Clynelish 14 Years Old (46%, OB, +/-2017)

Whisky Review: Clynelish 14 Years Old

  • Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Clynelish Distillery
  • Bottling: Diageo
  • ABV: 46%
  • Cost: £43.63


What they say

The 14 year old Clynelish Single Malt Scotch Whisky offers sweet floral fragrances and maritime flavours with a light, dry finish.

Official tasting notes:

  • Body: Firm, light to medium.
  • Appearance: Yellow gold.
  • Nose:: Wax comes up with water – scented candle wax. Dried flowers on a beach. Later, brown sugar.
  • Taste: In brief… Light, waxy, maritime malt. In a sentence… Sweet floral fragrances and maritime flavours, with a light, waxy body and a dry, salty finish.
  • Palate: Pleasant mouthfeel, not as waxy as some expressions; maritime generally.

What I say

The classic Clynelish 14 Years Old I have sampled on many occasions, not least whilst inside the Distillery Manager’s Office at Clynelish Distillery. Sadly this was slightly out of necessity as major upgrades and renovation work was being undertaken when we visited back in November 2014. Unable to tour Clynelish we were shown instead around as much of the old Clynelish (Brora) distillery as was possible, including two Brora casks recently returned back to the warehouses there to complete their maturation and prove they still had some in stock! I guess a return to Clynelish will be necessary to undertake the New Clynelish Distillery tour one day!

This 14 year old is the standard official expression and we have finally sampled some and taken notes as part of our Back to Basics 2018 programme.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Dark yellow gold (10/20) medium-fine tears leave fine/raised legs, slower larger tears forming
  • Nose: Waxed toffee, wax paper, beeswax candles, softened brown sugar with a touch of butter and honey, a little zesty and citric fresh orange or clementine and floral/white flower blossom
  • Taste: Light sugary and buttery, some white pepper spice, dry cereal and linen, orange oil and zest, candle wax, a touch of trail mix; salted nut and dried fruit/raisin, ginger, oak wood and soft leather tannin and a hint of creamy vanilla give way to salt, with hints of mineralic chalk and flint.
  • Finish: Long, drying, mouth coating wax, cereal spice and soft oak wood notes persist


Well balanced, deliciously waxy and mouth-coating this whisky is more about the textures and balance of elements than actual flavour and as such this malt is revered by blenders for just these properties. A great example of a standard expression defining exactly its distillery’s ‘profile’ or signature. Remains a classic and a worthy addition to any shelf or collection.

Score 85/100

Shop for Clynelish 14 Years Old (opens Master of Malt)

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