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Recently Mike visited the beautiful distillery of Dalwhinnie in the snow and very thoughtfully brought back some samples for me to try and for us both to write tasting notes on. Quite a few of the samples reminded me of the Clynelish house style as you will see below.
Mike had a great informal tour of the distillery. It had been a while since he had been round and he was surprised to be reminded how small the facility is. It is well worth a visit and the Visitor Center is great with a cracking selection of tastings to have after your tour. All paired with fabulous Highland Chocolatier delights.
One cold, dark winters night by lamplight in the middle of nowhere, here's how we got on with our tasting:
15 Years Old
Nose: Hints of maple and sherry wood mingle together. Sweet wood and mushroom risotto becomes pineapple and pears in a wooden bowl.
Taste: Candy sweetness. Oak sawdust spiced pineapple chunks, becomes clementine liqueur. Macerated opal fruits with a touch of wax.
Nose: Pineapple in orange juice with oak sprinkles, becomes cinnamon spiced Granny Smith's apples.
Taste: Spiced creaminess with hints of peppered raisins. A touch of burnt toffee. Christmas oranges
25 Years Old
Nose: Orange scented candles with white pepper. Warm sweet coconut oil and warm pine needles. Becomes tinned tropical fruits with more white pepper.
Taste: Warm pineapple rings with cracked pepper. Midori. Wood spice and powdered ginger.
Distillery Only Bottling
Nose: Spiced banana with toffee sauce, becomes more tropical fruits - pineapple, mango and then chocolate toffee orange.
Taste: Creamy and fresh. Clean vanilla lime and creme brulee. Just really, really nice orange liqueur.
Nose: Pine fresh. Damp sawdust. Clear varnish. Liquorice and menthol on the breeze. Fennel and wooden raisins.
Taste: Very clean spice with a hint of toffee. Peppered wax and ripe bananas.