The Clynelish 14 does not come by as easily as some of the other Highland whiskies in this part of the world. One of the major whiskies to be used in the Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve blend, Clynelish 14 has a long history of ups and downs. The site of the original distillery built in 1819, was next to the current Clynelish distillery. According to Michal Jackson’s, The Malt Whisky Companion the original distillery was shut down in 1968 as the new Clynelish distillery was completed in 1967. For a short while they ran simultaneously as Clynelish A and Clynelish B but it wasn’t financially viable to keep both operational at the same time. The original distillery was once again reopened in 1969 and renamed Brora Distillery. A peated whisky was distilled on this site to cash in on a shortage of Islay whisky which was caused by a drought on the island.
Brora Distillery was mothballed in 1983 but the whisky is now one of the most rare and highly sought after whiskies in the world, costing approximately one thousand US dollars a bottle. This however, is my take not on the elusive Brora but the rather underrated Clynelish 14.
Colour: A bright golden yellow hue.
Body: The whisky appears to have a light to medium body.
Nose: Notes of herbaceous flowery aromas followed by a sweet citrus fragrance.
Palate: Slightly sweet and malty with a hint of smoke.
Finish: The sweetness maltiness fades on the palate to make way for saltiness. Slightly oaky spiciness with a dry finish.
Although I haven’t had the chance of give it a go myself but due to some of the maritime notes of the whisky I feel the Clynelish 14 will pair very well with a smoked salmon dish. One may also consider pairing it with any other firm fleshed sea fish. In the meantime here are some of my other whisky reviews, please do give them a read.