Re: Signatory Vintage UCF - CLYNELISH 14 (1991 - 2005)
The few that I have tried....
74 Sm Clynelish 1993 9yo (43%, Signatory Vintage) November 5th, 2007. Nose: Feighty, a hint of sweetness. Seem like from sherry, but I'm not sure. Mouth: Slighly spirity, a bit sweet. A hint of malt comes thorugh. Feinty, a bit. A very young whsiky, that has opened up a bit in the last few weeks, and improved a bit.
89 Sm Clynelish 12yo (40%, G&M, Ainslie & Heilbron bottling, circa late 70s, bi-colored yellow and brown label, 50ml) Christmas Eve 2006. This is my 200th single malt, incidentally. A very good one to celebrate a day I do not celebrate. 200 malts, and it is still so hard for me to really give good, accurate descriptions; at the end of the day, it is the pleasure they bring, right? A bit buzzed from trying a few malts already (which is really pathetic, since I tend to drink about a quarter of a sample bottle at a time, MAX). Nose. Wow, I could smell this one for days. Tropical fruit, maybe kumquat and mangos. Gentle sweet cookies. Mouth: A bit of malt; its a dry malt. A gentle wave of peat that builds in intensity towards the finish. Drier than the nose would suggest. Smooth and clean. A bit of malt balanced by oak moves in just before the finish. Finish: My mouth is coated in the gentlest of smokiness. The nose is just awesome, and the taste is good, just not as complex as the nose would suggest, or as some of the world beater of this distillery that I have tried. Yet, it is only a 12, and a young independent at that. One of those 50ml samples that I lament that I don't have a full bottle of. Too bad the current bottle ling (14yo) is so darn flawed, but I do have a Signatory 9yo that I will have to open up soon. Second tasting: Finished the little bottle on New Years eve (day). A wonderful malt, that is perhaps just not as complex as a true classic should be. For a 12 year old, it is just stunning in what it has to offer. I am going to bump it up a couple of points for sheer elegance. This malt must have been distilled around my birth year, 1965. Full size bottles can still be found for a few hundred dollars. One day, perhaps. A great way to start new years eve.
85 Sm Clynelish 12yo Dist. 1984 (43%, Signatory) A bottle I lived with in Omaha, circa 2005
70 Sm Clynelish 14yo (43%, OB, circa. 2004)
85 Sm Clynelish 14yo (43%, OB, circa. 2007) September 8th, 2007. A special malt, as this will be my 300 tasting note for single malts (more counting other whiskies). I just spent five days with this one, as my duty free pick up to drink while in Costa Rica. I brought back a flask and a mini bottle worth, and so this will be my official tasting of it. During the week, I was shocked at how excellent it is, especially since the last one I had a few years ago was not very good. A bad batch? Perhaps. Nose: Complex. bourbony, malt, toffee. Lots of spices. A hint of malt cereal underneath. Some eucalyptus, which I frequently find in Lagavulin. Just outstanding. Mouth: Very congruent with the nose. Wonderfully complex, with all the above mentioned elements. Highlight of the spices, slightly hot, maybe some white pepper or lemon grass. I can imagine this going well with curry. Finish: Long, spicy and powerful. A hint of peat and dryness at the end. I am so glad that this is so much better than the last time I tired the 14, as I have really enjoyed the five or six other expressions of the malt. This one is rich, smooth yet challenging at the same time. The only weakness, the mouth feel is a bit thin.
82 Sm Clynlelish 28yo 1976 (46%, Murray McDavid Misson, Bottle 588/600) August 6, 2006, Preliminary score is an 85. Since this is my 2006 B-day bottle, I will have much more time with it to give it a proper tasting. The nose and mouth are fairly similar, the wood dominates at first, with spicy notes developing. Not as complex as some of the best Clynelish, but on first tasting big and elegant. My initial sense is that this is one that would have been better several years ago, before the wood became as prominent. Still, enjoyable and a good malt to have on my 41st B day weekend, and for sharing with some house guests we will have over the next week. On second tasting, I think I will keep the same score. The nose is wonderful, satisfying. The mouth is nice, but somehow it does not seem as well integrated as I would like. That is, the flavors seem separate; first wood, than pepper, than....but not together. A very good dram, but a tad disappointing (high expectations). A subsequent tasting a few weeks later, the same impressions, save for the big sherry influence on the nose and the end of the mouth, right before the finish. This does add some complexity, but the flavors are not as integrated as they are in other old Clynelish, where you get a sense of the whole band as well as the instruments. Here, the group is not great, only good players, sort of like a 1970s super group Yeah, you like it, and maybe a bit more than you want to admit, but there is something not quiet right. Score still 83, although that might even be high. Oh, the nose still is fantastic. After the tasting I did last night, I am marking this down to and 80. And that is the straight score, certainly not bang for your buck. In truth, the malt is just too dominated by wood to be considered very strong. I think this is one that I want to enjoy more than I really do. November 8, 2006. Maybe about a quarter of the bottle left; time to finish it off or send to friends. It still seems about the same; the nose really is wonderful, but it really is very complex, with a lot going on, but as I said before, not well integrated or balanced. It a single malt scotch where the word malt would not be mentioned, and I realize that is an issue for me.
92 Sm Clynelish 29yo 1972 (56.3%, Cadenhead) Unparalleled complexity. Seaweed and sweetness. Malty and spicy. Waves of interplay on the nose and mouth. Just awesome. Can see why the 1972s were seen as special, and how similar this is to Brora (in spite of my only having one to this point)