Thanks to /u/Boyd86 for this sample.
This is a Clynelish that was aged for 20 years, sold at cask strength, and aged in refill sherry casks. The vintage is 1995. It hits all the right buttons on my “consider” list, with an older malt at cask strength from an IB that I like.
But first I must try it. And that means I have to find the image and information. Otherwise I feel less in the eyes of you, internet strangers.
Now normally, in normal terms, of normal whisky, drank by normal people, in normal circumstances, that would narrow down this dram.
However it seems like Clynelish had some sort of fire sale in 1995 and searching out a specific Clynelish Signatory barrel from the cask strength collection is about as easy as finding someone with the last name O’Shanessey in Bangladesh using only mime.
Granted I could just ask Boyd86, but where’s the fun in that.
After much searching, it turns out this is 8683. I know what you’re thinking: The 8683?
Yeah, I’ve written about Clynelish a lot and this is the best I can do, let’s see how the dram tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Distilled on: 26/09/1995
Bottling Date: 03/11/2015
Matured in a Refill Sherry Butt
Cask No: 8683
No of Bottles: 346
Colour: 5YR 5/8
Nose: Cloves, cinnamon, barnyard, sulphur/gunpowder, watermelon, wax chocolate, wild flower honey
An odd start to this one. The sulphur is not throwing me off. More so it’s the barnyard smell.
Given time, it all balances together. Well assuming you ever ate baked goods on a farm. Which I have.
But the initial is a surprise given my pre-formed ideas of what Clynelish smells like. I like it.
Taste: Strawberry syrup, black pepper, brine, black cherry, brown sugar
Strong mouthfeel with lots of strawberry flavour. Balances really well with the black pepper. Evolves into a richer black cherry and brown sugar.
Not as complex as the nose, but nice to sip on.
Finish: Applewood, lots and lots of sulphur, brine, pistachio, raisin/grape
I normally like a bit of sulphur in my whisky. It doesn’t throw me off. I enjoy various sherry aged whiskies because of this. It’s a bonus to my life. I understand others can’t handle it.
That said, this is too much. There’s other flavours, but really taken down by the sulphur. Too much for me.
Conclusion: At least we have 50 other cask strength Clynelish from 1995 to compare it to, so there’s that.
Honestly I loved the nose, the taste was alright, and the finish is unbalanced as hell. It’s hard to rate something like this. The finish was pretty rough.
I guess rate this higher if Cornwall, Ontario used to give you boners (they have a sulphur plant) or you can ignore it more than me, add 4 more marks to my score.
Scotch review #584, Highland review #102, Whisky Network review #975