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  • Writer's pictureHarold

Clynelish BQSV's

No, it’s not a new Four Roses yeast strain. They’ll be no talk about bourbon 'round here! The BQSV acronym was just something I came up with because the wave of 1995 Clynelish releases Signatory Vintage put out, between 2017-2021, all happen to sound like a Brooklyn/Queens zip code. I apologize for the non-New Yorkers…and everyone else that find this of little interest, but I thought it was at least something of note. Maybe not. Oh well.

Perhaps more interesting would be that most of the 17 (by my count) SV releases from that time period tend to average around an 89 on Whiskybase, with only a couple of exceptions. All refill sherry....all 21+ years of age with one unfortunate similarity between the reviews as well…they tend to have a little sulphur.

For anyone that caught my review of the Bruichladdich Rivesaltes Duo, you’ll have noticed that sulphur and I...don’t tend to get along. Some people call it a higher sensitivity, but I relate to it more as a tolerance issue. Even so, I’ll always admit that a touch of sulphur can occasionally add some really nice depth to some otherwise “lacking” whiskies. Some people actually love it, similar to the bourbon taters and their love of “hazmat” style bourbons…OK, now that's two bourbon references too many…time to drink something that’s actually NOT AFRIAD to age in refill!

Clynelish (Signatory Vintage) 1995/23 Year |Cask Strength Collection|  Refill Sherry Butt #11227 - 56.3%
Bottle Image Credit: Spirit Radar

Clynelish (Signatory Vintage)

1995/23 Year

|Cask Strength Collection|

Refill Sherry Butt 11227 - 56.3%

Appearance: Deep auburn/Mahogany

First Whiff: Melted honey on a brown leather couch.

Nose: Ethanol…bit of an unbalanced start. Musty stone fruits, peaches, apricots, maraschino cherries. Mineral and metallic. With water: Not much help/difference. Touches of pencil shavings and cough syrup.

Palate: Refill indeed. Oily...very VERY subtle wax but deadened by the weight of the alcohol. The sulphur note’s there but certainly not overwhelming. More unwanted in this case…sort of like a third wheel on the cask and distillate’s date night. More metallic stone fruits too, mostly those cocktail cherries, maraschino/amarena. With water: Cocoa dusted apricots, peaches.

Finish: : Resinous/woody character. Very distillate driven. Unbalanced wood burn that seems to fade into hot honey.

Summary: Feels like this was a very “run-down” refill cask. I’d wager this was a 3rd or even 4th fill (blasphemous!), but that’s pure speculation on my part. I can see why this would appeal to some (like the Whiskybase community), but it was hard for me to get past the burn. It had the feeling of an overused pencil eraser at times.


Clynelish (Signatory Vintage)  1995/23 Year Refill Sherry Butt #11252 (20th Anniversary of The Whisky Exchange) - 55.4%
Bottle Image Credit: Whiskybase

Clynelish (Signatory Vintage)

1995/23 Year Refill Sherry Butt 11252 (20th Anniversary of The Whisky Exchange) - 55.4%

Appearance: Auburn (Actually lighter than the previous pour...don't always believe the pics, folks!)

First Whiff: Cooked candied apples.

Nose: Musty caramel, honey. Bit of ethanol fragrance…nail polish, wood varnish. Subtle spices, cinnamon, and nutmeg covered apricots. With water: Seems to bring out the bitter chocolate side…nutty too. Dark chocolate covered raisins/hazelnuts.

Palate: Tad sweeter than the previous cask but still alcohol/distillate driven. Some lemony citrus parts in the back…dried oranges, grapefruits. With water: Much better…getting stewed white plums now.

Finish: Medium. Citrus heavy…dulling grapefruit. Bitter dark chocolate at the end.

Summary: Had some promise but, like the previous cask, there was a bit of unbalance and strife. I remember this was “hailed” as a legendary pour on social media when it was first released, and perhaps my palate back then would’ve agreed. Today I’d hope for a little more at this price point, especially at its current auction value.



Clynelish BQSV's


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