Clynelish 1995 (Dewar Rattray) Review

    “Pleasant, yet Forgettable”

Country: Scotland
Region: Northern Highlands 
Brand: Clynelish 1995 (Bottler - Dewar Rattray)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 17 Years
ABV: 45.2%

Colour: Pale White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose: Relatively Light. Colour and Nose make it clear that Ex-Sherry Cask 4630 wasn't a very active one. I would have expected more depth after 17 years! On the Nose, this Clynelish is quite Floral, Grassy and Mineral. I also find Buttered Toast, Bread Dough, Candle Wax, Sweet Apple, Chardonnay Wine, Lemon Peel, Mandarin Juice, Vanilla, Milk Chocolate bars with Nuts and Raisins, Oak and Herbs. Very fresh for a 17 Years old. The Alcohol is reasonably well-integrated.  

Taste: Sweet and Slightly Sour with Sweet Barley, Candle Wax, Buttered Toast, Mandarin, Lemon, Sweet Apple, Grass, Oak, Vanilla, Grappa, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Salted Licorice, Milk Chocolate and Mustard. This is the second time I pick up Mustard in a Clynelish.    

Finish: Middle-Long. Sweet, Sour and Fruity at first. Dry and Spicy towards the end. I find Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Mandarin Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Oak, Pine Resin, Lemon, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger and light Licorice.   

I only had a very small sample so I just Nosed and Tasted it neat.

Rating: 84 

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

General Remarks: The Single Cask Clynelish I'm tasting today was distilled on the 14th of June 1995. It matured in a Sherry Hogshead with Cask # 4630 and was bottled by Indie Bottler Dewar Rattray for The Specialists' Choice (NL) on the 17th of April 2013. It was not Chill-Filtered before bottling. It might be hard to find but it was for sale at around 75 US Dollars last time I saw it.

The Clynelish Distillery was opened in 1819 and rebuilt in 1896. In 1968 a new Clynelish Distillery was erected nearby and the old Distillery was renamed Brora (The Bridges River). Brora was closed in May 1983 and part of the buildings are used by Clynelish, now owned by Diageo. A lot of the production is destined to be part of the JW Blends.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good 

Conclusion: This 1995 Clynelish is a relatively simple Single Malt. It's Fresh and Clean for its age and should be enjoyed as an Aperitif. There's nothing really wrong with it except for the fact that, in my opinion, 17 years in an Ex-Sherry cask should have given it more Depth and Complexity. In this case I must blame the cask rather than the Spirit. If you're a Clynelish fan and like the described Aroma and Flavour profile you should give it a try if you can find it as it's not really expensive for a 17 Years old. If you like Sherry bombs however you should leave this Malt alone. As for me, I found this Clynelish pleasant but forgettable.   

Jan van den Ende                                                                February 22, 2016

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