Review #1: Clynelish 14

This is my first tasting review. But definitely not my first tasting. The reduction in the frequency of cocktail blogging has coincided with the frenetic acquisition of whiskies. I tend to find whisky reviews too erudite and flowery, so I decided to write a few for us commoners/novices. 

Pictured below is my near-empty bottle. So I know this whisky pretty intimately.

Whisky bottle with dram next to it in front of half a dozen bottles
The dram is fuller than the bottle

Even then, it was hard to come up with a review. I call it my “dessert whisky” and find it very fruity and lovely (even though I’m actually a peaty scotch drinker). 

Clynelish 14
  • Score - 7.5/10

Tasting Notes

Dessert: orange marmalade and honey, faint marshmallow, soft fade of smoke (light finish) and is very round and creamy in mouthfeel

Overall: Very good to excellent.

Description: “Orange marmalade”, dessert, some honey and marshmallow with a faint end of smoke. Very round and creamy. 

Also. It’s very affordable (~$53).


Additional Information

Because it was so dessert-y, I decided to try it against my benchmark “dessert whisky”, the Yamazaki 12 to compare. Very different. The Yamazaki is much sweeter, with confectionary and apple/strawberry tastes, versus the marmalade and citrus tastes of the Cynelish.

About Clynelish

  • Likely to be base of many Johnny Walker whiskies
  • Prides itself to be unusual that it is a “waxy” spirit, because Clynelish does not remove the natural buildup of oils in the feints and foreshots (added back in)
  • Founded by the Marquis of Stafford (first Duke of Sutherland) in 1819 to take some portion of the local whisky supply away from the area’s smuggling fraternity
  • Original Clynelish became Brora, which specialized in peated whisky (due to an Islay shortage because of a drought). The new Clynelish was originally built to replace Brora. So… Clynelish became Brora which became Clynelish again.

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