Thursday 14 February 2019

Tasted #432 - Casks of Distinction Clynelish 1983 35yo for Dram Good Casks (Cask #2566)

Private cask ownership - for many whisky lovers, the ultimate goal...

We first came across Diageo's "Casks of Distinction" programme during our visit to Johnnie Walker House in Singapore in 2016, and since then we've seen some impressive bottles bottled from some of Diageo's best malt distilleries, including Port Ellen and Lagavulin. The program, more or less a private cask ownership program, sees Diageo offering up a small selection of high quality casks (literally "Casks of Distinction") each year for private ownership.

Having tried 7 or 8 "CoD" bottlings so far (including an excellent HK-exclusive Lagavulin, for which we'll post notes shortly), I personally haven't been disappointed by any of them. This Clynelish however was something really special. Distilled in 1983 and bottled in 2018 (at 35 years old), it is easily the most impressive modern Clynelish I've ever had the pleasure of trying.

This particular cask (Hogshead #2566) was bottled by our good friends Dram Good Stuff, under their "Dram Good Casks" label. DGS also had a small portion of the outturn bottled for Aaron Chan of whisky bar Club Qing, as well as for Bank of Singapore, but the remainder (and the majority) was bottled under the "Dram Good Casks" label you see above.

Clynelish fans in HK and Singapore should definitely give this a look-in, as this one truly is a "cask of distinction" and will no doubt impress even the most hardcore Clynelish fan. See my notes below.

1983 Clynelish 35yo "Casks of Distinction"Single Cask #2566 exclusively bottled for Dram Good Stuff (52.2% ABV, 35yo, Highlands, bottle 144 of 144)
Colour: Yellow golden sunset.

Nose: Opening with enticing, invigorating clean, fresh waxy green apple notes (yep, it's definitely a Clynelish), you then start to experience wafts of earthy smoke, sweet pot-pourri-like floral notes, and baked apple pie (with a slightly burnt crust). This is a nose that warrants sitting on for a while - revisit it many times over a 20-30 minute period and you'll be rewarded with a changing and constantly delicious profile.

Palate: Starting with vanilla orange cream, much like the nose it then starts to evolve over time - with marmalade and mandarin notes showing at first, then a slight junipery-pepper note, more green apples and some of the floral notes from the nose returning. There's oak, but never too much, and it works in perfect harmony with the many other notes that appear over time. As with the nose, this is a dram that rewards time - the more you spend with it, the more you'll get from it.

Finish: Long, waxy, with hints of oak (never dominating), grassy freshness and finally back to those delicious green apple notes. An incredibly satisfying end to a beautiful dram.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  93/100. Truly excellent.

A limited number of these bottles are available - contact Dram Good Stuff (mention or contact us and we'll be happy to put you in touch.


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