After last week’s excellent 1989 Clynelish whisky from The Malts of Scotland it seemed like a good idea to try a new and younger example from Dominiek Bouckaert’s The Whiskyman classic label series. Dominiek also released a 1997 in his first batch of Whiskyman bottlings, and along with various releases from Berry Bros & Rudd, Archives and a number of others, it has been a well-represented vintage for some time.
This cask was split between this new label and the Dutch festival Whisky in Leiden and is a refill sherry hogshead, though it should be said that the colour suggests that any sherry influence will be minimal. I probably waxed lyrical about the joys of Clynelish enough in our post on the Clynelish 1989 Malts of Scotland, I doubt it will be the last, so let’s simply say that these younger examples after frequently worth keeping on your shelf.
Well, it was never going to take long for a Clynelish whisky to feature on this blog, as for fans of this distinctly individual whisky little else inspires greater anticipation than its complex, fruity and typically waxy character. Clynelish excels at a variety of ages and in a number of different cask-types, often showing a wonderfully mineral, austere profile when young and developing rich beeswax and a varied array of fruit notes as it matures. It’s not always the most approachable spirit but without doubt one of the most characterful being produced anywhere in the world.
While the official 14 year old Clynelish (review coming soon) is a good introduction to the distillery’s style, the independent bottlers are perhaps the best place to find exceptional examples. In recent years we have seen a number of mouth-watering releases that include the classic 1972, extremely consistent 1982 vintages and, most recently, several very good 89s such as this example from the ever excellent Malts of Scotland from Germany. Like the equally outstanding bottlings from The Whisky Agency, The Nectar, Thosop and several others, Malts of Scotland has little distribution in the U.K. Hopefully this will change in time as the quality and consistency of the cask selections are remarkable and would certainly be a welcome addition to the UK market.