Taste: SMWS 26.101 An autumn feast at springtime

I always have a soft spot for Clynelish and when the Scotch Malt Whisky Society announced it was bottling 26.101 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their Queen Street venue, well I couldn’t resist. The bottle label features a Parisian styled painting of the venue exterior that upped my attraction.

Regulars will know my appreciation of whisky goes beyond just the contents. The bottle shape is often overlooked by many. When this vessel is adorned with labelling that breaks free of the traditional Scottish shackles, then potentially something interesting is at hand. This is particularly true of many Japanese releases and hopefully we’ll see more inventiveness over here. For example Cadenhead’s going back to the classic dumpy bottles for some of their ranges. I have a recent BenRaich they released and it is stunning in its black and white simplicity.

I digress, back onto this 26.101 which is just 9 years old from Clynelish, bottled at a feisty 59.3% and a release of 247 bottles. Many will have made an order online and received the bottle, but if you were able to visit the Queen Street venue in person, then chances are you would have also been given a rather plush accompanying box. Both are pictured within this review and there is no difference to the bottles themselves.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society have named this bottle ‘An autumn feast at springtime’, so let’s see if the contents can push me into these seasonal realms.

Distillery: Clynelish
Distilled: 2005
Bottled: 2014
Strength: 59.3%
Cask: 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel
Price: £55.70
Edition: 247 bottles

Colour: lime juice

Aroma: now this one does need water to really take the alcohol edge off proceedings. First arrival is coconut followed by lime. A menthol note, marshmallows, green tea then pistachios and pina colada. A surprisingly summer drenched Clynelish.

Taste: after some memory searching I’m saying Jaffa Cakes. More coconut in abundance, a touch of cocoa and black pepper but sadly not much depth or range of flavour. It is a tad on the youthful side and on the palate this shows.    

Well, this Clynelish certainly transported me to another season but more a summer’s evening. A solid enough dram particularly with the nosing, but in the mouth this youthful sprite is a little short of character. Still, I do think this is reflected in the asking price and I do love the label. 


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