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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66.159 – LOTS OF NICE THINGS
This 12 year old from the Highlands was matured in a 1st fill barrel and comes in at 61%.
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow.
Outturn: 208 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The first (and best!) comment was “a lot of nice things going on like opening a full sweet pick n mix paper party bag” that brings out the hidden child in you so let yourself be surprised. Have a drizzle of clear floral, slightly earthy, slightly spicy honey direct from a wooden spoon and let that warm glow take over and your mind wander.
With a little water, we imagine walking the dog on a pleasant warm autumn Friday afternoon through a pine forest still wet from the rain. The taste had a sweet earthiness and calmness in the knowledge that the weekend lay ahead.” $148
95.32 – BLONDIE BOMBSHELL
The first release from distillery 95 for SMWS Canada, this 8 year old Speysider comes in at 66% after maturing in a 2nd fill barrel.
Flavour profile: Young & spritely.
Outturn: 229 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “A rather sprightly nose opens on hot cross buns, brandy snaps, ginger cuts and spiced honey drizzled over granola. A rising scent of warm vapour rub emerges along with white stone fruits and newspaper ink. A little dilution brings out cola cubes and Irn Bru cordial with cookie dough, golden syrup flapjacks and blondie (as opposed to brownie).
The palate is thick and sweet with dried papaya, lime peel, sooty and floral aspects and chunks of honeycomb mixed with bashed up Hobnobs. With water there’s pecan pie, toasted chestnuts, mandarin liqueur, baking soda and a light water cracker dryness. Some lemon dusted bonbons freshen up the finish.” $122
52.29 – THE WICKER DRAM
From the Highlands, this 17 year old is 58.2% after maturing in a 1st fill barrel.
Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet.
Outturn: 171 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Initially the nose is sooty and coastal in a very classical sense. Then abundant citrus with fresh limes and lemons followed by some autolytic, yeasty characteristics, preserved lemons, soft tarry notes, salted butter, samphire, amber malt, beach pebbles, sunflower oil and gorse with a scatter of mixed dried herbs.
Reduction unleashes the fruit with dried papaya, green banana, cough syrups, lemon balm, prune eau de vie, orange jelly, cantaloupe melon, salted caramel and kiwi. The palate brings a spice-infused waxy texture with paprika, chili, spiced custard, sultanas, plum wine, rancio, lemon jelly, juniper twigs and sea breeze. Water brings out sweet grist, turmeric, Caledonian ice cream, bracken, bone dry Blanc de Blancs Champagne, mineral oil, cereals, breads and fruit salad.” $218.99
G7.16 – ELIXIR OF EUPHORIA
This 28 year old single grain whisky from the Lowlands is 55.1%; after 26 years in a bourbon barrel it was moved into a new oak barrel for the remainder of its maturation.
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits.
Outturn: 128 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “What a nose! Cola cubes, candy corns, rumtopf and apricot flan with shisha pipes, pomegranate molasses and polished wood – it’s aromatherapy in a glass! The palate is a chewy, juicy elixir of euphoria – pineapple, toffee apples, Old English Spangles, grenadine and blackcurrant-soaked oak – then a finishing flicker of mulled wine and wood spice.
The reduced nose is a delightful chameleon of glazed plums, honey, jelly beans, golden syrup on buttered toast and Amarena cherries. The palate now – wickedly seductive and sweet – Peshawari naan and dessert wine. After 26 years in a bourbon barrel we moved this into new oak.” $299
93.102 – PAPAYA THE SAILOR MAN
From Campbeltown, this 11 year old was matured in a 1st fill barrel and is 57.8%.
Flavour profile: Lightly peated.
Outturn: 208 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Aromas began with a sweet intensity that combined peated banoffee pie with sugar-coated fennel seeds. A distinct nuttiness transpired that formed into coconut husk on a beach, surrounded by rock pools and dried seaweed. The fruitiness of plums and peaches came rolled in coal dust but introduced a softer floral character like potpourri.
Delicious smoked duck on the palate with herbal hues and sea buckthorn that cut through the oils. Mango and papaya emerged in a medicinal smog that settled on carrot juice with ginger and a sprinkling of rock salt. The finish was backed by a firm wedge of tree bark married with an opulent dark chocolate bitterness.” $171.99
66.154 – ROBOCOW
This 10 year old Highlander comes in at 59.8% after maturing in a refill barrel.
Flavour profile: Peated.
Outturn: 210 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The Panel found themselves squarely in an old highland farmyard at first nosing. Bags of earth, hay, silage, soot, old tool boxes, burlap, and a big medicinal aspect with notes of mercurochrome and TCP. Charred pineapple, peat oils, bacon and salty minerals also appear.
With water the smokiness gets louder with notes of soy sauce, burning heather, smoked lobster and a slug of 80 shilling beer. The palate displays smoked venison, tar, gentian, a couple of iodine tablets, burnt toffee and molten marshmallows. Reduction gives aged calvados and cider apples, parma violets, smoked barley and cow sheds.” $136
Looking for other available SMWS releases? They can be found on our website here. If a bottle shows as out of stock, please contact us, as it might still be available for order.