Clynelish 7yo The Ultimate

by Matti

The second blend-component after the Kilkerran is even younger. It is one of the youngest tasting malts I’ve ever had the pleasure to lay my hands on. It tastes and smells so young in fact, that many would probably consider it immature to a fault. However, for blending purposes, this springy little number (which is a very pale yellow to look at) may be just what the doctor ordered.

The full details: Clynelish 7yo, distilled 15/04/04, bottled 01/02/12, Cask #800013 (Hogshead), Bottle 16 of 429, The Ultimate (van Wees).

Clynelish04_TU_labelThe Nose gives it away immediately. The new spirit is strong in this one! Cauliflower, brussel sprouts and freshly mowed grass compete for attention. Under those vegetal notes there is the slightest hint of what will become the characteristic Clynelish white fruit, but it has a ways to go. After a while in the glass, the nose sweetens perceptibly and gains a few characteristic bourbon cask notes: vanilla and coconut.

On with the taste then: hay and grass are the first to arrive, then wood sap and cask char from the bourbon barrel. Its feisty as well as a bit thin at first, then swells into the finish with woodspice, vanilla and mixed green vegetables.

The Finish is quite enjoyable as the whisky calms down and comes to rest in a bed of dried hay, crème brûlée and mildly drying spice.

Overall this is a bit young even for my tastes (Insert corny joke here). But, it does offer an education into the development of young whisky.

For blending however, this could well be an excellent component. I can imagine it lending a blend a little bit of lightness to rescue it from what I’ve come to call ‘blend confusion’. This is a blending result in which so many strong and heavy flavours are calling for attention it all ends up being too much.