Clynelish

Location and contact details

Location" Location: Clynelish Distillery, Brora, Sutherland, KW9 6LR
Visitor Visit Type: Vistor Centre
Co-ordinates" Co-ordinates: 58.024336, -3.867474
Telephone" Telephone: +44 (0) 1408 623 000
Email" Email: clynelish.distillery[at]diageo.com
Web" Web: https://www.discovering-distilleries.com/clynelish/
Twitter" Twitter: DiscoverDistilleries (@12distilleries)

Facts and figures

LocationClynelish Distillery, Brora, Sutherland, KW9 6LR
OwnerDiageo
Water SourceClynemilton Burn
Stills3 wash stills
3 spirit stills
Capacity3,400,000 litres

Opening Hours

Opening hours vary through the year; check for details of opening hours

Tours

Clynelish Distillery Tour

£6 (£5 discount off the purchase of any one 70cl bottle of single malt)

Guided tour of the distillery with a dram of Clynelish 14 year old single malt

Taste of Clynelish Tour

£12 (£5 discount off the purchase of any one 70cl bottle of single malt)

Guided tour and tasting of our Clynelish 14 year old, Clynelish Distillery Only Cask Strength Bottling and Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve

Taste of the Highlands Tour

£45 (£5 discount off the purchase of any one 70cl bottle of single malt)

Private extended guided tour of the Clynelish Distillery with tasting. Tasting includes the Clynelish 14 year old, Clynelish Distillery Only Cask Strength Bottling, Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve also sampling and tasting direct from casks of Clynelish 1988 and Teaninich 1985. This tour must be booked in advance, please contact the distillery to arrange a tour – minimum of two people, maximum of eight.

The Clynelish Experience

£70 (£5 discount off the purchase of any one 70cl bottle of single malt)

Private extended guided tour of the Clynelish Distillery with tasting. Tasting includes the Clynelish 14 year old, Clynelish Distillery Only Bottling, sampling and tasting direct from a duty paid cask of Clynelish 1988 and also Clynelish Select Reserve. This tour must be booked in advance, please contact the distillery for tour times and availability.

The Brora Experience

£120 (£5 discount off the purchase of any one 70cl bottle of single malt)

Private extended guided tour of the Clynelish Distillery with tasting. Tasting includes Clynelish Distillery Only Bottling, Clynelish Select Reserve, Special Release Brora 2013 and Brora 2014.This tour must be booked in advance, please contact the distillery for tour times and availability.

Review: Taste of the Highlands (15:00 on 03/10/2019)

Price: £45

I booked and paid for the Taste of the Highlands Tour online. However, when I arrived at the distillery I found that there is a lot of work in progress. Diageo are resurrecting rhe old Brora distillery which has been out of production for years. This means that the warehouses are inaccessble and so the tour isn;t being run.

Clynelish is two and a half hours drive from Dufftown in Speyside; if I had known in advance I very probably wouldn't have come up to Brora and then onto Wick and Thurso. However, despite having my email addressa nd phone number, Clynelish did not contact me to tell me the tour would not be running.

The tour is still available, as of today on the website, but anyone visiting will be disappointed:

I understand that distilleries are businesses and works will always be ongoing, but a distillery in a remote area, such as Brora, have a responsibility to notify people if a booked tour will not be running and Clynelish didn't do this.

I also discovered that the extended tour as described on the booking page, is not actually an extended tour, unless you call visiting a warehouse extended, which I do not. I had the money for the tour refunded and did the standard tour which was free as I have one of the friends of the Classic Malt journals.

Review: Taste of Clynelish Tour (15:00 on 03/10/2019)

Price: £12

After the issues with the Taste of the Highlands Tour, I did the standard tour which has three tastings. Clynelish is currently undergoing a redevelopment which will see a new visitor centre built and the old Brora distillery which shares the site resurrected.

The tour has seven people, including myself. The tour guide, Lyla, gave us an introduction to the distillery and briefly covered the plans for the Brora distillery and new visitor centre. Then we moved onto the production areas where the tour started with the mash tun before moving to the wash backs and then to the stil house.

The mash tun and wash backs can only be looked into via windows in the tops; many other distilleries have open tops or will open them so you can look inside. There was quite a few questions asked on the tour and this was because the information given was often quite light; the malting and milling wasn;t really covered until someone asked.

The tour ended with samples of two expressions and one blended Scotch which has Clynelish as the main single malt:

  1. Johnnie Walker Whisky Gold Reserve
  2. Clynelish 14 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  3. Clynelish Distillery Exclusive

The tour here wasn't very good; couple that with the issues around the tour I originally booked, I'm not sure when I will return to Clynelish. The new visitor centre itself won't be enough to bring me back, but being able to tour Brora probably will, although I don't know if this distillery will be included on a tour (I think Diageo would be follish not to, but, from my point of view, they haven't covered themselves in glory this year; I'll do a blog post another day to explain further).

History

Clynelish is one of Diageo's Classic Malts.

The distillery was built in 1968, adjacent to the original Clynelish distillery which was closed. Confusingly the original distillery was reopened in May 1969 and until July 1973 produced a heavily peated whisky to supply for blending; this was done to cover a shortage of Islay whisky caused by a drought on the island (rumoured to be due to the Caol Ila distillery being re-built from scratch, and therefore to compensate the lack of Caol Ila for blending during a couple of years). The old distillery was renamed Brora Distillery and production of a peated spirit continued until 1983.

Clynelish has had a strong connection with Johnnie Walker blended whisky for many years. A large proportion of the spirit used in Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve comes from this distillery.

Information correct as of 06/05/2016
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Clynelish Distillery, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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