Clynelish was constructed in  1819 and produced heavily peated whisky which mainly found its way into blends. (mainly due to a drought in Islay which brought about a rare shortage of peated whisky). A second distillery was built alongside the first in 1968  (as an exact replica of Caol Ila distillery on Islay - this resulted in the new facility being named Clynelish and the original being renamed to 'Brora'.  Production at Brora ended in 1983 and the distillery was mothballed. Clynelish continues to produce whisky, though it's main expression is a single bottling of 14 year old single malt. Diageo releases occassional limited Clynelish bottlings through it's annual special release programme. Clynelish is characterised as being a waxy and coastal in style, and is still used heavily for blending, including within Johnnie Walker Gold Label.

Distillery Bottlings

Posted 15 April 2019

A welcome bottling from Clynelish, which to my mind is a whisky drinkers whisky. There’s not all that many official (affordable) OB’s released from this distillery – the 14 year old remains the only consistent bottle produced by the distillery. This GoT edition is a new composition rather than a rebottling and comes delivered with the highest ABV of the series – it’s also the same price as the uneventful Cardhu. Showing as out of stock in many of the bigger outlets, but have no fear, a second (massive) release of bottles is on its way. If you want one, just have an ounce of patience.

Posted 19 April 2018

What exactly makes a classic whisky classic? Longevity? Consistency? Wide consumer appeal? Competitive pricing? It would be hard to create a definitive list of the classics – styles vary greatly, as do personal tastes. But, perhaps there are some talismans that most malt enthusiasts would agree are archetypal or even timeless?  Lagavulin 16 year old and Laphroaig 10 year old both spring immediately to my mind – well regarded bottlings that you’ll see just as commonly on the shelves of a local pub as you would in a specialist whisky bar. But, just taking expressions which have broad cross-over appeal would be a very narrow view of what might be a classic whisky.

Independent Bottlings


Posted 15 August 2017

1970's Clynelish is always of interest. During this period, neighbour Brora changed production styles from heavily peated to lightly peated, and, if you believe the rumours, a few casks got mislabelled in the process. If you’re ever drinking an early 1970’s Clynelish which tastes particularly peaty, well, you never know….

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Posted 06 September 2018

An infrequent appearance for this fan-favourite Highlander. This young example was matured in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel. Young & Spritely profile.

Posted 30 November 2017

A new SMWS Clynelish distilled on 27 Feburary 2004 and matured in a 1st fill ex-Bourbon barrel for 9 years. One of 198 bottles. Oily & Coastal profile.

Signatory Vintage

Posted 14 June 2017

Clynelish lovers have to look slightly further afield for their kicks - with only a 14 year old distillery bottling currently available, its independent bottler time to continue with that Highland waxy hit. Fortunately, Signatory Vintage are on hand, regularly turning out quality indy Clynelish across their range which includes the Un-Chillfiltered, Decanter and Cask Strength Collections.

Posted 24 June 2019

1995 was inarguably a purple patch year for Clynelish – and Signatory Vintage seem to have snaffled up the lion’s share of the casks for their Cask Strength Collection. Drawn primarily from refill sherry butts, these 95’s are well-regarded and in high demand. This example bottled for TWE’s 20th Anniversary has been matured for 23 years in refill sherry butt #11252 before being bottled at 55.4% ABV. It’s available from The Whisky Exchange for £155.



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