The original Clynelish distillery was built in 1819 by the reviled Duke of Sutherland as part of the infamous Highland Clearances project. It is somewhat satisfying then that it failed to make much of an impression during these early years, going through a long period of turmoil before finding its way into the hands of John Walker and DCL in 1930. This proved a real turning point though, and in 1967 it was decided that a larger, more modern distillery was needed to keep up with demand. This newer distillery is the one we associate today with the name Clynelish; the original being renamed Brora (after the neighbouring town) in 1969 to avoid confusion.
Perhaps surprisingly, due to the high regard with which its signature “waxy” style is held amongst whisky fans, Clynelish doesn't have much in the way of a core range beyond it's 14 year old; with most of its presence as a single malt down to current owner Diageo's annual releases, or releases by independent bottlers. Instead it is most often found in blends, and it provides the heart of Johnnie Walker's Gold Label Reserve.
Filled into its cask on Hogmanay (that's New Years Eve for you non Scots) 1973, this represents the oldest single malt bottled at Clynelish so far. Interestingly the tasting notes for this regal old highlander suggest something fairly Brora-y...
Age: 41 years old
Cask Type: Refill Hogshead
Cask Number: 16802
45.2% ABV / 70cl
Bottle Number: 83 / 144
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