Category Archives: Clynelish

That Boutique-y Whisky Company – Clynelish Batch 2 (50.6%)

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Clynelish Batch 2I was super excited when the delivery guy brought me these samples and even more so when I opened the box and saw that they were from Master of Malt’s new Boutique-y Whisky Company label. Independent bottlings are an adventure, sometimes awesome, sometimes terrible, making the victories all that much sweeter. As he handed it over and asked for my signature, he had a look in his eyes like he knew what was in the box. It was as if he secretly wished I wasn’t home so he could forge the signature, steal the package and run off into the woods with it.

grumpyClynelish is already a covetable distillery, but this one? It made me whole again… and then it made me angry. I felt like a junky that just overdosed. Things were warm and soft for a while. Then there was some half-attended panic. I stopped breathing and felt the warm embrace of that god I was never quite sure about envelope me as the oxygen left my diseased brain. I felt like everything was finally going to be alright… and then some sadistic asshole with a defibrillator brought me back to life. Back to this cold, terrible world. They only sent a 3 cl sample?! For my metric-illiterate American readers, a single, lonely ounce?! It should have come with a disclaimer: Warning! Do not consume. May cause existential crisis. Gah!!!

Nose: Fig jam and plump, gold raisins covered in honey are first. Frozen bananas dipped in chocolate make appearances here and there between the classic Clynelish hay. Perfectly sweet malt and succulent crab meat poke around, bearing gifts of fennel, ginger powder, coriander and strawberry.

Palate: Golden syrup and coriander. Black pepper and apples with a cooling vapor on the back of the palate. Hot first and then the sweetness unfolds afterwards. Dig for the pear. Wonderfully hot and stony. Mildly leathery. Smoked tomato in the long gone echoes of the finish.

Rating: Highly RecommendBetter than lolcats and grumpy cats combined. Thanks to the lovely folks over at Master of Malt for the sample!

Clynelish – 14 yr (46%)

Clynelish 14 yearThe other day I heard someone praising what I thought to be a complete train wreck of a whisky. After confirming that they had sampled more than a handful of labels, I began to pry. I asked him what he found so special about that one. His response was a bit of a puzzler. He admitted it wasn’t great and then said, “but it’s a good every day whisky,” which got me thinking…

I’ve been guilty of this exact phrase before as well, but why do we apologize for crap whisky with these kinds of concessions? Sure it wasn’t very expensive, but if I chose to drink a whisky every day, I would want it to be a good one. My Italian grandmother (I love you, Nonny) was a terrible cook, but if she were slightly more cliché she might have told me to eat lots of great food in small portions to keep it reasonable, a sentiment you could easily apply to whisky… and should. Clynelish is what I would consider to be a true “everyday whisky”. Not only is this a common and extremely accessible spirit but, for around $50 a bottle, each of the 15 portioned drinks in a 750mL would cost you less than half of what it costs to smoke a pack a day. By vice standards that’s pretty cheap. Now if you’re looking to get tanked, there are some lethally inexpensive vodkas on the market that won’t force you to lower your standards so painfully.

Nose: Pear and New Orleans bread pudding. Spicy cinnamon sugar toast drizzled with honey. Brown butter and bananas foster. Childhood memories of orange oil flicked on top of a kerosene heater. Strawberry chapstick. Firm hay and sweaty field work.

Palate: Pear and mixed fruit in light syrup, honey butter smeared over fresh baguettes that have just finished cooling. Vanilla hides in the dry summer hay. A touch of real balsamic vinegar. Have you had real balsamic vinegar? How f@#$ing good is real balsamic vinegar!? Yum! Medium finish with a little leather.

Rating: RecommendedCheers to the everyday dram! May all your daily indulgences be this good (or better).