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Distillery in Focus:          Clynelish
Region: Highlands
Name: Clynelish Former name: "Clynelish A"
Status: Active
Website: www.discovering-distilleries.com
Telephone: 01408 623000
E-Mail: clynelish.distillery@diageo.com
Address: Brora, Sutherland KW9 6LR. Latitude 58.024892N, Longitude 3.868987W
Visitor centre: Yes
Owner: Diageo
Established in 1967
Stills: 3 wash and 3 spirit still
Casks used for maturation: Bourbon and sherry
Contribute(d) to the following blends: Johnnie Walker (gold) and black & white.

Note: The two distilleries on the site were called Clynelish. This entry correspond to the new distillery. For the old distillery, please refer to Brora.

Regular Bottling:

Clynelish 14 YO, 46%
Clynelish Distillers' edition (Oloroso seco) 46%

Other bottlings:

Clynelish 12 YO, Friends Bottling, 46%, Clynelish managers' choice bottled in 2009

For the tasted whiskies, click here


From left to right: An old Clynelish 1974 from the Rare Malts collection, the Clynelish 1982 Fauna & Flora, Clynelish Distiller's edition, the Clynelish 14 YO and the Clynelish 1997 Manager's choice.

History of the Clynelish distillery

 

In 1967-1969, DCL built a second distillery at the Clynelish site, also named Clynelish, certainly a way of letting the new distillery benefit from the name's huge reputation. Meanwhile, the old distillery's mash-house was rebuilt This period is confusing and different versions have been written. This version seems to be the most accurate: The new Clynelish was in operation from August 1967 on and the old Clynelish was closed in August 1968. From August 1967 to August 1968 both distilleries were working in parallel and were recognized internally as Clynelish A (the new) and B (the old). During this short overlapping time, casks from both distilleries were stencilled 'Clynelish' and the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) forced the proprietor to change the name of one of the distillery and the old distillery reverted back to a name it was said to have carried on and off for short periods on and off during its early history: Brora.

Between 1969 and 1983, both distilleries functioned in parallel. Since 1983, only the "new" Clynelish is operating and it has not changed of owner since its construction in 1967. The product from this distillery can be recognized by its "waxy" character. For an unknown reason, this character is associated with the spirit receiver.

Source: Distillery visit, The Magical History of the great Brora Distillery by Serge Valentin,The Making of Scotch whisky by John R. Hume & Michael S. Moss, The Whisky distilleries of Scotland and Irelandby P. Morrice, The Scotch whisky industry record by H. Charle sCraig, The Scotch Whisky Distilleries by Misako Udo, Rare Malts, Facts, Figures and Taste by Ulf Buxrud and The DCL Distillery Histories Series by Brian Spiller.
Patrick Brossard © 03 Jan 2011

Tasted whiskies:

Note: The whiskies in italics were distilled by the old Clynelish distillery ("Brora")

Official/original bottlings (OB)  
Age  
Clynelish over 5 YO, OB, 43%, B: 1970s. Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 5 YO Ainslie & Heilbron for Di Chiano, OB, 43%, B:1970s. Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 12 YO "yellow and red" label for Fourcroy (Belgium), OB, 43%, B:1970s Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 12 YO “Yellow and red label”, OB, 40%, B: 1980s Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 12, OB, 43%, B: 1970s Rating: 15/20
Clynelish 12 YO Short Cap, OB, 56.9%, B: 1960s Rating: 19/20
Clynelish 12 YO For Edward and Edwar white label, OB, 56.9%, B: early 1970s. Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 12 YO  For Edward and Edward Bicolour label, OB, 56.9%, B: 1973. Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 14 YO , OB, 46%, B:2005 Rating: 13/20
Clynelish 14 YO (Royal Marine Hotel), D: ~1965, OB, 92° proof. Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 17 YO Manager’s dram, OB, 61.8%, B: 1998 Rating: 18/20
   
Vintages  
Clynelish 1972 Rare Malts, 24 YO, OB, 61.3%, B: 1997 Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1974 Rare Malts, 23 YO, OB, 59.1%, B: 1998 Rating: 15/20
   
No Age Specified (NAS)  
Clynelish at the distillery, OB, 57.3%, B: 2008 Rating: 16/20
Clynelish Select Reserve, OB, 54.9%, B:2014 Rating: 16/20
Clynelish Select Reserve Special Release 2015, OB, 56.1%, B:2015. Rating: 17/20

 

Independent bottlings (IB)  
   
Acla Selection  
Clynelish 1996, 17 YO, Acla Selection, 49.7%, B: 2013. Rating: 15/20
Clynelish 1996 for the Whiskyschiff 2014, Acla Selection, 51.9%, B: 2014. Rating: 13/20
   
