SMWS Advent Calendar: Day 13

Day number 13 of the SMWS Advent Calendar is upon us, which means we’ve passed the halfway mark with this dram. To celebrate this fact, the creators of this advent calendar chose to hide a 10-year-old from Clynelish- nicknamed Polished and Refined – behind today’s door. I am a huge fan of Clynelish, and this one is finished in first fill ex-bourbon barrels as well (which I personally think is the best fitting barrel for their distillate). So, let’s see of today’s “bad-luck” number will bring me some whisky joy.

Tasting Notes: Society Cask 26.186 “Polished and Refined”

ABV: 59.2% (118.4proof)

Age: 10 years old

Distillery: Clynelish

Bottled by: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Category: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

SMWS Flavour Profile: Sweet, Fruity & Mellow

Chill-filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Nose:

What a gorgeous nose there is on this one. There are balls of cotton candy and fruitella gummies, right of the bat. There’s a fruit yoghurt quality in it as well, with the fruit elements coming from forest fruits. The forest fruits consist of blackberries, elder berries and wild plum. Painting a beautiful bouquet of fruit on your olfactory receptors. There’s also candy in there, specifically haribo peaches. And the fruity sweetness just goes on and on.

Palate:

The palate reveals a much rawer side to this dram, than the nose would have you believe is there. I’m getting black pepper and plenty of tannins. The tannins are not the unpleasant kind however, in this case they give an extra layer to this dram without becoming overwhelming at any point. There are some light citrus influences as well, in the form of passion fruit. And a little bit of the creamy white layer that you’ll find between the two halves of an oreo cookie. Where the nose was dominantly sweet, the palate is a bit more balanced with the addition of the beforementioned tannins. Usually, I like a little balance to my dram, but I wouldn’t have minded the sweetness of the nose to show up more on the palate either. It was that good.

Finish:

The finish is long and mellow. There’s some liquorice root showing up here and some peppermint as well. And both flavours are coated in honey. The tannins are there as well, but only in the background. It’s not a palate that evolves too much; it just relaxes in your presence. The flavours stay strong for a long time though, which I can truly appreciate. And even though it’s not the most complex part of this dram, I still find it ever so pleasant.  

Verdict:

Polished and Refined surprised me, like drams from this distillery almost always do. That’s one of the reasons I’m such a big fan of Clynelish; even when I go in with high expectations, I’m still almost always pleasantly surprised. This dram gives you a wonderful journey, through its nose, palate and finish. The three parts are very different from one another, yet they fit together well. Like a well-choreographed play. I’d invite anyone who owns this wonderful dram to sit back, and just enjoy watching the story of this whisky unfold. Pure enjoyment is what it brings. As you may have noticed I didn’t even add water to this dram. Normally I always do, to experience what it’s like with a few drops. But I was enjoying this glass so thoroughly, that I emptied it before I got around to it. I guess that says it all…

Rating:

92/100

How did I know this was a Clynelish? Just look at the code and find it in my SMWS bottle codes list!

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