11 year old Sponge Clynelish matured in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel. 250 bottles were produced at an ABV of 53%.
Nose: Crisp and fresh with sliced green apples, pear drops and balled melon. In support, a palpable sense of impending texture – Crayolas and chalky pastels which provide both (expected) waxiness and a tangent to the coast. Pine needles, reeds and flax are joined by crushed almonds – everything here is highly distillate forward. Reduction reveals additional earth touches of ferns and bracken alongside laminated pastry and a scattering of peppermint leaves.
Taste: Rich, thick and viscid and opening on pear drop isoamyl acetate. White grape juice and green apples sits with desiccated coconut and vanilla sable biscuits. Again, chalky minerality lurks – a suggestion of limestone sitting amongst the oleaginous textures of syrupy fruit. All quite bold and potent. The addition of water quickly softens things whilst retaining the underlying weight of the spirit – preserved lemons, golden syrup and background peach melba.
Finish: Medium with just a tingle of cask pepper.
This textural Clynelish is largely unworried by the influences of its 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel – the characterful and impactful spirit is firmly in charge. Youthful (but far from childlike), stripped back and still with plenty of inherent potency.
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