Candy Floss & Carousels
This 8 year old, second fill Clynelish, kicks off my next set of reviews. The standard 14 year bottle has been a favorite of mine to keep on the shelf. It’s a perfect, simple, and delicate malt that has become a palate primer for me. It’s an easy sipper and one I highly recommend to scotch beginners.
This is the first IB Clynelish for me that I can recall. I decided to start with the youngest dram and work my way up through to the oldest sample. I will be using the 14 year bottle throughout as a baseline.
Rested capped for ~10 minutes with no dilution. Small bubbles with a rather long dissipation time. Old Gold/Amber in color with medium density legs.
First whiff of your glass is this wave of floral honey sweetness. Lots of spring time edible blossoms, fresh cut grass, and delicate clover honey. Familiar Clynelish malts. Oats, and cereal grains. Pear with a touch of sweet ripe lemon candy. Black tea. Just a moment of salinity that I thought I picked up a bit of seaweed to. Maybe more briny at times like green olives or cooked sardines. Slight anise. Incredibly delicate nose. All of these aromas are very difficult to coax out of the glass.
Wow! The palate is incredibly sweet! It’s not so much candy but I get a baklava, honey syrup sweetness. Cashews, honey, phyllo dough, demerara sugar. Fresh cracked peppercorns with some aniseed coming through. The spice hits you much more prominently than the 14 year. Much more of a kick from some ginger. When the initial sweetness starts to fade, more barrel notes begin to come out with wet tobacco leaves, leather, pine needles, and green barley grass. The floral notes are also turned way up. It may be that my azalea bushes are in full bloom, but that green new growth is somehow in this dram. Like fresh lumber and marigolds. Exceptional texture.
The oak starts to mellow on the palate with a long and lingering finish. Cloves, apples with a young calvados vibe. Green lumber bringing an herbal flavor with it. Like an edible flower garnish to a cocktail. Salted caramel and the slightest dark cocoa. Wonderfully malty and delicious.
This exceeded my expectations. I enjoy Clynelish and at cask strength, it had all the flavors of the 14 year bottle that I enjoy. It was pushed a bit further with the spice but a fruit and sugar sweetness really balanced it well on the palate.
Definitely recommend this bottle at it’s purchase price. You are paying a bit of a premium with it bottled at cask strength but I feel like it’s worth it.