Whisky Review: Signatory Vintage Clynelish 1995 Aged 21 Years (Cask Hand Picked by the Whisky Exchange) #8676

Style: Honey and Spicy

Nose:

Brown sugar cold-dripping into ice lemon tea, Earl Grey, maybe? Peppermint circling around the delicate honeycomb and candle wax core. White flower looms, while the waxiness overstaying its welcome and imparts some perfume overtone and bitter touches in the middle. Transitioning to assorted dry spices – ginger, nutmeg, chilli flakes, followed by walnuts and a whiff of dark chocolate to finish.

Palate:

Starts with molecular lemon tea served with a piece of red chilli dark chocolate. Apricots, chewy caramel-honey drops and light white flower is bouncing around. Slowly the sweetness progresses towards the floral and waxy side. A fairly large size of the dry and spice component exposed when the honey fruit wanes. Plenty of star anise, cinnamon bark pecked with a teaspoon of milk chocolate sauce. Rather dry and spicy towards the back. Ends with walnut and oaky notes.

Finish:

More oak lingers, 70% dark chocolate. Subtle lemon honey covered in with a thin layer of candle wax. Wait, we have a beautiful comeback of apricots. Delicious aftertaste.

Thoughts:

Another honey sweet, jammy Clynelish. I really had high hopes on this because the previous release was immaculate. This cask still shows a charming affinity between the spirit and the “refill” sherry influence – a honey lemon tea overture played beautifully on the forefront. However, as we progress, it funnels to the dominating oak and waxy region (think dark chocolate, oak, dry spices and perfume floral notes). They become too powerful and engulf most of the back palate. Personally I find the spirit is slightly unbalanced and presented in a less coherent manner. But don’t get me wrong, it is still a good dram to earn a tick, but unfortunately it is just not as great as its predecessor.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/distillery]

[54.7% • 2016 Bottled • 1995 Distilled • Independent Bottling • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • Cask Number: 8676 • 544 Bottles • Matured in Refill Sherry Butt • t]

-Esmond