Post by Stefan of Tokyo Whisky Hub.
A few weeks ago, we looked at a series of single cask bottlings of Scotch whisky for the Japanese market featuring deep-sea creatures. Astute readers will remember that this was one of three new series launched by Whisk-e this autumn. I promised to fill you in on the other two, so here we are with the second one, and for this one, we're leaving the depths of the oceans to seek pleasure a little higher... actually, a lot higher. It may seem a bit cocky to call a series "Stellar Selection", so without further ado, let's see if it is stellar in more than just the literal sense of the term.
Let's start off with the Clynelish (1996/2012, bottled at 55.4% abv). The nose is very light with notes of green apples and baked goods (shortbread, Dutch spice bread, ...) at the centre. Water stresses the apple note and brings out sweeter notes, such as manuka honey and Werther's Original, as well as adding a light floral note (not my forte, flowers, so I'll leave it at that!). It's light but wonderfully fresh. The palate delivers citrus notes, a hint of rice pudding and oatmeal and some ethereal woody notes. It's beautiful but fragile (and in large part, beautiful because of its fragility). With water, it loses its definition so this is definitely one to enjoy at cask strength.
The context and the whiskies reminded me of a passage in Simone Weil's Gravity and Grace: "Stars and blossoming fruit trees: Utter permanence and extreme fragility give an equal sense of eternity." These two whiskies really express the fragility of that equation. I'd be hard pressed to choose one over the other - they are sublime in their own way. There's no doubt in my mind that the people at Whisk-e really nailed it when they called this a "Stellar Selection".
Some of our readers abroad have inquired as to how to get hold of these bottles. We're happy to report that both the Clynelish and Linkwood are now available directly from Whisk-e, but only for people residing abroad (i.e. not for Japanese customers, for the simple reason that they are available from decent retailers throughout the country).