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.
Laphroaig distillery is a single malt Scotch whisky distillery from Islay. It owes its origin of name after its location and proximity to Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the Isle of Islay. The meaning of the toponym is widely believed to be ‘broad hollow by the bay’. Founded in 1815 by the Johnston it was closely held by the family for almost 140 years after which the distillery and brand changed hands a few times until final ownership rested in the hands of Beam Suntory a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings in 2014. The Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales was awarded to Laphroaig by His Royal Highness The Price of Wales himself during his visit to the distillery in 1994.
Like most other whiskies from the area Laphroaig owes its flavours and aromas to the rich peat which is used to halt the germination process of the malted barley. The water comes from their damned reservoir which drew water from the Kilbride stream. The climate and the vicinity of its warehouse to the coast goes a long way in imparting unique flavours to the whisky. It has been one of my favourite whiskies for quite a few years now. Here’s my take on it.
Colour: Bright gold.
Body: Full bodied.
Nose: Strong smoke and the salty sea air.
Palate: Sweet, salty and smoky.
Finish: The sweetness makes way for the saltiness while the almost medicinal smokiness lingers even after the whisky has been swallowed.
Pairing: I have on occasions paired the Laphroaig 10 with smoked salmon carpaccio and smoked salmon mousse for the first course of a meal. Also one of my all time favourite pairings is the Laphroaig 10 with blue cheese. You can also read some of my other whisky reviews here.