Nose: Young sweet malt, fresh cut grass, honeyed oats, and icing sugar.
Palate: Fresh toast, oats, hints of honey, and faintly tropical. Slightly grassy as well.
Mouthfeel: Dry, slightly warm, mid-weight, quite waxy.
Finish: Short, dry, some slight wood spices, and a bit waxy.
Balance: Just about perfect – this whisky is fresh and reasonably light all round, with perhaps just a touch more weight on the tongue than the rest of the whisky would suggest. A consistent whisky right from the first nosing through to the finish.
The first thing I have to mention about this whisky is the colour. I don’t often mention the colour of whiskies, and have never bothered to put them in my tasting notes as in my opinion they have very little to do with drinking the whisky, and the colour is so easily manipulated with E150 caramel additives. With this whisky though I’m going to break my rule (rules are only there to be broken, right). This whisky is almost clear, with just the faintest sandy colour – honestly I’ve seen glasses of cab sav with deeper hues than this whisky!
This whisky is #3 in La Maison du Whisky’s ‘The Ten’ series. The Ten is a series of whiskies that La Maison du Whisky have chosen as exemplary examples of particular styles – with #0 being the lightest (a single grain), and #10 being the heaviest (a heavily peated single malt). This whisky, being #3 is towards the lighter end of the spectrum.
This whisky is ‘small batch’ vintage 2008 unpeated single malt from the Clynelish distillery. It was bottled at 40.1% ABV with no chill diltering, and no artificial colouring. The whisky was aged only in second fill, and refill barrels – I can’t find the particular type of barrel used anywhere, but I’m taking a punt that it was purely ex-Bourbon barrels.
The first time that I tried this whisky, my thoughts that I wrote down were “There is nothing particularly wrong with this whisky, and it was certainly interesting to try a whisky with the colouring that this one has, I shan’t be buying a bottle any time soon”. Having had a second dram though, and quite possibly in different weather (I didn’t write down the date the first time, but the second crack was in the middle of an Australian summer); I have a different take on it. Some may disapprove of whisky stones, but with a light whisky such as this one, I didn’t want to add any ice to it – and the day was way too hot to be drinking whisky at ambient temperatures. With a slight chilling, this was a beautiful whisky on a hot summer’s day – not an Earth-shattering whisky, but more than reasonable, although the finish was still a bit lacklustre.