Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Cask Strength – Clynelish 2005 (55.1%)

Gordon & MacPhail have revamped their bottlings, and consolidated some of the many “mini brands” into only five very clear lines of products. Connoisseurs Choice is at the heart of the range. It includes both cask strength and reduced strength whisky, always carrying a vintage statement on the label. These are single casks or a few casks vatted together.

Photo Credit: Gordon & MacPhail

The other Gordon & MacPhail ranges are: the Discovery range – the range caters to newcomers to the G&M portfolio, color coded into “smoky” “bourbon” and “sherry” designations; Distillery Labels is the “unofficial official bottling” program the company held for decades for distilleries like Mortlach, Strathisla, Pulteney, Ardmore, Scapa, Glentauchers and Linkwood.

Gordon & MacPhail will reveal the Private Collection and Generations ranges revamped design sometime in the fall of 2018.

Obviously, the bottles may have changed, but the liquid inside hasn’t. You know what you’re getting with every purchase, and you know it will be a quality product.

This is a bottle of Clynelish from a single sherry butt, but with a very gentle sherry influence.  I got to enjoy it with great friends on a small island in the Finnish archipelago, in what is probably the best setting for a dram in the whole wide world.

Photo Credit: Whisky-Online.com

Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Cask Strength Clynelish 2005, Refill Sherry Butt 18/012, Yielded 518 Bottles (55.1% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Amber, Viscous with quite a bit of residue on the glass.

Nose: Starts out closed hinting at honey and spice. There’s a touch of fresh stone fruit and more honey, with hints of sweet wood spices and some orange.

Palate: Honey and lots of wax, with allspice and some cinnamon.
Water adds spice, with a touch of cardamom and helps the wax stand out.

Linger: Waxy, citrusy, and peppery staying long on the tongue. After water, the pepper stays even longer on the tongue.


It’s good, but I would expect that a few months in the open bottle will take it to a whole new level. There’s a lot of potential in this one, especially if it loses some of the heat in the finish.

A wonderfully fun whisky for a sunny evening on a Finnish island….Skål!

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