Old Clynelish enthusiast will love this very Ainslie-alike label but let's remember that the old 5 and 12 weren't (quite) from the same distillery.
Colour: pale gold.
Nose: oh yes. Not only the label hints at Old Clynelish, also the nose does. Supreme orangey waxiness with an admirable self-restraint (it’s no straight-in-your-face fruity Clynelish). Honeycomb, dried papayas, touches of fruity olive oil, very ripe oranges, wax polish, hints of ginger tonic, hints of bananas and even a little rum, white cherries…In the background: rocks and linseed oil. It’s all superb.
Mouth: a sin, with just the right amount of sweet spices. A giant fruit salad with a little paprika and ginger. Or some orange salad with a honey and olive oil sauce. Please call the anti-maltoporn brigade.
Finish: medium long, clean, a tad grassier and more tannic in the aftertaste but that’s more than normal.
Comments: another winning 1972 Clynelish at drinking strength, maybe a little less spectacular than others but maybe also more elegant. But let me issue a warning: pour small drams to your friends or this bottle will become as empty as Paris Hilton in a flash. SGP:641 - 92 points.
Nose: beautiful start on beeswax and honey. Very fruity, with a basket of fresh tropical fruits (mango, pineapple) and more indigenous fruit (pear, peach, tangerine). Haribo bears. Lovely paraffin. Vanilla. Whiffs of oak spices to top it off (cinnamon and light pepper). A little olive oil and camphor. I don’t like to use the word ‘perfect’ but this is close!
Mouth: a bit more resinous now. Still fruity (orange, peach) but less exhuberant. Some Turkish delight. Hints of smoke and dust. In the end it shows ginger and a slightly salty hint of liquorice.
Finish: very long and waxy with hints of orange skin and resinous dry oak.
Compared to the recent wave of 1982 Clynelish, this is oakier (of course), with more citrus and a more delicate profile. There have been some questions about the fact that it was diluted to 46% instead of earlier cask strength releases, but I can confirm that the end result is a good mix of complexity and drinkability. One to cherish!
Nose: Classic old Clynelish, with wax (beeswax and candlewax) and honey. A slight whiff of brine and the faintest trace of smoke (really took time for me to find it); also citrus (orange marmalade, lemon curd) and other fruits (maybe some dried banana), marshmallow; spice (clove), dried ginger, faint pepperiness. These latter combine with hazelnuts and musty old books (and I mean that in a good way), underlining the oak influence.
Palate: The citrus flits through on a bed of creamy malt, then a big surge of honey and burgeoning spice as the oak moves in: powerful, ‘old-fashioned’ (as I think of it) dry oak, lifting the spices. Strong hints of ginger ale, becomes quite peppery, the old books are still there, but not much in the way of smoke. Delicate fruit, polished malt and powerful oak and spices – classic (for me) aged Highland whisky.
Finish: Medium-full length, warm, salty. Faint smoke, residual waxiness, lingering oakspice and brine. Becomes drying, as is natural for drams of this immense age.
Comment: a thrilling treat for fans of a nearly-extinct Highland style. Evokes one of those longhaired ginger cows chewing on a thistle, nodding along to the wail of a distressed bagpipe played by a man with mutton-chop sideburns. This is so old-fashioned that you can almost taste its kilt.