Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada May 2020 Outturn Part 1

by Evan

Part Two of the May 2020 Outturn can be found here

Month three of Social Distancing is here, but so is part of the SMWS Canada May 2020 Outturn! The release is working a wee bit differently this month, as it has been broken up into two parts. The first four bottles below are part one. The second part with see three more bottles released mid May. Stay tuned!

A few things that you should be aware are happening – you know – beyond the obvious:

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has been killing it on the social media front over the past month. I am talking both about our own Canada Chapter (@smwscanada on Twitter and Instagram) and the SMWS UK as well!

Both have been engaging with members online through Zoom Meetings, Instagram and YouTube Tastings, and almost daily Twitter Discussions. If you want to learn more about the SMWS or want to interact with your fellow whisky lovers, definitely give @smwscanada a follow on Twitter.

The SMWS Headquarters in the UK (Twitter / Instagram)have been putting out everything from printable colouring pages to Find Your Spirit Animal/Society Flavour Profile quizzes. I am apparently a Great Cormorant which makes sense since I love that oily & coastal style. You can find out what you are here.

Like last month, take a look at The Dram Association’s awesome Youtube rundown of these four bottles as well. Those lads are great!

Before I leave you with the SMWS notes on these four bottles, allow me a moment to inflict my own thoughts on them upon you:

  • 58.33 – The nose and palate both give off nice fruit and pastry notes – I get a lovely combination of lemon tarts, earl grey macaroons, blanched almonds and a touch of ginger ale. There is a light spice and dryness on the finish which makes sense given the name.
  • 16.39 – Wow. SEVENTEEN YEARS in a Port Pipe before being finished in a puncheon? That sounds like a recipe for an over the top chewy beast of a dram. Yet somehow, it isn’t. The chewiness is evident, but the cinnamon stick and licorice notes are a treat. This is like a high ABV version of mulled apple cider. It is big, yet somehow understated for all of the pomp and circumstance that the two casks used should evoke. This is a mindbogglingly good dram.
  • OLD FASHIONED – Speaking of cask weirdness, here is the blended malt. Old Fashioned is bottled at what seems to be the SMWS standard for blends: 50% ABV. The nose is tangy apricot jam, brown sugar, cinnamon, Orange Crush soda, and well-worn in leather. For me that palate transitions soda-wise into slightly flat ginger ale, fuzzy peach candies, and orange wedge stabbed with cloves and garnished in a snifter of Benedictine plus a slight spicy-yet-cooling minty-ness. Or is that cucumber. Wait… Pimms?!?. I can’t tell anymore. These notes are getting too weird even for me. Like the 16.39, the wacky cask choice has left us with something wildly unique and very drinkable.
  • 4.248 – Give me a moment here before I write up my quick tasting note. Firstly, I have to google ‘Petrichor’. Okay, got it. I guess they already did use ‘AFTER THE RAIN’ a few years ago, so they were forced to break out the thesaurus. Thus I was forced to break out the dictionary. Back to the dram at hand. Woodsy with honey and heather on the nose along with warm pear pie and the faint hint of burning embers. On the palate I get an explosion of sweet barley malt and peat, baked apples with cinnamon, graham crackers, and a dash of salt. So that is what petrichor smells and tastes like. Good to know! This is a delicious Orkney dram.

All in all, this is a strong first four bottles for May. What will the second half of the Outturn bring us? Only time will tell…

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Here is Part 1 of the May 2020 Outturn

This 11 year old Speysider was matured in a refill hogshead and comes in at 59.6%.
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow.
Outturn: 267 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose had a subtle dryness (‘like a shoe-shine stand’ someone said) but it was mainly sweet and fruity – butter shortbread, creamy vanilla, Rice Krispie squares, marshmallow, marzipan and chocolate orange creams. A similar pattern on the taste – juicy orange marmalade, sherbet and brown sugar, with the dryness coming out in the finish – black tea, leather, spiced nuts and oak.
With water the nose became more delicate – caramel, toffee, coconut, orchard fruits and lemon puff biscuits; hints of canvas and varnished wood. The palate became more perfumed – damson crumble, pineapple sprinkled with salt and chili and an interesting ginger and orange combination.” $143

This 18 year old from the Highlands spent 17 years in a port pipe before being transferred into a 2nd fill high-toast/medium-char European oak puncheon, and comes in at 55.2%.
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits.
Outturn: 672 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The dark, brooding nose has chocolate and marmalade cake, dark cherries, cinder toffee, orange Muscat wine and bramble liqueur; maybe some leather. The palate finds earthy, fruity flavours – fruitcake, damson jam, orange peel, cinnamon toast and cough syrup. The reduced nose gradually surrenders its secrets with spiced plums, orange Aero, sandalwood, mango stone, espresso, Peshawari naan and cherry Halls.
The reduced palate is like a metaphor for living – “sweetness and spice laced with mystery” – petits fours, moist ginger cake, Grand Marnier and tiramisu. After 17 years in a port pipe we re-racked this into a 2nd fill, high-toast/medium-char puncheon (made from European oak).” $213

Scotch Malt Whisky Society OLD FASHIONED
This 11 year old blended malt whisky is the latest in the Society’s series of blended malts. From a combination of 1st fill barrels and hogsheads, it comes in at 50%.
Outturn: 2122 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The Society’s first beer-matured blended malt came about after we sent Tempest Brewing Co in the Scottish Borders some 1st fill Kentucky bourbon casks, which they used to mature their powerfully hoppy Double IPA – known as Old Fashioned.
They returned the casks for us to mature an 11-year-old Speyside whisky in for another 14 months, before we blended that with selected malts from 1st fill sherry hogsheads. The result is our very own Old Fashioned, named in honour of the Double IPA that preceded it.
The nose possesses a welcoming warmth that combines chocolate, coconut, blood oranges and herbal barley sugar travel sweets. In time, cherry lozenges, candied orange and dusty sweet marshmallows are added to the mix. The palate is outrageously coconutty, with orange Muscat syrup poured on luxurious vanilla ice cream. Beautifully mouth-coating.
A touch of water lightens the experience and accentuates a hoppy grapefruit note, which is complemented by fruit salad with cream and over-ripe peaches. The palate is now fruity, thick and syrupy, with chocolate shavings, almonds, marzipan, stem ginger, buttered pancakes and scones.” $128

This 13 year old from the Highland Islands comes in at 58.2% after maturing in a refill hogshead.
Flavour profile: Lightly peated.
Outturn: 301 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “We were greeted with comforting scents of subtle peat, damp grains and petrichor. A walk around the farm on a drizzly and misty day. There was also a hint of seafood (fruits de mer). The taste was sweet and floral (heather and hard candy), the smoky element was now herbal and one panellist was reminded of old fashioned cough medicine.
A few drops of water transported us to Orkney. We were in a farmyard kitchen roasting carrots in honey, then breathing in sea air during a walk along the coast. A more rounded mouthfeel with water, with sweet cereal coming to the fore.” $178

All of this information, plus the information on previous releases that are still available can be found on our website here. If any SMWS bottles show as being out of stock on our website please contact us – we might still be able to get more.

Part Two of the May 2020 Outturn can be found here

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