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).

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