So, here’s the slightly controversial Clynelish… Controversial because it takes the NAS concept to a higher level, literally. You’re paying € 650-750 for a whisky that doesn’t have an age statement.
We know that Clynelish Select Reserve is made from five vintages (the youngest being 1999) and five types of casks: first-fill + refill American oak, rejuvenated casks, refill European oak and bodega sherry casks.
Clynelish Select Reserve (54,9%, OB 2014, Special Release, 2964 btl.)
Nose: pretty great. Unsurprisingly you get a mixture of all things that Clynelish is famous for. Big fruity notes: mirabelles, grapefruit, lemon and lime. Tiny hints of tropical fruits like passion fruits – as if it had Irish ancestors, if you know what I mean. Haribo sweets and marshmallow in the background. Strong beehive notes and paraffin. Ginger lemonade with mint leaves. Fairly mundane grainy notes as well, which seem to grow stronger over time.
Mouth: high strength, very creamy and rounded. Lemon, grapefruit, peach, pear. Zesty and zingy with a salty edge. Quite compact, the nice tropical notes are gone. The waxy notes return with a bit of water, and this also brings chlorophyll and a wider array of fruits. Shows typical peppery / mustardy notes towards the end.
Finish: long, with lemon, ginger and hints of green tea, very much in line with the taste.
Clynelish Select Reserve is complex and entertaining, especially with a few drops of water. Yet it seems to offer little more than a slightly above-average, medium-aged Clynelish. Around € 650, in stock pretty much everywhere…