The Clynelish in the 2022 Special Releases is double matured whisky. After the initial maturation, it switched to Pedro Ximénez / Oloroso seasoned casks for two years. I’m curious to find out whether this leaves enough room for the waxy notes.
I think the last time Clynelish appeared in the Special Releases was in 2015. Clynelish Select Reserve was really good, but very expensive for a multi-vintage. For a 12 year old this year’s release isn’t exactly cheap either.
Clynelish 12 yo ‘The Golden Eyed Guardian’ (58,5%, OB Special Releases 2022, Pedro Ximénez / Oloroso seasoned cask finish)
Nose: there’s fruit cake, brown sugar, cinnamon buns and red apples. Rather sweet and candied, with hints of Panettone. Then vanilla and toasted oak comes out, alongside sugared tea and subtle herbal notes. Some peaches. The sherry finish is fairly modern and rather balanced but it masks most of the typical chalky / waxy profile that we’re expecting from Clynelish.
Mouth: similar remarks. There’s a nice sherry influence, mostly on cooked fruits, sultanas, plenty of orange peels and glazed apples. On the other hand there’s also an alcohol burn and a firm peppery footprint. It gets a little dry and tea-ish further on. Hints of leather. The mineral / waxy character is coming out more now, especially with a drop of water.
Finish: quite long and spicy, with fresh buttery wood, aniseed and a hint of chocolate.
Even though it’s pretty un-classic, I like this better than most of the heavily sherried Clynelish expressions. This is more balanced, quite nice even, but it still takes away some of the typical profile. Too bad it is also a little boozy, and certainly pricey. Check your local retailer, malts.com or have a look at The Whisky Barrel for instance.