Adelphi  
Clynelish 1995, 10 YO, Adelphi, 59.3%, B: 2006, c 12787 698 b. Rating: 11/20
   
Blackadder  
Clynelish 1995, 19 YO, Blackadder, 55%, B: 2014, c. 1471 Rating: 13/20
   
Berry Bros & Rudd  
Clynelish 1996 for Charles Hofer Switzerland, 16 YO, Berry Bros & Rudd, 57.1%, c. 8783. Rating: 16/20
   
Cadenhead's  
Clynelish 1965 “Yellow brick label” sherry, 24 YO, Cadenhead’s, 46% Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 1966 dumpy for Nibada, 23 YO, Cadenhead’s, 51.7%, B:1989, 90 b. Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 23 YO Dumpy, Cadenhead’s, 51.9%, B: 1980s. Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 1995 Sherry, 19 YO, Cadenhead’s, 54.6%, B:2015, 492 b. Rating: 13/20
   
Daily Dram  
Clynelish (Kleine Licht), Daily Dram, 11 YO, 56,1%, B: 2008 Rating: 13/20
Clynelish 1982, 27 YO, Daily Dram, 59.8%, B: 2010 Rating: 17/20
   
Douglas Laing (and Langside Distillers)  
Clynelish 1970 OMC Sherry finish, D. Laing, 48.4%, B: 2001, 186 b- Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 1971 OMC, 30 YO, D.Laing, 50%, B: 2002, 272 b. Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1971 OMC, 36 YO, D. Laing, 44.6%, B: 2007, ref # 3913, 191 bottles. Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1971 OMC, 38 YO, D. Laing, 47.9%, B: 2009 c. 5055 145 b. Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1982 OMC, 28 YO, D. Laing, 50%, B: 2011, ref 7553, 238 b. Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1983 Old malt cask, 23 YO, D. Laing, B: 2006, ref 1354 Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1996 Old Particular, 17 YO, Douglas Laing, 48.4%, B: 2014, Ref DL10033. Rating: 14/20
Clynelish 1997 Distiller’s Art, 16 YO, Langside distillers, 48%, B: 2014, 242 b. Rating: 14/20
Clynelish 1997, Douglas of Drumlanrig, 56.2%, B:2013, c. 10174, 60 b. Rating: 13/20
   
Esprit du Whisky  
Clynelish 1995, L'esprit du Whisky, 46%. B: 2011, c.8657, 384 b. Rating: 13/20
   
   
First Editions, The  
Clynelish 1989, 22 YO, The First Editions, 52.5%, B: 2012 Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1996, 17 YO, The First Editions, 58.2%, B: 2014 Rating: 15/20
Clynelish 1997, 14 YO, The First Editions, 52.8%, B: 2012 Rating: 16/20
   
Glenhaven  
Clynelish 12 YO, Glenhaven, 61%, B: 1996 Rating: 17/20
   
Gordon & MacPhail  
Clynelish 12 YO Brown and yellow label bottled for Mediterranea srl, G&M, 57%, B: 1980s. Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1972 for LMDW, 36 YO, G&M, 59.4%, B : 2009 Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 1972 for LMDW, 38 YO, G&M, 55% B : 2010 Rating: 16/20
   
Hart Brothers  
Clynelish 1995, 11 YO, Hart Brother’s, 52.5%, c. 12782, 222 b Rating: 17/20
   
High Spirits  
Clynelish 1991 Valentino Zagatti’s Personal Choice, 16 YO, High Spirits, 46%, B: 2008 Rating: 15/20
   
Jack Wiebers Whisky World (JWWW)  
Clynelish 1971 Premier Malts, 32 YO, JWWW, 54.2% c 2704 Rating: 17/20
   
Ladies of the Glen  
Clynelish 1997, 17 YO, Ladies of the Glen, 54.9%, B:2015, 267 b. Rating: 13/20
   
Maltman, The  
Clynelish 1997, 15 YO, The Maltman, 46%, B:2013, c. 6899 Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1998, 13 YO, The Maltman, 46%. B: 2011, c. 773 Rating: 08/20
   
   
Malts of Scotland (MoS)  
Clynelish 1982, MoS, 48.7%, B: 2010, c. 5894, 229 b. Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1996, 12 YO, MoS, 58.1%, B:2009, c. 8245, 304 b. Rating: 14/20
   
Murray McDavid  
Clynelish 1971 Mission, 36 YO, MMD, 51.5%, B: 2007, 265 b Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 1995 Bourbon/Madeira/Sherry, 12 YO, MMD, 46% Rating: 11/20
   
