Mouth (neat): powerful, eau-de-vie-ish and even a little feinty. Barley sugar and pear drops plus some propolis (that resinous stuff harvested by honeybees). Mouth (neat): same comments, the 1995 with more vanilla. Even a feeling of artichoke liqueur (Cynar, anyone? I've built a quick and dirty list of all spirits that I scored 90 or more for Whiskyfun. I've also added a permanent '90 ' link/banner to this column Colour: white wine. As mineral, grassy and austere as these Clynelishes can be, with a lot of soot, coal, graphite oil, gravels, earth and fresh almonds. With water: swims like Mark Spitz and becomes quintessentially Clynelish. Dagueneau-ish (wine lovers will understand, others, just drop that ;-)) With water: perfect. Comments: the precision of lace and the sharpness of a spade. Nose: we’re obviously very close to the BB&R, with just a little more roundness and vanilla from some more active wood, most probably. The oak is starting to become a notch drying but other aspects are really pleasant. Once again I get some kirsch – straight from the still at 75% vol.! 100% spirit driven, the managers know what they’re doing. Pollen, nectar, quince jelly, dried figs (a huge pack! It improved a lot with quite some breathing, it was less entrancing when I first tried it a few months ago. Comments: again, this one really improved after a few months. We have yet another style, this time it’s revolving around cigars and cedar wood, porcinis, earth, peat smoke (wee whiffs) and Spanish ham (bellota and stuff).
I guess even Mo S need a few duds for due comparison. Nose: more or less the same kind as the 1995, only with more vanilla and overripe pears, thanks to a more active cask I guess. With water: becomes even more sour, we’re bordering baby vomit at times, although some parts are much nicer. More coffe and toasted oak after a while and much less ‘baby’ stuff. Comments: another one that did not manage to convince me. As for the strength, remember you have to divide degrees proof by 1.75, so 95.5°proof equal 54.6% vol. Then a mixture of chalk and cider apples (any small ‘green’ ones will do), hessian, then more and more shoe polish (say black – kiddin’). With water: shoe and metal polishes all over the place. Mouth (neat): oily and very strong, with a similar bitterness this time but we’re going more toward medicinal notes, camphor, heavy herbal remedy, tar… Huge whisky, becoming quite peppery after a few seconds. With water: brilliant, with more earth, roots, humus and… Finish: long and even more complex, with some lemon and grapefruit kicking in. It’s probably Miltonduff from the 1940s, much more phenolic and smoky at the time. Sharp, chiselled, lemony, grassy, peppery and mineral, but rather less waxy than some of it’s compadres. Mouth: a joyous mixture of juicy fresh fruits (always the same, please reread above) and coffee/chocolate. Water did it a lot of good, it became easier, spirity in a great way, slightly smoky, with more and more stone fruits, which gives it an even bigger almondy side. This one is fully on sultanas and honeycomb, much smoother and rounder, well in the style of these Caperdonichs and Glen Grants that we all know very well. Lovely combination of mint and liquorice with many dried fruits and a Christmassy side. Still, raisins, dried pears, cloves, star anise, orange marmalade… ) Old sweet wine in the aftertaste (rich Sauternes).
Nose: if it’s from a first fill butt that should have been some kind of re-coopered butt because the sherry isn’t massive. Comments: I think water revealed a higher smokiness than in the 1997s. So, let’s be true to ourselves and give the same score. Nose: we’re somewhere midway between the 1994 and the 1988, that is to say that Glenrothes’ ‘western’ fruitiness shines through while a kind of light sherriness is moderately present.
) at first nosing, before more and more bergamots emerge, together with some cigarette tobacco (Camels, dare I add) and hay. A sample bottle containing Antonio’s own ‘very last centilitres’! So let’s have this baby again, more Clynelish 1983 can’t do no harm… I’ve always loved this mention on the label: “Refined inside the bottle since September 2002”. But other than that, it’s the very same very high quality. Comments: the styles are very different but in my opinion, the quality is very similar to the 1994’s.
Such as finally using social media (quick and easy with WF’s RSS feed), allowing readers’ comments on WF (there are nifty little applets for that) or switching to a fully SEO-ised blog engine (Wordpress?
) Not to mention simply improving a few things on the current website (ah, these title tags! Google likes WF less and less but I don’t like google too much either so fair game ;-)).
