Clynelish 37 Year Old 1972 Celtic Label Series – Book of Kells Highland Single Malt

Clynelish 37 Year Old 1972 Celtic Label Series – Book of Kells Highland Single Malt

$4,700 AUD

58.9% 70cl

An extraordinary bottling by Gordon & MacPhail in their Celtic Label Series for the famous French whisky house of La Maison du Whisky.

Distilled on 14 November 1972 and then matured in a refill Sherry hogshead cask (number 14300) until the date of bottling on 17 August 2010 – over 37 years later.

Destined strictly for the French market and so difficult to find elsewhere – in fact anywhere!

Tasting Notes

Colour: gold. Nose: it’s not the expected fruity explosion that strikes first here, rather something vinous that borders balsamic vinegar and ‘old boy’s jam’ (several fruits in eau-de-vie). No huge quantities of fruits in the background either, rather some coastal notes, seashells, seaweed… Not often to be found in 1972 Clynelishes. Also some antique wood, beeswax, dried fruits (here we go!), figs, dates, litchis, tangerines, then oriental pastries, something earthy, humus… It’s all very complex! It’s also rather sooty. With water: more damp wood and these balsamic notes are back as well. Smells almost like mead now. A very old, long forgotten wine cellar? Mouth (neat): once, it’s not as directly fruity as expected, rather resinous and slightly bitter (Jägermeister). We have also many spices, soft curry, liquorice, maybe even a little pastis, an obvious saltiness, quite some orange zests and marmalade… What’s more, it’s easily sippable at 55%! Keeps developing, becoming very, very lemony (liqueurs). Not a classic 1972 Clynelish but this kind of variant is truly excellent. With water: rounder, more honeyed, with the lemon remaining in the background and then more soot and even a faint smokiness. Quite some salt as well. Finish: rather long, maybe a tad more ‘fuzzy’ than usual and more on stewed fruits and bananas flambéed. In the aftertaste: a lot of liquorice and even more salt. (Whiskyfun)


This product is located in Australia.


Clynelish Distillery

Many distilleries have undergone name changes during the course of their history which can lead to confusion and that is all the more so when you get two distilleries swapping names, as is the case with Clynelish and Brora. To get the early history of Clynelish please look at the entry for Brora under Ghost Distilleries.

The distillery in its current form dates from the 1960s. Part of the fields of Clynelish Farm, adjacent to the old distillery of that name but which reverted to Brora, were pressed into service to provide space for the new distillery for which a totally new water supply had to be found. This was essentially the old water supply for the town of Brora, for which a new source had been identified. As I said at the time of my visit in 1985, “Clynelish and Brora, standing together, reflect in a unique way the old and the new in this evergreen industry”.

As if in the wake of the Brora phenomenon, early bottles of Clynelish  are also becoming collectors’ items and may soon have investment status.