Clynelish 10yo – Hedges & Butler

Clynelish Distillery

You may have seen from our social media channels recently that we were at Maltstock, a brilliantly geeky and super-chilled whisky festival held on the outskirts of Nijmegen in The Netherlands. Amongst all the other frivolities (and there were many) that weekend, there was a raffle which I was coerced into buying a few tickets for. Much to my surprise I actually won a couple of things, one of which was this wee miniature of Clynelish. I remember thinking at the time: “Oh shit, that’s pretty cool. But why is a cigarette company bottling whisky?” (my eyesight wasn’t particularly on point at that moment). I subsequently stuck the mini in my pocket and duly forgot all about it. It wasn’t until I got home and started the endless task of washing what seemed like an entire year’s worth of clothes that I found it again and started looking into it a bit more.

Hedges & Butler… not Benson & Hedges like I originally googled… were established in London in 1667 and primarily made their money as a wine and spirits merchant. They even gained Royal Warrants from King George IV and Queen Victoria before moving into producing blended whisky just before WWII. From there the company was traded a few times and the brand is now under the ownership of Ian MacLeod, of Glengoyne and Tamdhu fame. This expression of Clynelish was distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2003 as a 10yo, and was mainly available on the European continent.

Clynelish 10yo
Hedges & Butler
€99.95 here

Nose: Green bananas, toffee apples, dusty lemons and a touch of mint to begin. Then there’s paraffin, honeycomb and faint smoke.

Palate: The trademark waxiness is there in spades, along with a gingery spice, apple cores, pear skins and polished wood. Then there’s a hint of leather and some dry wood smoke.

Finish: Salted crisps mix with charred logs.

Overall: A very interesting Clynelish and one I rather enjoyed. There’s quite a bit of body to it, and the fatty, waxy, notes are very prominent on the palate along with a nice bit of fruit on a background of smoke. Definitely worth parting with €1 for a raffle ticket.



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