Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Malt Mission 2008 #228

Clynelish 15yo
McGibbons Provenance

Summer 1989-2005

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

46% abv

Douglas Laing's McGibbons Provenance range is divided into the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. (Incidentally, you can experience all four in a single day in Scotland, so dress appropriately!) Apparently the 'McGibbons' name comes from Ileachs (folks from Islay) on the Laings mother's side of the family.

As any reader of Dr. Whisky knows, Clynelish is a sweetheart of mine and is really coming into its own as a brand. Diageo released a Distillers Edition of the malt and has already released a second edition. Independently bottled single casks of the stuff abound and they are always tasty (SMWS, Single Malts of Scotland, Douglas Laing, Cadenheads, etc.)

Similar to Malt Mission #65, this particular expression was selected by the members of the Edinburgh University Water of Life Society and Darren Leitch of The Whisky Shop May 19, 2005, back when I was poet laureate for the club, which basically meant that when the crowd of 50 students was well warmed up I would spit some rhymes at them about the water of life.


Oh yeah, this is right up my alley. Great spread of aromas from rich honey and malted barley to buttermilk pancakes to cans of peaches (with an emphasis on the can) to almonds and figs to salted cod musty oak to single cream and cheesecake. Complex and challenging without ever losing its whisky character. Clynelish, I think I love you, but I want to know for sure...

Taste explodes with intense honey(a benchmark Clynelish characteristic), strawberry Nutri-Grain bars and/or cheesecake, some seaweed drying on the shore, and coca cola gummies. The oaky resin, chinese-style pork, and a faint industrial smokiness adds a counter balance to this immense rich sweetness. The flavours disappear slowly leaving buttery toast and musty oak.


Wild thing, you make my heart sing. Another stellar whisky that emphasises the point that 'smooth' is not (necessarily) a desirable feature. Fuck that. This has bite, and teeth, and nails. Yeah. This has everything that I want in whisky, a complex nose, rich malty sweetness with fudge and honey, sherry and oak accents, and a short enough finish that makes me keep the glass within arms reach at all times. This is a dram that makes me say things like "Northen Highlands produce the greatest whiskies," or "Clynelish is my favourite distillery". What do you say?

Malt Mission #226
Malt Mission #227
Malt Mission #229
Malt Mission #230

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