this just goes to show that when you put the right spirit into a good one for the right amount of time you can get dynamite whisky. This dram is overflowing with flavour, power and complexity. Great cask selection as usual by Diageo.
A word about tastings over the ‘festive retail gifting zone’. Please don’t come to this blog anytime in the next week or so seeking calm, measured or in any way useful tasting notes or reviews. I have stored up some utterly fantastic drams ranging from the historical to the downright obscenely delicious and legendary to help lubricate my passage through this year’s marketing festivity season. And I fully intend to unleash them on these pages over the coming days in all their pornographic, drool inducing, mind mincing splendour. You have been warned…