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.
Nose: Candle wax and coconut fat gives immediate presence. Unripe apples, tinned pineapples and foam bananas are joined by a slight fizz of homemade lemonade, before dusty oak, sugar syrup and granite-like minerality emerge. Reduction brings out some malty characteristics alongside orange and lemon zest.
Taste: Quite textural and weighty on arrival, but also somewhat hostile. Intense and biting alcoholic pepper slides into maltiness, honey and limestone before fruitiness (peaches and gooseberries) pushes though – though on a much lower level than the nose offered. Herbalness and camomile-tinged perfume expresses in the back palate alongside smooth waxes and citrus balms. Water is, to my mind, needed here – the arrival is less aggressive and there are additional tinned, juicy fruits and chalkiness.
Finish: Medium in length with salt and pepper seasoning, clay and putty.
Clynelish Reserve House Tyrell is one of the few bottles in this series which offers something identifiably different from the distillery’s standard entry expression. The Clynelish waxy texture is present and correct and is joined by a large vein of coastal character which provides both distinction and some intrigue. To my mind it’s a shame that this delivers in such a raw fashion (no doubt a factor of age), however, there’s still a good amount to like here. I’d see this as a good alternative to the 14 year old in terms of being a textural daily drinker.
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