We all know Brora, right? C’mon…the malt that, along with Port Ellen, rests comfortably atop the cult standings. Well…Clynelish and Brora go together likes peas and carrots. I’ll get to that in a moment. The Clynelish distillery was established in 1819. And 1967.
Okay…the current Clynelish distillery was built in 1967, right next to the old. Later that year the original distillery was abruptly mothballed until 1969 when distillation resumed under the name Brora. This legendary malt was produced alonside Clynelish until the the old distillery finally had her doors shuttered for good in 1983. The younger sibling distillery has continued production to this day.
Clear as mud? Alright, let’s move on.
This is a comfort whisky if ever there was one. Beautiful downhome farmy nose, full of subtle notes that work exceptionally well together. Light smoke dances with hints of lemon pepper, honeyed sweetness and mild oak. Walnut and fresh cut hay meet chocolate ganache. Caramel. There is an eclair-like scent that comes and goes as well. An odd note I keep getting that, in writing would seem to be at odds with the other notes yet somehow works is…the smell of a California Rolls (nori, avocado, etc). Enchanting and entirely pleasing.
The delivery is firm but smooth. The barley and oak, being prime contributors of course, sing a little louder here than in most malts we see nowadays. They are balanced though. We’re not talking over-oaking or bitter barley face. Flavors are mostly dilutions of what you’ll find on the nose, sans the toffee/chocolate eclair deal. Is that a hint of peach maybe? And possibly a bit of a tea-like note? Great integration.
All in all…absolutely worthwhile. Everything a good whisky should be, and I have to admit a bit of a personal bias to this one.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt