Thank you to /u/throwboats for pouring this sample for me.
I recently tried to finish up all of the whiskies I have by reviewing them in pairs. Then my numbers went all funky.
None the less, the original idea of reviewing Clynelish 21 1996 The Ultimate was to have it beside another Clynelish. So what do I talk about then?
Let’s start with my bias: When I have a Clynelish, I prefer ex-sherry. Pure and simple. There’s a certain release of Clynelish that was much beloved in some circles. For myself? Didn’t do enough for me. So keep that in mind when reading Clynelish reviews.
So what do we have with Clynelish 21 1996 The Ultimate? We have a refill sherry butt, 21 years, and brought to us by The Ultimate, a humble independent bottler based in the Netherlands.
But will I love it, even with my obvious bias? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Stated Age: 21 years
Cask Type: Refill Sherry Butt
Cask Number: 8793
Number of Bottles: 623
Colour: 5Y 6/8
Nose: Cherry, cinnamon bread, hay, banana, peach
We’ve discussed recently my hard time finding wax in something. So I apologize if I missed the wax here.
Moving on, initially, the sherry cask is all you can smell here. I would say it starts showing off the Clynelish cereal with time, and eventually that banana note that splits people up. Fruitier after 15 minutes of nosing it.
Taste: Farmyard, banana, evergreen, cereal, cinnamon, tropical fruit juice
So we go from hay to a farmyard. Nice tie to the nose, though some may be from the city and expect all hay to be clean and not have a giant turd in it.
More herbal, then similar to the nose. We’ve juiced all the far away hot fruits and hidden any of the local, filler fruits.
As an aside, most of the tropical fruit drinks you see have apple or pear juice in them, so that’s what I’m referencing.
Finish: Lemon-lime soda, banana, honeydew, bay leaf, hops
Finish ends with a bit of a down note. We have that citrus/hoppy flavour, some banana, and then it’s all floral.
Apologies for not identifying the specific hops here. I’d say a kind you’d associate with a pretty standard lager maybe. Apologies, I’ll get better at that.
Kinda let down with the finish.
Conclusion: Old MacDonald’s Dram. Does it come from a farm? Or maybe from a republic in which there are farms but the farmers aren’t in control? Then yeah, it’s in here. It certainly adds in some of the cinnamon and herbal notes, but it falls a bit short of others. Perhaps it’s the lower alcohol or perhaps the sherry cask was a bit beat up.
At the end of the day, should you pick this up? If you’re like me and enjoy Clynelish when it doesn’t beat you to death with an artisanal non-scented candle, then I’d say it’s probably going to add to your whisky collection. It’s missing some subtle elements but still does alright. Do you like the farm or herbs? Then yeah.
Not you? Then probably don’t pick this up.
Scotch review #1003, Highland review #170, Whisky Network review #1571