Whisky Review – Clynelish 14 year old

Clynelish 14 year old
46% ABV
£37.45 from MasterOfMalt

Another standard bottling to fill in a gap in the supermarket regular malts. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while as I’ve tried a few independent Clynelish bottlings at whisky shows and always enjoyed them. This is a first for the standard official bottling for me.

Curiously bottled at 46% you would presume this maybe non-chill filtered, but there is nothing on the bottle/box to clarify this. Therefore I’m not putting it on the review. I’d love an official comment to clarify if this is NCF though.

Nose.

A deep floral concentrated, fruity complex nose. Orange blossom. Vanilla. Rich toffee. Citrus, lemon and orange juice. Sponge cake. Light oak spices. Aniseed. Malt cereal and biscuit. A little coconut. It’s a really lovely nose you can spend absolutely ages getting off of.

Palate.

Sweet and sour arrival. Some saltiness. Bitter citrus and honey, developing into chewier toffee, a slight alcohol nip, then more vanilla comes forward and some sponge cake, with some light jamminess.

Finish.

Medium. Some pepper spices, oak, a touch of bitter dry treacle. Drying out nicely with touches of oak and sawdust.

Adding water.

A few drops added. The nose is now slightly less juicy, more floral with some added strength to the spices. The palate is lighter in the mouthfeel, but has more of the juices now, with a very nice spicy fruit chutney development, the finish is fruitier and spicier and is absolutely lovely! One to add some drops too but not a lot.

Conclusion

The nose is absolutely wonderful, let down slightly with a less complex palate, and a few bitter notes. With water it becomes a very nice whisky indeed, one I would recommend to a whisky drinker who has passed their introductions to single malts and want a little more of a challenge with their malt journey.

From my own stash

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Whisky Review – Oban 14 year old

Oban 14 year old
43% ABV
£42.90 available from Whisky Galore at the Green Welly Stop

Filling in some gaps in my general supermarket available malts, and Oban is one of those. Long past time I tasted and reviewed it. On first opening this bottle I have to say I was not impressed. It was very sweet and one dimensional. It needed a number of days and a touch of air to get its act together. A great example of not judging a whisky on its first sniff/sip.

Nose.

Heather honey sweet. Wood char and slight damp dunnage warehouse. Touches of ozone, sea air, light salt. Airy, clean and fresh. Stewed cooking apple. Grape juice. Cinnamon. Some oak. Clean linen(!). It’s a very light and fresh nose, easily sniffable, nothing stands out or bangs you in the face, it’s one to get into and search for things.

Palate.

Initially sweet in the arrival, light mouthfeel, crisp. In the development some spices come into play, pepper, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon. We have the apple infused honey from the nose, some sweet toffee, a touch of chocolate, a little floral, and a little charred oak. It’s very gentle all the way through. Very pleasant, non offensive, reasonably complex, but with nothing standing out.

Finish.

Medium, light finish. Sweet honey, touch of apple/grape juice and some pepper. A touch of oak. It’s actually quite a long finish, but non abrasive with no particular flavour dominating. Gentle.

Adding water.

Tiny drop, this feels well diluted as it is. The nose is now thoroughly concentrated on the floral aspects, with a little fruit juice remaining. The palate, weaker, and has introduced a slight salty bitterness during the development. The finish has retained this saltiness, and added a little vanilla ice cream. Hmmm, it’s a strange one as to add water or not, on one hand it is weakened, but the bitter touches can be somewhat nice and the finish is a little different now. Try with and without and make your own mind up on this one, I wouldn’t add too much though. Personally I prefer overall without.

Conclusion

This is a very gentile single malt. Has some nice maritime characteristics, but all the time nothing really stands out about this whisky. It’s an easy enough drinker and if you want something light and mellow at the pub, this is the whisky of choice.

From my own stash

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