Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada August 2020 Outturn

by Evan

Kung Fu Hustle is the best combination of a Martial Arts movie and Looney Tunes Cartoon that has ever been made.

In my teens and twenties, I was a bit of a kung fu movie junkie. I loved Jackie Chan flicks, with their slapstick vibe. I would grab any movie I could from Blockbuster that featured the actor. That era of my life has three movies that still stick in my mind as classics of the genre. Those are the Matrix (the first one. They didn’t make any more after that. There was no trilogy,), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Kung Fu Hustle itself. The first two are just about all serious in their style and story despite the respective sci-fi and mythical motifs they hang their martial arts scenes on, and that is fine. Kung Fu Hustle though? It has the thinnest historical veneer and the barest of stories that still manages to have enough meat on the bone to get you smoothly from one action and comedic set piece to the next.

I still enjoy all three of these movies, but Kung Fu Hustle is the one that leaves me with a smile on my face just thinking about it. When I noticed that it was back on Netflix, I had to watch it again. It had been at least a year, so it was time.

And that is why it is nearly 11 PM and I am now just getting to tasting the lineup for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada’s August of 2020 Outturn. This isn’t procrastination, I swear! Just like Kung Fu Hustle, it needs my full and undivided attention when it is put in front of me.

So, what do we have going on this month? Time to dive in!

  • 85.59 – I have been digging some other recent Glen Elgins from indie bottlers recently, so I am excited to see where Beer Pong takes me. It is indeed beer-forward in style, with fermenting, floral and yeasty notes coming through along with waxy fruit and candy such as nibs on the nose.  On the palate, there are wine gums and jujubes all over the place – including those black ones that taste like anise/licorice. It even has the tang and texture of black licorice on the tongue. Very enticing whisky, with a nice bit of black pepper on the finish.
  • 77.57 – As the name suggests, this one goes waxy on the nose as well, but in a different way. There is citrus, wax, and candy cane on the nose for me along with a touch of grassiness and hay. Wow. very waxy again with plenty of juiciness in the mouth. Like eating a taffy candy with the wax wrapper still on it. But better, obviously. A bit of polished wood on the finish as well. I don’t feel that I have pinned down Aultmore whisky yet when it comes to it’s typical characteristics and DNA, but I quite like this expression.Edit: What was I thinking? This isn’t from Aultmore Distillery – it is a Glen Ord. Mea Culpa. I will stick with the rest of what I said there, though. I know Glen Ord for grassy and citrus-driven notes when young, but not much more personally.
  • 7.197 – Ahh, Longmorn. It has been at least a few months since we have had a 7 in an Outturn, and look how sherried this one is! This should be interesting. On the nose: Yup – that is indeed sherry. Lots of black tea and dried fruits to be had. Cherries, strawberries, Cracker Jacks and Bazooka Joe Chewing gum to top it all off. On the palate, I get massive amounts of red fruits. Cherries, raspberries, cranberries and a bit of bitterness from the sherry, though not in an off-putting manner. This is indeed bold and sherried in style – impressively so for only being eight years old.
  • 28.43 – Wait – a potential second sherry bomb in the same Outturn? Unheard of! Like the Longmorn just tasted, this Tullibardine is from a first fill butt – this time specifically labelled as being Oloroso sherry in style. Nose: Plenty of dried fruits again, but leaning into butterscotch, buttered toast, pancake syrup, and dates in style. For the palate, it is rich and nutty. It tastes like a Fruit cake that is so laden with fruit, nuts and booze that it weighs more than you do. Dates again, pralines, walnuts, fig newton bars, and maple syrup. This is dark, rich, decadent and desert-like sherry. It is so rich that just nosing it could create cavities.
  • 29.252 – Look at that first number before the decimal hits. Twenty-nine. That would be a Laphroaig, so you know it isn’t going to be cheap. Will it live up to the cost? On the nose: Damn. Damn you Laphroaig, with your wonderful tropical fruit notes that come out with enough time in the right cask. It is ashy. It is medicinal. But oh boy it is also mangoes, pineapple, passion fruit, yellow kiwi and more in the glass along with oysters, hay bales, and dunnage. The palate is a touch oilier than I would expect from Laphroaig – not in a bad way though. Salty with hazelnuts and macadamia nuts and plus those tropical fruits coming out again. It goes a bit floral and soapy on the finish, but not in a terrible manner. The palate is good and solid but for me, it is the nose that makes this one.
  • GN1.5 - Peppermint or peppercorns is the second gin we have seen from the SMWS in Canada, coming to us more than a year after the first one. On the nose, it is fresh and vibrant with rose hips, jasmine green tea, cucumber slices and capsicum along with well-integrated citrus. The palate shows anise, lavender, grapefruit, and a touch of black pepper. It works on its own quite nicely, but it makes me want to pour in a smidge of good tonic water as well. Very well balanced gin!

