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.
Today we're looking at Signatory's Cask Strength collection - There's been a number of 1995 Clynelish casks released and so far they've all been cracking. But a quick look on the interwebs will show you that not all 1995 Clynelish releases are the same - oh no. Check out the colour variation on show - whilst some variance will of course be down to lighting conditions and photography there's a tangible difference between these releases, despite all coming from 1995 20 year old refill sherry butts. So, some of these casks have been seriously active and, it's one of those particularly active casks we'll be looking at today.
Nose: An assertive upfront hit of honeycomb, leather and polish. Yum. Prunes, raisins and dried berries are supported by pepper, cinnamon and a hint of must. There's a definite savoury note in there - something beefy. The whole aroma is wrapped up with a sharp edge of flint or shale which cuts through some of the sweeter notes.
Taste: Walking the wood tightrope here - it's certainly full of oak, but I'd suggest that the balance between spirit and wood is just right here. Clynelish character is evident here with a degree of resin and wax. Honeycomb again, salted caramel and sherried sweetness.
Finish: Medium-long and quite tannic.
The Clynelish profile is maintained whilst the seriously active sherry cask has gone to town. There's just enough underlying waxy character and just enough heavy aged oak. When you add in some wonderfully balanced sherry notes you're really cooking with gas. It's a good'un, but then it's Signatory so you knew it would be right?