Clynelish 24 Years Old WhiskyNerds Cask WN001 54.9% 1996
€ 450,00 (in Vat)
|Cask Type||Bourbon Hogshead|
There’s a couple of these newish bottlers out there that are going for quality instead of quantity. Of course, officially they all go for quality, but I think y’all know what I mean when I say this.
Most of them want exposure and want to cater to a lot of different audiences, while the bottlers I’m considering don’t really care if they miss the < € 100 audience, as long as everything they bottle is the best thing they can get their hands on.
Apart from WhiskyNerds, I’m thinking The Duchess, Michiel Wigman, Wu-Dram Clan and the like. I’m obviously missing a few and people have been raving about Asta Morris and The Whisky Jury too, but I’ve not had much, if anything by these guys at all.
Anyway, when an indie Clynelish comes out, I always get a bit giddy. When it’s from one of these kick-ass bottlers I really want to taste it. And when it is the favorite distillery of one of the guys behind the brand, I sort-of must have the bottle.
The massive drawback of this ‘quality first’ approach is of course the price tag, and therefore I don’t have a bottle of this, but I do have half a bottle. TvE was kind enough to split one with me!
Initially I get a note of acetone and lots of light fruitiness. The waxiness of apple skins, honey and beeswax, strawberries, and gentle notes of American oak. With some time the waxy notes get a bit stronger and focus more on the beeswax. There’s a whiff of salinity too.
The palate let’s you know it’s a cask strength bottling, with a bit of heat to back up the oak. Slightly spicy without being a clear peppery note. A different kind of waxiness, more like textural than the beeswax and apple skins from the nose. Dried apples, yellow wine gums, dark toast with butter.
The finish is slightly more lively than the palate with the strawberries making a come-back, and the apple being more prominent. The spiciness remains although the beeswax returns as well. Honey, oak, barley, a bit of toast.
The Nerds aren’t even that exceptably priced, with long-time bottlers like Signatory quickly approaching these price tags as well.
Also, if I get whisky like this, I guess I don’t mind the money that much. Of course, it’s a shitload and you can also get very good whisky for less, but old Clynelish is something else. Much like old Springbank, for example. Shit’s expensive, yo!
A ‘verdict’ then! While Clynelish from the 80s and 70s was a lot more waxy, this represents the distillery very well, and that’s already a great thing. The fact that it’s a rather fruity dram with some spices behind the wax and fruit for complexity makes it even greater!
I absolutely love this bottling. It’s gorgeous and I was going to say ‘get one while you can’, but you can’t anymore. In the secondary market it’s already at € 500 after just being out for a week and a half or so.
But holy shit this is good.
Serge Valentin (90)
Colour: straw. Nose: this one's twenty times tighter, more vertical, mineral, chalky, earthy, bready… But there's also a large bag of overripe apples from last year, and some candlewax, naturally. With water: fresh panettone and angel hair. Fresh bread and orange blossom, plus beeswax. Mouth (neat): good, after twenty to twenty-five years, these vintages have become perfect, characterful aged spirits, with a waxiness that became just huge. Sure it was there right from the start, but it's now really become massive, as if it had grown in the barrels (after having grown in the receiver), like a blob. Right, physarum polycephalum. With water: a tad tighter, more on dough and ale. Finish: long, perhaps a wee tad oaky but that's just nothing. Zests in the aftertaste. Comments: same ballpark, just a tad less round and civilised than the Wemyss.
Words Of Whisky:
Truly a very good whisky and certainly in the upper ranges of what this vintage (and others from the mid-1990s) generally has to offer.
After a quick mineral hit this becomes quite a fruity example of mid-90s Clynelish. Some pureed bananas, quinces, pineapple and honey with a hint of vanilla cake. Just a touch of cumin as well. There's the obligatory candle wax, but I've come across much waxier Clynelish. That's not a bad thing though. Lovely stuff and actually a tad fresher than my notes might suggest.
A creamy (dare we say waxy) mouthfeel. Some gentle spices on the arrival with white pepper and ginger, but the fruity theme continues. More bananas, white grapes, dense kiwi and pickled lemon, but also honey and a touch of fudge. Just a hint of walnuts. The tiniest pinch of salt.
Lingering notes of beeswax, plaster and grass, but also apple juice.