At the moment I have quite a few single malts of Clynelish on the list to review and this Clynelish 2008 was one of them. It’s a 10 year old youngster of the biggest and oldest bottler in the Netherlands, Van Wees.

Founded in 1921, then still trading in tobacco products, Van Wees has been around for many years. But after the profit on the tobacco products decreases, Van Wees decides to make a switch to alcoholic beverages for which they are licensed in 1963. After that, the company grows steadily due to the increasing demand for whisky in the Netherlands over the years. Finally, in 1994 The Ultimate is launched and that proved to be a success and that is still the case today.

Van Wees basically bottles all brands and the characteristic bottle with the red cap and that never-changing label may not look fancy, but it does show all the information you want to know, such as distillery, year of distillation, cask type, cask number and bottle date. In addition to that, Van Wees’s bottlings are also very well priced and they generally select fine whiskies.

This Clynelish has matured in a 1st fill bourbon barrel for 10 years and is bottled at 56.5% ABV.

Clynelish 2008 tasting notes:

Nose: A trace of smoke at first, but disappears rather quickly. vanilla custard and some wax in the background. Green apples. A little lemon. And some sweetness from honey. Chalk. With water: Sweeter and creamier. More vanilla custard and pears.

Taste: vanilla here as well and quite creamy. There’s a trace of smoke so it seems. A sugary barley sweetness is coming forward. Unripe pears. A salty note and minerals in the background. Later also honey. A hint of chalk. A light alcohol burn, which makes is slightly peppery and gives it a bit of a bitter edge. With water: Also lemons and more vanilla, but softer if that makes any sense. A hint of melon in the very background.

Finish: mid-long, minerals and honey. Water brings out chalk.

I like this one, it’s young but it definitely has those lovely Clynelish notes. Not very complex, but tasty indeed.

Also nice to see is that more and more cask strength releases are being released by Van Wees, where this used to be mainly bottlings at a strength of 46%.