Single malt whisky - tasting notes

27 Dec 2010

Clynelish 1991 (Valentino Zagatti)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Clynelish

Valentino Zagatti

 

Giacconi, Casari, Giuliani, Begnoni, Righi, Ambrosio… all famous Italian whisky collectors. Valentino Zagatti is one of them.

He bought his first bottle (a Gilbey’s Spey Royal) in June 1958. To celebrate 50 years of collecting, he selected a couple of casks from Linkwood, Springbank, Glenlivet, Mortlach and Caol Ila bottled by High Spirits.

 

 

In this series there’s also this 16 years old Clynelish, bottled from an obviously very active oloroso sherry cask. I opened this bottle a couple of months ago with some whisky friends, and the first thing that struck us was a slightly sulphury smell. While I fully agreed at that time, a little airing seems to have changed it for the better – I can’t find any sulphur now.

 

Valentino Zagatti - Clynelish 1991Clynelish 16 yo 1991 (46%, High Spirits 2008, Valentino Zagatti’s Personal  Choice)

Very very dark. Nose: over the top sherry, dry and herbal with notes of dried fruits, coffee, walnut liqueur, crushed pecan nuts and a quite some wood. The sulphur has disappeared, but there are still traces of matchsticks and ashes to be found, which I don’t find disturbing. Water brings out orange peel and nice apricot aromas. A slightly exaggerated nose. Mouth: really dry. It starts on cold coffee flavours, then shows very dark chocolate and finally some Campari and Seville oranges. Quite nutty and a little tannic as well. This is an Octomore amongst heavy sherry bottlings. Finish: long, nutty, bitterish and slightly smokey.

Apart from the sulphur story, this could have been any whisky, as it’s 95% sherry influence and 5% Clynelish. Sherry extremism, I would say, which is a pity if you know the true character of young Clynelish.
Around € 80.

Score: 79/100

ps/ If you want this kind of profile, why not buy actual dry oloroso or Palo Cortado sherry? Lustau Don Nuño or the 30 year-old Gonzalez Byass Apostoles (both € 20-25) are well worth it.

Clynelish 1991 (Valentino Zagatti) 2.5 Ruben Luyten 2010-12-27

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  • Dirk V.: I think Inge L. does a fantastic job with her whisky flavoured chocolates ;-)
  • SK: And just to prove a point, all of the bottles are still available in places where they usually run out. Lets see how many will be still available whe
  • SK: 2 years ago I tried the Caol Ila 1982 from Archives. What a fantastic whisky. Since then I always try to stock these Caol Ila from the 80s. Sadly no

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1682 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.