Sunday 9 October 2022

Hidden Spirits Clynelish 26yo 1992-2019 [Tasted #588]

There's no doubt about it, Clynelish is a legendary distillery and throughout its history there have been some incredible bottles - especially from the 60s and 70s, and of course any "pre-Brora Clynelish" - these are bottles commanding huge premiums today, even for what was at the time a "standard" 12 year old (or younger) whisky.

Every now and then, a newer, "modern" Clynelish comes along, gets a great review and the whisky world goes into a bit of a frenzy. Probably the most notable / recent example of such a bottle was Hidden Spirits' 1992 26yo "Highproof" Clynelish, bottled from a single cask (#CY9219, if you're interested) in 2019 with an outturn of only 193 bottles.

I missed the boat on release, but managed to grab a sample from Timeless & Tasty (who do still have a great range of Clynelish in Hong Kong), giving me the opportunity to see if the hype was justified for this whisky which Serge Valentin famously gave a 94...

Hidden Spirits' 1992 "Highproof" Clynelish 26yo (50.1% ABV, 26yo, 1 of 193 bottles, Highlands, Scotland)
Colour: Light copper-gold.

Nose: Big notes of wax and yellow fruit - peach, pear, followed by sherbert. With water I found a little salinity.

Palate: Follows the nose well - viscous and waxy, with apples, pears and peaches. There's a little earthiness, a little sweetness, and a little grassiness. With water, a touch meatier, more salinity again. Overall very mouth-filling, rich and creamy.

Finish: Long, earthy, salted meats.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. Yes, it's a very well-made, elegant, and well-integrated whisky. Very balanced too, with all the notes working in harmony. Is it a 94? Not in my books, but I'm not the world's foremost Clynelish expert either....a very solid dram regardless.


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