Clynelish 1997 (The Whisky Cask)

Review 2017-008 «Specifics» Single malt • Vintage 1997 • Bottled in 2014 • 52.5% Alcohol• Matured for 17 years matured in a single bourbon cask (#5742) • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Sourced from From Clynelish (Brora, Highlands, Scotland) • Bottled by The Whisky Cask • Milngavie • Pirmasens • Germany • Limited availability (undisclosed number of bottles) • Not available anymore (price was ±€70); however another version of 19 years still available (€99) • Whiskybase #52673

STORY. An independent bottling form the Highland distillery of Clynelish by the German bottler of The Whisky Cask. Oh, and from the vintage year 1997, more than occasionally a glorious year to bottle Clynelish. These mostly independent releases sell like hot cakes and they are gone before you can even think about getting one. The Whisky Cask, founded in 2005 by Michael Lelle and Jens Owczarek, is a German independent bottler and liquor store in the town of Pirmasens near the border of the French province of Alsace. Next to whisky they also bottle rum (under the name “The Rum Cask”). Both their own bottled whiskies and rums have been praised by various reviewers, including the Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. Well, that cannot go wrong then, I suppose.

TASTING NOTES

   

APPEARANCE. Old-schoolish and romantic design, colour of the contents is golden and has its natural colour.

NOSE. It starts off with strong notes of toffee, quite bourbon-esque in fact, sweets, maple sirup, amaretto cherries, and old varnished wood. Then it becomes increasingly complex. (water) There is pastry, slightly floral, sunflower oil, and just a little bit of the expected wax. Then more and more gooseberries come up, and definitely apple juice and apple cider. It is very “light” fruity, you would almost say healthy…

TASTE. It is surprisingly comfortable despite the alcohol strength, but a tad simple. Maybe it does need some water. (water) Yes, more complex now. There is apple juice with a drop of lemon juice, a drop of sunflower oil, and freshly scraped vanilla pods. Then chalk, leather, bit of wax. Soft, but there is bite coming up in the development. Finally more  apple, and it becomes almost an apple liquor.

VERDICT. A decent, but slightly unexpected, Clynelish. Not so much the waxy, chalky oily profile, but more toward fresh acidic fruitiness. Still very enjoyable.

Recommended for those that find the usual Clynelish a bit too extreme and want a simpler version.

Thanks to Marc for the sample!

What others say

  • @Whiskybase: Mean score of 87.85 (68 votes)
  • Serge @Whiskyfun.com: “Certainly very good, but not very Clynelish” Score: 83/100
MY SCORE
Nose
85.5 %
Taste
84 %
Balance
83.5 %
Depth
83 %
Price
83 %