The nose on the SCN Clynelish 2011 9yo opens with dark cherry candies embedded in the knotholes of old wide-cut pine board flooring—or wide-waled corduroy trousers. I’m sliding on my knees down a ski jump of caramel that was made from demerara sugar and Irish butter, spinning out at the bottom like the infamous Wide World of Sports “Agony of Defeat” guy. Microdroplets of the vanilla-y bourbon-y caramels are also placed into my nostrils, exquisitely, deftly, by a neurosurgeon wielding a gastronomique pipette with a 1 nanometer opening. (Yes, the delicate operation took a long time.) I feel like I’m falling asleep in the I Dream of Genie lamp with Barbara Eden. More like Clyne-unleashed, amirite????
The mouth brings more delicious candy like a user crushed the Candy Crush app and the candy became real. It’s like capturing a leprechaun and forcing him to take me to the pot at the end of the rainbow, then finding out that not gold, but Hanukkah gelt, comprised the treasure therein. John went straight to the Orgasmatron from the movie Sleeper—definitely not to be confused with the movies Sleepers or Sleepless in Seattle—but that’s just John being John. It’s bright and berrylicious; with water, it’s enrobed in fresh linen woven from flax. There’s also an incredible high note, found by Stephen (Did he hear it? Did he find it under a rock?), like an English horn solo as styled by Ornette Coleman during his Lonely Woman phase.
On the finish: Jelly. More berry jelly, and maybe lime jello, too. It runs on eternally, like Beethoven’s immortally legendary 10th symphony, which exists only in my mind. But (whilst taking on the accents, postures, and tweed jackets of an Oxbridge lecturer) does any sensation truly exist outside of the mind? After reflections are over, wax and grilled caramelized pineapples are transmuted, nay transfigured, into a numinous nectar, sparkling with understated peppery sage. Shine on, you crazy diamond.
Spice billows forth on the finish. Minty spice, like an afterdinner sweetness. Minty without menthol. It doesn’t feel like it’s going down, it’s spreading its butterfly wings. It’s Wings of Desire where the angels want to be mortal again–just to get their hands on this heavenly nectar.
On the scale of psychedelic bands named after fruits–
The Single Cask Nation Clynelish 2011 9yo is Tangerine Dream–As noted in Wikipedia, “the Japanese electronic musician Susumu Hirasawa dedicated his song ‘Island Door (Paranesian Circle)’ (トビラ島（パラネシアン・サークル), Tobira Shima (Paraneshian Circle)) to Tangerine Dream. At 13 minutes, it is Hirasawa’s longest composition.” It’s hard to imagine a better encomium to Tangerine Dream, and it’s equally hard to imagine a better encomium to the SCN Clynelish.
–Our thanks to Jess Lomas and Single Cask Nation for the sample!