Last full day in the UK, and I wanted to end my long, long list of whisky reviews (oh god my liver hurts) with an advanced, interesting, and sometimes maligned dram before leaving. Yup, it’s time to review another from the Next Level malts list, the Clynelish 14.
I happened to butch the name as I ordered it, leaving the poor bartender from Spain to search quite a bit. Clynelish (pronounced Klein-LEESH, as I was told) was originally opened in 1968, right beside the old Clynelish distillery, that had been closed down. Then the old one was reopened and started selling a peated whisky to make up for an Islay whisky shortage (calm down! It’s done, we all need to breathe, it isn’t happening now). That old one was renamed Brora. Clynelish is now owned by Diageo.
Also Clynelish provides a lot of the spirit used in Johnny Walker Gold, so that’s… something I guess. I’m a little worried after reading that, as I wasn’t too blown away by the Gold, but perhaps it was the 14 other malts throwing it off.
Price: $79.55 (CAD)
Colour: Dirty bones (Very light brown with some yellow)
Nose: Floral, lemons, lime tart, mace, light mustard
Simple smells, there’s a nice, almost Lowland smell to this. The mustard and mace ensure you know you’re in the Highlands, but other than being simple, I can’t really complain too much about this.
Taste: Lime, mace, burn, mineral water, coconut, wheat, orange, dry, smoke, fake strawberry (beaver anus)
Yup, fake strawberry flavour comes from Beaver anus. No one knows who figured that out, but it turns out we don’t just kill the little varmints for their pelts. We also suck on their anus.
Anyway, the scotch has some nice flavours, though they don’t really mesh too well. One second it burns, then cereal, then it’s dry, then some smoke, then beaver anus. Don’t balance out at all.
Finish: Coconut, pineapple, apple, pear, lime, iodine, nutmeg
I like Pina Coladas, not so much dancing in the rain. Wait, where is my lost shaker of salt? Oh, there it is….
Anyway, this has a very nice, if borrowed from the Islands (Caribbean, not Scottish). I’d say that’s the best part of this dram, and it deserves good marks for a great finish.
Conclusion: This is, in all honesty, a dram I’d drink just for the finish. The nose is forgettable, the taste is unbalanced, and the finish is great. It’s nice, and if you like a fruity and spicy taste, you may like the taste more than me. Try it, and see for yourself.
Scotch review #108, Highland #17, Whisky Network review #138
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