Rattray, A.D.  
Clynelish 1997, 16 YO, A.D. Rattray, 56.4%, B: 2013, c.6525. Rating: 13/20
   
Royal Miles Whisky  
Clynelish 1995, 10 YO,RM, 59.5%, 436 b. Rating: 12/20
   
Scotch Single Malt Circle (SSMC)  
Clynelish 1983, 23 YO, SSMC, 53.1%, B: 2006, cask 1351 Rating: 14/20
   
Signatory  
Clynelish 1965, 28 YO, Signatory, 50.7%, B: 1993, c. 666 Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1973, 33 YO, Signatory B:2006, 54.2% c. 8914 455 b Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 1973 The Presonfield for La Maison Du Whisky, 33 YO, Signatory, 54.3%,  B: 2006, c. 8912, 405 b. Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1983 for Waldhaus am SeeDouble Anniversary, 25 YO, Signatory, 46%, B: 2008. Rating: 14/20
Clynelish 1989 South African Sherry, 11 YO, Signatory, B: 2001, c. 3233 Rating: 14/20
Clynelish 1990 Straight from the cask, 14 YO, Signatory, 58.4% Rating: 12/20
Clynelish 1995, 20 YO, OB, Signatory, 50.3%, B:2016, c.8685, 398 b. Rating: 17/20
   
Silver Seal (Sestante)  
Clynelish 1982 30th Anniversary, 28 YO, Silver Seal, 46.4%, B:2011 Rating: 13/20
   
Single Cask Collection  
Clynelish 1997, 14 YO, Single Cask Collection, 56.8%, B:2012, c. 6891. Rating: 15/20
   
Single Malts of Scotland / The Whisky Exchange  
Clynelish 1972, 32 YO, TWE, 49.9%, B: 2005, 206 b. Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1972, 34 YO, SMOS, 50.5%, B: 2007, 409 bottles Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1972, 35 YO, SMOS, 53.7%, B: 2008, c. 12651, 273 b. Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1972, 38 YO, SMOS, 42.1%, B:2011, c. 430341 Rating: 15/20
Clynelish 1996 Sherry, 10 YO, SMOS, 59.6%, B: 2007 Rating: 14/20
   
Single Malts Whisky Society (SMWS)  
Clynelish 1983 26.51, 23 YO, SMWS, B: 2007 Rating: 17/20
Clynelish 1999 26.53, 8 YO, SMWS, 61.8%, B: 2008, 241 b. Rating: 13/20
Clynelish 1999 26.54, 8 YO, SMWS, 62.8%, B: 2008, 254 b. Rating: 13/20
   
Strathblair  
Clynelish 1990 Sherry puncheon, Strathblair Collection 2, 46% Rating: 16/20
   
SwissLink (Alexander Weine)  
Clynelish 1988 Swiss Link 4, 24 YO, Alexander Weine, 48.8%, B:2013, c. 4550 Rating: 15/20
   
The Bottlers  
Clynelish 1979 Refill Sherry, 21 YO, The Bottlers, B:2000, 62.3%, cask 8333 Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1984, 16 YO, The Bottlers, 58.5%, B: 2000, c. 4016 Rating: 16/20
   

The Whisky Agency

 
Clynelish 1972 Private Stock, 38 YO, TWA, 45.8%, B: 2010, 134 b. Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1982 The Perfect Dram, 27 YO, TWA, 53.9%, B: 2009, 240 b. Rating: 18/20
Clynelish 1989, 21 YO, TWA, 54%, B: 201, 166 b. Rating: 14/20
Clynelish 1995, 14 YO, TWA, 53%, B: 2010. 170 b. Rating: 09/20
Clynelish 1997, 14 YO, TWA, 52.7%, B: 2011 Rating: 13/20
   
The Whisky Cask Collection  
Clynelish 1997, 18 YO, The Whisky Cask Collection, 51.6%, B:2016. Rating: 15/20
   
The Whisky Exchange & Speciality Drinks  
Clynelish 18 YO, The Whisky Exchange, 50.6%, B:2014 Rating: 16/20
Clynelish 1996 Masterpieces, Speciality Drinks, 56.1%; B: 2013, 351 bottles. Rating: 16/20
   
   
The Whisky Fair  
Clynelish 1997, 13 YO, The Whisky Fair, 48.9%, B:2011, 170 b. Rating: 11/20
   
Whisky Fässle  
Clynelish 1972, 38 YO, Whisky Fässle, 46.2%, B: 2010 Rating: 15/20
   
Whyte and Whyte  
Clynelish 1965, 28 YO, Whyte and Whyte, 50.7%, B:2004 Rating: 18/20

Note: The whiskies in italics were distilled by the old Clynelish distillery ("Brora")