I am behind in posting this, so lets get down to it! Here are my thoughts on the October Outturn for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada;
- 82.22 – On the nose: mint, sage, lemons, chamomile. On the palate: Juicy with a spicy zing to it. Nutty notes like pistachios and macadamias along with pear puree and a peppercorn-like heat.. The herbaceousness on the nose gives way to to the fruitiness and spice on the palate.
- 59.59 – Ahh, Teaninich. I have been really enjoying any Teaninich I have tasted over the past few years. SPOCK’S EARWAX does have some wax notes to it - but at least it doesn’t smell Vulcanized. It is also missing the green and grassy notes I get a lot of the Teaninich’s I have had. Illogical! The nose evokes creme brulee, tapioca, creamy mango bubble tea plus a dash of citrus and mint. The palate shows starts soft but builds up to a wonderful juiciness. Mango, pineapple and fruit cup syrup all jump to the fore. I cannot tell a lie: The whisky is soft and doesn’t have a very long finish, but man is it delicious.
- A5.2 - Now, we shift gears, going from distilled grain to distilled grapes with this Armagnac. MUSK-COATED CANDYFLOSS is full of maraschino cherries, maple candies, and fennel along with a touch of leather jacket and shoe polish on the nose. To taste it has plenty of cherries again, plus molasses, earl grey tea, cloves, and orange slices. It is a shame we cannot do in-store tastings right now because this would have been fun to see people react to blind. I feel like there are a decent amount of rum notes in this Armagnac. The duality makes it a fun sipper.
- 37.131 – Back to Scotch – this time from Cragganmore Distillery. I had to look up the first word in the name for TARANTELLA TONGUE DANCING. Tarantella apparently is a rapid southern Italian dance or piece of music for said dance that is written in a quick 6/8 time. Sounds like this should be an interesting strike to the palate then! Firstly, the nose evokes a lot of the STR cask the whisky was finished in with plenty of polished wood and fruit notes such as mandarin oranges, cherries, and ripe bananas. On the palate I don’t personally get the dance, but I do get the intermingling of cask char, fruity wine notes and orange marmalade. It is sweet up front with some nice wood spice notes. I can’t really pick it apart more than that at the moment so I will just say if you are a fan of STR casks, you should check this one out.
- 29.257 – I am almost afraid to talk about this one. It is a 21-year-old single cask Laphroaig, so it be two things at the very least: expensive and good whisky. The SMWS Canada put this bottle in front of the tasting panel for the Alberta Beverage Awards and what do you know! It tied for Best in Class in the Whisky Category. How good is it though? Is OUT OF LEFT FIELD worth the money? I have a mortgage and three young kids, so my mind says no. My nose however wants to be stuck in a glass containing this whisky 24/7. Soft coastal peat, cooked pineapple, dates, cherries, Fisherman’s Friend lozenges, railroad ties, lemon meringue pie, and parma violets. The palate liquid smoke, char-grilled pineapple, fresh blackberries, chamomile tea, lemon honey ginger tea, black liquorice tea, and a dash of salt. To me, it is surprising that this was finished for more than a year in a first fill Oloroso cask. The clean sherry is there but it never manages to overpower the whisky within. This is a great bottle because of that.
- Battle Axe – This is a peat and Islay-driven blended malt bottled at 50% ABV. The youngest whisky in the blend is 8 years old. The nose is oily, salty and smoky with citrus notes. It makes me think of Caol Ila of the hop. On the palate I get the same, but with plenty more going on such as sweet coconut water, honey, banana chips, vanilla ice cream, and dark chocolate on the finish. This is another very well-but together blend from the SMWS
- 16.41 – This is the second peated Glenturret that we have seen from the SMWS Canada. The first surprised many with the style of peat this Highland distillery evokes; It definitely is not coastal. For me, the nose is full of dense chocolate fudge, fresh coffee grounds, and black forest cake. The palate spins out more fruit and sweet notes than the nose with marshmallows melting in hot chocolate, or perhaps between the sandwich of graham cracker and chocolate in a s’more. Apple pie, and the savoury and sweet notes of sauteed mushrooms on steak. The combination of dark earthiness and sweet notes work very, very well.
You can more information on these as well as other SMWS bottles by visiting our website.
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