I admit I never heard on Dun Bheagan before meeting this bottling and I thought to myself: “Oh well, must be some small and unknown independent bottler”, but searching the internet revealed this to be one of the brands under Ian MacLeod umbrella (owners of Tamdhu, Glengoyne) and a sister brand to Chieftain’s which I already encountered.
The search revealed Ian MacLeod has stocked many Clynelish casks releasing them over the years but this expression is a unique Clynelish. It’s a a vatting of two casks (No. 93451 and 93453) who were distilled April 1997, finished in Rum casks and bottled at Aug 2012.
How does the Clynelish character with the maritime and waxy notes fare after adding the Rum touch?
Clynelish Dun Bheagan 15 Years Rum Finish (48.3%, 813 bottles, € 71.5)
Nose: Rum impact is quite noticeable as it hits you with overripe banana and crisp brown sugar and on a back burner there are the wax, brine, vanilla and honey notes. After letting it rest in the glass for a bit, the notes are more pronounced and we get some cheese lactic (almost spoiled) and green peppers. Adding water reveals more natural fruits sweetness and even more cheesy edge.
Palate: Spicy oak, rum and demerara sugar, nutmeg, whipped cream. With water it’s lighter, even more whipped, and air-full.
Finish: Short medium, linger sweetness, demerara, vanilla honey.
Conclusion: This whisky still features the Clynelish trademarks albeit in a minor way. The Rum impact is there and lovely but the big issue here is that the marriage here doesn’t bring anything new and interesting to the table – there’s Clynelish and there’s Rum but the meshing is meh and I have the feeling it can be better. Still, there’s no shame in trying it and overall It’s a very nice try.