Nose: hot and slightly rubbery, without too many charms at first nosing. Finish: not the longest but it’s not too drying, which could have happened. Very similar profile, with tobacco, chocolate, polish, a little smoke… I get some butter, vegetables, cardboard, leather, touches of mustard, quite some kirsch (stones) and plum spirit, something coastal indeed but that’s very distant, hints of rotting oranges… Some pears as well, before it becomes much maltier, with also a little coffee and leather. Comments: not an easy nose, a fair palate and a great finish. High power distillate without much wood influence – if any. G&M aren't mentioned on the label so it could be that it's an OB as well. Nose: and yet another style, this time we’re on a drier profile, much more on dark chocolate and coffee beans, with a good deal of coal and wood smokes. Having said that, we couldn’t go too high as far as scores are concerned, just because of the latter (although I love Sun Ra! It’s probably not as magnificent as its most magnificent nose but I quite love these notes of old orange liqueurs mixed with ham again. Funnily enough, it reminded me of a Talisker from the same vintage (G&M Cask series).
It’ll always remain very citrusy indeed, between lemons and grapefruits. Little oak influence, which goes well with Caol Ila’s chiselled profile. Now, any SEO/social expert will tell us that there would be easy means to make WF’s audience grow much faster. Some topical fruits emerging (passion, mango, tangerine). Mouth: starts a little strange, on orange squash and jelly beans, the palate is very different from the nose. Then more orange (drops this time), a little sour wood, pineapple juice, apple juice… Maybe the octave treatment worked much better on the nose? Nose: this baby’s very different, as the colour already suggested. Thickish mouthfeel that’s well counterbalanced by some bitter oranges and grapefruits. The spirit has a little less to say in this context – and we all know that Clynelish ain’t shy spirit – but the result is appealing and not too sacrilegious. After a few minutes: a lot of wild forest honey, which I love. Finish: medium long, fruity, with something slightly tropical. Comments: a pretty brilliant nose and a palate that’s more, say unlikely in my book. Comments: very good, even more lemony than the usual middle-aged Caol Ilas. Nose: this is fun, we’re having a grassier one this time, with, well, grass, broken branches, apple peelings and quite a lot of kilned malt. Also some more dill and anise, that adds an extra-dimension. Crystal-clean yet sweet peat, lemon, smoked fish, lime… Finish: Comments: that one was rather more complex than others. Finish: long, smoother, candied, finely smoky and mentholated. The more you wait, the more both Glenrothes becdome similar. Mouth: even more so, it’s extremely difficult to spot differences. I could do some Hto Hs but I haven’t got enough time, I’m sorry. Brilliant and, sadly, a style that’s nowhere to be found anymore, probably from some genuine sherry casks that had contained genuine dry oloroso sherry for quite some time. Not everyone would like it because it’s ridden with ginger, those parsley notes that sometimes abound in heavy sherry, some slightly shaky old-style orange liqueurs and then quite a lot of chocolate sauce (modern mole). It’s one of these malts that, quite bizarrely, are bigger at around 45% vol. A lot of ginger from the oak (from a new transport cask? And yet, it’s totally untrue: genuine sherry casks in their very vast majority are NOT made out of European oak – whether Spanish or French (or Bulgarian, whatever) – sherry casks are usually made out of , just like bourbon barrels! Comments: I think it’s a perfect example of a malt that’s exactly that, a malt. Nose: it’s well in the style of some other 1992s I could try, that is to say rather less ‘emphatically fruity’ than earlier vintages, with also more grassy and mineral/oily touches that remind us of earlier Littlemills. Finish: long, very zesty, ultra-clean and, it seems, with something of, wait, Clynelish? Also a growing medicinal side, between camphor and eucalyptus lozenges. Rubber bands, apples, pears and porridge, then more grass. Maybe just a tad less balsamic vinegar but I’m not even sure. I think it’s quite different from earlier versions. Some salt, some coffee, some herbs and some orange liqueur. We’ll try Oban 14 again in a few years (if WF’s still alive). With (quite some) water: pure peach juice now, with drops of lemon and just a little green tea. It’s one of the various 1960s I had poured for my 50th birthday in 2010. Touches of asparagus, game, leather and very old dry sherry (or walnut liqueur). Prunes and cured ham, then something slightly metallic that’s often to be found in these old ‘black dumpies’. Maybe because it seems natural, obvious and logical. Finish: quite long, with more citrus fruits and quite some cinnamon in the aftertaste.