Saturday, May 31, 2014

Clynelish 1997, 17 Year Old, Alambic Classique 55.6%

This bottle has come (unusually for a review of mine) straight off the boat (or from the Post Office, if you want to be pedantic).
I had a hankering for some Clynelish and had none left at all (!!) at home, so I ordered this on spec from Whiskybase.

Now, it's not always wise to buy a malt from an independent bottler that you've not tried before, but a good vintage, combined with a good rating from a Whiskybase member whose palate I have come to trust, were enough to get me over the line in this instance.

(Alambic Classique, by the way, are, apparently, a German bottler and retailer of whisky, cognac and other fine spirits. They've bottled this from an ex-bourbon barrel un-chillfiltered, with no colouring and, amazingly and wonderfully, without a cork stuck down its neck, instead utilising a neat synthetic substitute. Well done them. If only this would catch on).

Clynelish 1997, 17 Year Old, Alambic Classique Special Vintage Collection 55.6%

Nose: Straight out of the bottle, it's all ripe fruit, honey and salt. A little later it becomes slightly more savoury - there's something interesting coming through underneath that I can't quite put my finger on. A soy sauce kinda thing, yes, but a little more subtle. Well balanced. Water adds a little nuttiness, but also further integration, the fruit again making an appearance.

Palate: Fruity up front, developing into a lip-smacking, mouth-coating saltiness.
Water levels it out somewhat, allowing the stonefruit to shine through a little more. There's a very satisfying progression happening here.

Finish: Dry, salty and waxy, with a tongue-coating spiciness that lingers on and on.
The addition of water releases the fruit on the finish, too. It's really quite long and exceptionally well balanced, with no element overpowering another.
The fruit is the thing that lingers longest though, strangely enough. Delicious.

This is how I like my Clynelish - simultaneously mouth-watering, more-ish and refreshing (and bourbon-matured, I suppose).


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