Located in Highland region, Clynelish 14 year old single malt whisky comes from a distillery built opposite the nowadays silent Brora distillery. The original, Old Clynelish distillery was built in 1819 but in 1969, changed its name to Brora. Brora made heavily peated whisky in 1969-1973 for blending, covering a shortage of Islay whisky caused by a drought. Brora distillery, which today has a cult status, had to close down in 1983. New Clynelish distillery was built in 1968 and continued the theme of making malt whisky for blended Scotch.
Clynelish distillery got my attention last September when we held a Compass Box tasting with our local whisky society. The quality of the tasting was so good and Clynelish was the base to many of Compass Box’s quality products, that it got me thinking: I have to get some Clynelish single malts.
And I did get my hands on some 14 year old Clynelish. Which actually is the only expression they have to offer. So Clynelish 14yo equals their core range. You can get Clynelish malts of different ages from various independent bottlers but the 14 year old single malt released in 2002 is at the moment, the only official core range bottling from the new Clynelish distillery.
Clynelish is also used in the making of Johnnie Walker Gold Label, which is no wonder because Diageo owns both of them.
The theme of rebooting is very strongly involved when thinking about Clynelish. With this dram, only good remakes come to mind. Even though I haven’t tasted anything from their past. Clynelish 14yo offers good character and it has a mellow soft side as well. So I couldn’t some up with any better reference than True Grit by Coen brothers. Great remake offering same kind of ingredients, dry and dark humor combined with gritty performance and characters.
Ralfy also likes Clynelish 14yo, scoring 87 points for it. Some negative remarks about the average finish and caramel coloring. Check out his review: