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  • Writer's pictureGirl with Cask Strength

Review: Clynelish 10 Year Old (Diageo Special Releases 2023)

Clynelish 10 Year Old (Diageo Special Releases 2023)

Cask Info: Matured in first-fill Bourbon casks

ABV

Chill Filtration

Natural Color

Price

57.5%

No

Yes

$170


Clynelish 10 Year Old (Diageo Special Releases 2023)

Nose: The nose opens with white fruits — pear, unripe banana, lime zest, and peach tea. There’s also a sweet powdery scent, with notes of vanilla and crème brûlée custard. A splash of water reveals pickled ginger and some green notes that remind me of fresh thyme.


Palate: It’s a lot less waxy on the palate than I expected. Sweet on arrival with assertive tropical fruit notes. First, I get guava, grapefruit, and pineapple. The sweetness goes into the background quickly, while ground white pepper kicks in. Surprisingly, water makes the texture more waxy. It brings out more sweetness and takes away the tropical fruits. The citrus note remains though.


Finish: The finish is short to medium at best. There’s a balanced mixture of sweetness, mild spiciness, and hints of bitterness. Unripe banana returns, with a touch of tangy green apple and, toward the end, sea water.


Final Thought: I did a side-by-side comparison of this expression and Clynelish 14 Year Old (original bottling, retails around $80). Clynelish 14 is fruity in a slightly different way, with a bit of raisins, honey, and nutty notes in addition to citrus. It’s more waxy on the palate with hints of brine and sea salt. And it has a longer finish too. Overall, I find the Clynelish 14 more complex and full-bodied. To be clear, I don’t think this 10-year-old special release is disappointing. To some extent, I don’t even think these two expressions are comparable. But if whisky is about bringing joy, then Clynelish 14 is a clear winner to me.


A note to the marketers at Diageo: Dude, it doesn’t scream any jazzy vibes at all!


Girl with Cask Strength Score: 86/100.

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