Clynelish 5 yo (43%, OB, Di Chiano, Italy, +/-1970) We’ve already written a tasting note for a UK version around ten years ago (WF 91) but it’s the first time we’re formally tasting this Italian bottling. Not that I’ve never tried it before ;-). Oh and yes, of course, this is ‘Old’ Clynelish, so pre-Brora Brora, so to speak. Colour: gold. Nose: one of the sootiest malts ever. We’re in an old basement, full of old pieces of iron, coal, tools, rusty nails and screws. There’s also grandpa’s old motorcycle, old books and magazines, old iPhones (I’m joking), last year’s advent wreath, a pile of old records, and yeah, quite a lot of soot, saltpetre, and coal dust. And all that is stunning. Mouth: excellently Clynelish. Umami, salty chicken bouillon, crystallised oranges and citrons, this feeling of soot yet again, linseed oil and candle wax, and then a touch of Tabasco or any soft chilli sauce. Perhaps Espelette chillies? Surprisingly salty, and unsurprisingly fat and waxy. Big mouth feel. Finish: long and even saltier, almost as if you had downed a glass of seawater. Smoky, slightly acrid aftertaste. Quite. Comments: only flipside, this is no surprise. Majestic spirit, totally grand cru. Some great 1960s distillate, these little 5s being just as great as the 12s in my opinion. SGP:362 - 93 points.