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Clynelish 14 Year Old Flora & Fauna




Whisky Review: Clynelish 14 Year Old Flora & Fauna

Tasting Notes:

This Clynelish 14 Year Old was bottled by Diageo as part of a special release series, which began in 1991. Famed whisky writer, Michael Jackson, later referred to the series as ‘Flora & Fauna’, and the name stuck. This 14 Year Old is often credited with being the whisky that kickstarted Clynelish’s comeback in 2002.
Ice wine
That lemony/wax tang that we all expect from Clynelish is right upfront. Loads of freshly cut grass, petrichor, and fresh pear juice moving around the glass. More candied fruit starts to pop out the longer it’s in the glass, candied lemon peel and orange peel, but the grassy notes are the dominant force, with some very light notes of caramel in there as well.
Oily! Even at 43%. A really dense texture that has so much fresh fruit bursting from it: apples, pears, white grapes and orange. A delicate salty note also working it’s way around, with the lightest touch of barrel spice, but it comes across as a gentle heat at the back of the tongue. More candied fruits and the creamy caramel note coming back in.
Rich, oily, full, and gently sweet. You get this backdraft of juicy fruit, it’s almost like bubblegum, but it seems lile darker and richer fruits: blackberries and red grapes. A real fruit cordial finish to this.
Excellent but really showing what Clynelish really used to be. The newer bottles I’ve had aren’t a patch on this. Perfect summer whisky.

A bottle of Clynelish 14 Year Old Flora & Fauna

Diageo’s so-called ‘Flora & Fauna’ series was launched in 1991, comprising 22 single malt whiskies. The series was a chance for then-owners United Distillers to showcase its portfolio. In the case of Clynelish, however, the series embodied a chance to relaunch a brand.

The success of this Clynelish 14 Year Old Flora & Fauna prompted Diageo, the distillery’s owner, to revamp the brand in 2002. Clynelish as we know it today was built in 1967 as a sister distillery to Brora (originally called Clynelish). For a while, the new distillery was mainly a contributor to blends. However, in 2002, the 14 Year Old was officially launched as a rebottling of the Flora & Fauna release. 

It is safe to say that if it were not for this Clynelish 14 Year Old Flora & Fauna, the distillery would not have had such a remarkable comeback. Diageo has since invested large amounts of money in the brand. Brora reopened in 2021, meaning that the sister distilleries are both producing whisky once more. 

Again, the availability of this bottling in the UK far exceeds that in the United States. Consequently, the Clynelish 14 Year Old Flora & Fauna retails at higher prices in the US (around $999 compared to around £550 in the UK).

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