Ahh, Clynelish. The enigma of the northeast coast. A single malt whose waxy character - and it does smell of snuffed candles - is highly prized by blenders. This is a palate whisky, the nose almost shy and muted: glints of citrus and jellied fruits, notes of ozone/spiciness and stem ginger. It’s on the tongue that it comes into its own: clinging, strangely savory, lightly sweet, juicily fruity. Enigmatic indeed.(Summer 2012) Reviewed by: Dave Broom
The name and the history of Clynelish are indissociable from the neighbour distillery, Brora. The Brora distillery has been named Clynelish for decades before closing in 1983.The Clynelish distillery faces the old one. Settled in a rural setting with a still house with great windows looking to the sea, the distillery is the exact replica of the modern Islay distillery, Caol Ila.The distillery has been founded in 1967 in new buildings much more spacious and modern than those of the old distillery.The old distillery began the production of rather peaty malt, and the new one went on with the traditional production. peaty malt was necessary for the owner of the distillery in those days, because Caol Ila, another important distillery belonging to the group was temporarily closed for refurbishment, and the malt was needed for the blends of the group.The old building still exist, and are used as warehouses for the new one.Just 1% of the production is marketed as single malt, the remaining part being used in Johnnie Walker Gold Label blend.