Tag Archives: SMWS

SMWSA Cask 29.104

SMWSA Cask No. 29.104
Islay
58.2% ABV
Distilled October 1990
$140
US Allocation: 120 bottles
Winter 2012 Outturn Release

What the SMWSA Says:
A big nose with lots going on. Carbolic soap, sticking plasters, treacle, hot smoked salmon, burnt heather and liquorice root added to the the anticipation. Then a youthful woody spiciness together with jerk chicken sauce (rosemary, thyme, cloves, honey). The palate was massive with concentrated flavors and bitter woodiness. Water brought out prunes, raisins, lemon juice and old camp fires. A musky aroma accompanied some lighter floral notes. A brief hint of struck matches to taste gave way to tannins, burnt heather, liquorice sticks and lots of sweetness. It benefited from some water t calm it down. Of the three Kildalton distilleries, this is the one closest to Port Ellen.

Drinking tip: When you aren’t planning on sampling another whisky that evening

What Richard Says:
Nose: Burnt rubber and iodine with hints of peat. There’s also a meaty backbone that’s almost discernible right before the alcohol overwhelms it.
Palate: A quick hit of sweetness from dried fruits that plays at the beginning and end of the palate but plays hide and seek while you’re rolling it around in your mouth. It’s viscous to the point of almost being chewy.
Finish: Refreshingly smoky? A peat smoke breath mint? It sounds crazy but that’s what it’s like. Long after all this fades away it leaves you will light woodiness.
Comments: This is a complex malt that reveals itself in an iterative way. You can’t take one pass at it. Spend time with it. Explore it and you will be rewarded.
Rating: Stands Out

Review sample provided courtesy of the SMWSA and is available to society members through their website or 800.990.1991.

SMWSA Cask G2.2

SMWSA Cask No. G2.2
Grain
53.6% ABV
Distilled November 1976
$250
US Allocation: 60 bottles
Winter 2012 Outturn Release

What the SMWSA Says:
Once the largest grain whisky distillery in Scotland, it was closed and dismantled in 1983. Its make was never bottled by its owner and is very rare in indie bottlings. Jaunty for its age: ‘red patent-leather dancing pumps’ came to mind. A school art-room, with poster paint, Gloy glue, ink, vinyl and coated card – all behind vanilla fudge. Sweet and oaky to taste, with vanilla, coconut and light liquorice. With water it became a newly crafted coffin, wax-polished and resinous. A light texture and a short finish, with a hint of Murraymints and strong, lorry-drivers, tea, and condensed milk.

Drinking tip: While watching a school tap-dancing class

What Richard Says:
Nose: Astringent and antiseptic opening to hayrides and hints of honeysuckle.
Palate: Buttery sweet with light vegetal, herbal, and floral traces. It reminds me a lot of pot still Irish whiskey.
Finish: Dry, clean, and short.
Comments: Nice, light, and pleasant. This reminds me so much of a good Irish whiskey that it’s a little creepy. Very tasty and a good exercise in the aging of grain versus malt. The nose and finish haven’t acquired much over the years but the palate is lovely.
Rating: Stands Out

Review sample provided courtesy of the SMWSA and is available to society members through their website or 800.990.1991.

SMWSA Cask 27.97

SMWSA Cask No. 27.97
Campbeltown
57.6% ABV
Distilled May 1998
$110
US Allocation: 180 bottles
Winter 2012 Outturn Release

What the SMWSA Says:
Stunning for its age? Creamy fudge, condensed milk, Golden Syrup on hot buttered toast; Caramac toffee/chocolate; ‘Dolce de Leche’ (Argentinian pastries). A very sweet taste, then mouth drying, with a thread of smoke in the finish; caramelised cashew nuts and fresh kindling wood. A drop of water musters crushed rosemary, beurre noir, ‘lemon lollies in warm sand’, sea-salt and a trace of struck matches; the taste smooth and viscous, with a light sweetness balanced by dry tannins; allspice, leather and tobacco in the finish. A classic old-fashioned example of the make from Campbeltown’s leading distillery.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Wispy smoke, compost, vanilla toffee sweetness, and hints of mint infused cocoa powder.
Palate: Rich, sweet, and mouth coating. Odd hints of grape Kool-Aid and the bouquet garni from a coq au vin recipe.
Finish: Tannic and dry. It settles into leather and cigar wrapper right out of an old New York men’s club.
Comments: I have said on several occasions that I would be hard pressed to think of Springbank I haven’t liked. They just make great whisky. This is another shining example. Grab this one if you get the chance.
Rating: Must Buy

Review sample provided courtesy of the SMWSA and is available to society members through their website or 800.990.1991.

SMSWA Cask 42.10

SMWSA Cask No. 42.10
Highland, Island
62.7% ABV
Distilled March 2005
$85
US Allocation: 60 bottles
Winter 2012 Outturn Release

What the SMWSA Says:
Yes it was young – but perfectly enjoyable – we nosed dried grass, flowers, herbs, creosote and soft tar (perhaps in a farmyard context?); also lemon sponge, vanilla, pepper and chocolate Easter eggs in boxes. The unreduced palate was pretty straightforward, sweet and spicy; specifically milk chocolate and white pepper, along with grass and paper. The reduced nose offered green grapes, melted vanilla ice-cream, some salt and a ‘scorched boiler-suit’. That simple balance (don’t look fro much complexity) also inhabited the reduced palate – plum jam, syrup, MDF furniture, ‘licking a TV screen’ and some spicy warmth to finish. From Mull’s only distillery.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Very hot on the alcohol but tasty savory note sneak through. A little water opens up ground ginger and fennel seed coating roasted meat.
Palate: Dried out old chocolates (think holiday candy left in a drawer and opened the next year). Watering reminds me of sweet grass and under ripened fruit.
Finish: Sucking on wooden toothpicks dusted with white pepper.
Comments: Meh.
Rating: Average

Review sample provided courtesy of the SMWSA and is available to society members through their website or 800.990.1991.

SMWSA Cask 9.62

SMWSA Cask No. 9.62
Speyside, Spey
62.1% ABV
Distilled August 2002
$85
US Allocation: 149 bottles
Winter 2012 Outturn Release

What the SMWSA Says:
The nose started out really fresh – laundry flapping on the line, lemon, pineapple, strawberry and polished wood, but changed to caramel, toffee and cinnamon; then later, to leather and musk. The palate was spicy, oaky and astringent – suggesting chilli heat or spicy boiled sweets (aniseed balls, clove balls). The reduced nosed offered soft spice, butterscotch, some wood shavings and plasticine (‘a carpenter’s workshop’) with lemon spikiness. The reduced palate became mouth-waterlingly sharp and sweet (like Moffat toffees) but also had little flickering flames of gentle drying spice – Fisherman’s Friends, cinnamon. The distillery has a secret dram safe in the gardens.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Out of the bottle that is a seriously hot nose. It’s hard to break through the alcohol. Even with water the nose is clean and muted. Not enough time in the cask?
Palate: Bitter and vegetal. Water improves it a lot and leave me with saltwater taffy and chilli powder.
Finish: Damn the finish is as hot as the nose. Chalky, woody, bitter and hot! Water tames the heat but leave it very woody.
Comments: Definitely a dram in need of some water. Apply liberally. This isn’t a bad dram but there isn’t anything that make me want to come back for more.
Rating: Average

Review sample provided courtesy of the SMWSA and is available to society members through their website or 800.990.1991.