Up to Sutherland for a youngbut always popular Clynelish. This one has been matured in a 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrel for 9 years and then has been bottled at 56.7%.
Nose: Fleshy orchard and stone fruits – green apple slices, a punnet of gooseberries and peeled lychee. Over time developing more tropically with pineapple alongside halved peaches. Running throughout – sweet shop aromas of sugar powder covered Turkish delight, jelly babies, nougat and meringue. Really does what it says on the tin this one. The addition of water reveals milkshake powder and orange jelly alongside freshly cut garden stems.
Taste: The arrival delivers rich honey alongside and opening thrust of pepper and carraway seed. Fruits develop – green apples, tangerines and blood orange – whilst toffee cups and cream teas build in the back palate alongside pineapple and mango fruit infusions. Reduction provides a more obvious demonstration of the underlying texture of the distillate with a silky weight which offers cooling mint and golden barley against a backdrop of a medley of tinned fruits.
Finish: Medium in length with sustained juicy fruits, a creamy cup of latte coffee and a sprinkle of pepper.
On the one hand, this Clynelish is fabulously bright, fresh, fruity and expressive. On the other, it comes from the type of cask where I’m genuinely sad this wasn’t allowed to mature longer – it could have quite easily taken it. Nevertheless, this spirit need not always be all about the waxes and greases – and 26.160 expresses that ably.