For those of you that have been hiding under a rock (a wise choice) during the Covid-19 pandemic, here are a few important links for your perusal to help get you caught up on the past few months Outturn-wise:
- This is a list of all April 2020 Outturn bottles still available.
- This is a list of all May 2020 Outturn bottles still available.
- This is a link to the Dram Association’s awesome and informative video where they run through the June Outturn. It is definitely worth a watch, and they have videos for the April and May Outturns as well if you want to take a deep dive.
Tools like this can be crucial in the time we are in since we have not been able to host tastings and we do not have most of the bottles open to sample people on due to that. I deeply feel the absence of hosting the in-store SMWS Outturn tastings, and I miss interacting with all of you that attend dearly. Hopefully, we can figure out a way to run an online version for future Outturns, but we haven’t quite reached that yet. We will possibly get our ducks in a row and be able to offer something of that ilk soon…
Before I get teary of eye and runny of nose thinking about what I cannot do right now, I had better focus on what I can. Since I cannot do it in person, I can at least annoy from afar with my own tasting notes on the June 2020 SMWS Outturn of six fresh new bottles. Here are my thoughts on what you have to look forward to in purchasing one of these fine emerald beauties:
- 66.159 – This is bizarre – not only do we have an Ardmore at the start of the lineup, we also have an Ardmore that is not donning a light or dark green cap colour-wise. The SMWS characterizes this is sweet, fruity, and mellow. Could it be an entirely unpeated 66? Is that even done? Let’s see! On the nose, it is earthy and honeyed with roasted peanuts, Cracker Jack popcorn, plus peaches and cream. The palate gives an oily texture along with a salty and spicy tingle. More of that Cracker Jack note something through along with honey, graham crackers and baked apple crumble. It is a touch drying on the finish like peanut skins and Golden Grahams cereal without milk. The salty, spicy and sweet notes keep your mouth watering. I do not detect any peat, and I am shocked by that. This veers into Old Pulteney territory style-wise for me, though a bit richer on the palate. Very surprising for an Ardmore!
- 95.32 – This is the first time seeing a 95 from the SMWS Canada, so it could be interesting. Beyond the occasional old and overpriced official bottlings and some younger inexpensive bottlings from Cadenhead, you don’t see Auchroisk distillery bottlings every day. How does this one stack up? Well, on the nose shows some of that very high ABV (66%!) as well as lots of cereal and floral notes. Chamomile and vanilla jump out for me. On the tongue it is buttery and a bit hot (not too shocking) with lemon drop candy and tapioca pudding showing through. There are plenty of grain and sweet cereal notes again. It is hot, but not in an off-putting manner.
- 52.29 – Old Pulteney! This looks exciting – 17 years old and from a first-fill barrel. The Society deems this to be Spicy and Sweet, will some of the coastal and salty notes of traditional Old Pulteney show through? The smell of a real Christmas tree jumps out of the glass with fresh pine needles and juniper notes, along with a dash of lime, grapefruit, and gooseberries. Kind of like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but with oak. The wood and spicy juniper come out on the palate again along with candy cane, salt, cracked pepper, and lemonade. The wood does make it a bit drying on the finish, but not in an over the top way.
- G7.16 – I saw that this Single Grain Scotch Whisky was finished in virgin oak and I was intrigued – The last grain I can recall having in this style was amazing G4.14 – AN ABSOLUTE ENCHANTMENT . That was a long-gone favourite of mine that was finished in a toasted oak hoggy. Will G7.16 fill those big shoes? The nose gives curious notes of rooibos tea, sesame oil, a touch of balsamic vinegar, polished wood, toffee and milk chocolate (think Caramilk bar). The palate is buttered toast, pralines, maple syrup, Amaretto, and cinnamon scones along with juicy apples, pears and peaches all together in a cobbler. Near the end it goes a dash tannic and bitter, but I don’t care. For me, this is love at first taste.
- 93.102 – Allow me to make a bold statement: Glen Scotia is easily one of the top three Campbeltown distilleries around today – don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. The SMWS bottles we have gotten from this distillery recently have all been treats. This is younger than the past few, so let’s see how it holds up. In the glass, it noses as sooty, dirty and coastal upfront, but some nice fruit and malt notes are hiding in there as well. I get dried mango and coconut strips. Woah. The fruit comes out much more on the palate, which is salty and oily with a touch of yellow Listerine mouthwash, but also yellow kiwis, freshly cut mangoes, and ham and pineapple pizza. The sale and fruit and a dash of coastal peat stick around for the finish. Delicious stuff.
- 66.154 – Lastly, we bookend the night with another Ardmore. This one is wearing its more familiar green cap and stripe. Which one will be more exciting between the two? This one shows medicinal peat and a touch of acrid smoke right up front on the nose, along with eucalyptus, tar, and very roasted malt. The palate is sweet, salty and nutty with Nutella, espresso beans, chocolate mousse, cooling spearmint, and apple butter. Is it better than the first Ardmore? Well, it is more like what you would expect from Ardmore. Whether it is better or worse I leave to you!
My two cents aren’t worth a dime, but hopefully you enjoyed reading my thoughts regardless of what they add up to. Read on below for the SMWS official tasting notes on the Outturn. I shall talk at you again in July!
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