Quite the lineup, all in all. I would have to do a side by side (which sadly I cannot), but I am pretty sure I like this gin more than the first one we saw last year. I am really surprised given that it is the first one in the lineup, but Beer Pong just might be my personal favourite of the lineup with its waxy and fruity manner. There is not a bottle here that I would turn down more of though!

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 as we might still be able to get more.

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Here is your August 2020 SMWS Canada Outturn in all of its glory.

85.59 -  BEER PONG
This 11 year old Speysider comes in at 58.3% after maturing in a refill hogshead.
Flavour profile: Light & delicate.
Outturn: 210 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Classic distillery character at first with notes of lemon scented floor wax, furniture polish, floral cleaning fluids, burlap sack cloth, dry biscuity notes, cereals, elderflowers, hay loft, fabric, dried apricots, throat lozenges and orange oils. Water gives us fresh paint, putty, wool, sourdough bread, toasted seeds, geraniums, lavender, old inkwells, raw cactus and chopped mixed herbs.
To taste it is initially full of mint julep, cedar wood cigar boxes, lamp oil, gentle earthiness, tangerine flowers, blackcurrant, heather honey, ginger biscuits and tea tree oil. After reduction we get candy floss, treacle, sunflower oil, limestone, warm grist, 80 shilling ale, tiger balm and lemon peel in weiss beer with a wedge of polenta cake.” 137.99

This 9 year old Highlander was matured in a refill hogshead and comes in at 59.1%.
Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet.
Outturn: 263 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “A textbook aroma for this distillery and deeply satisfying. A plethora of sweet waxes, carbon paper, smoked canvas, toasty cereals, salty butter, chives, chopped parsley, lemongrass, aged ointments, buttercream and sandalwood. Water brings out lemon cheesecake richness, lamp oils, sooty waxes, dusty malt barns, hot wort, hay lofts, beach pebbles and fabric softener.
The mouth is full of toasty pine cones and retsina wine, then gauze and embrocations, fir liqueur, herbal extracts, various teas and cherry blossom. With water it moves towards old sweet wines, spicy bourbon cocktails, milk chocolate and light chili heat.” $127

This 8 year old Speysider was matured in 1st fill sherry butt and comes in at 59.8%.
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits.
Outturn: 606 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Even the deep amber colour could not prepare us for the many surprises awaiting us. On the nose neat, sumptuous steamed treacle sponge cake and a luscious dark chocolate & prune mousse were followed by spiced banana fritters dipped in a decadent hot melted chocolate sauce and a warm spiced (packed with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove) hazelnut-pear (sweet wine infused) cake.
Add a tiny drop of water and the room was filled with the aroma of baking chocolate orange pomander cookies whilst on the taste, hazelnut pralines with a glass of Barolo Chinato (fortified wine produced with Nebbiolo grapes in Piedmont).” $160 SOLD OUT

This 11 year old from a Highland distillery was matured in a 1st fill Oloroso butt and is 59.6%.
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits.
Outturn: 609 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose had muscle-toned sherry robustness – prune juice, cinder toffee, treacle tart, dried figs, raisins and sweet wine and molasses cake from Madeira. The penetrating palate offered treacle toffee, Liquorice Allsorts and Eccles cakes; tar, cassis, intense mocha and hints of mushroom risotto umami.
Water emphasised fruit on the nose – roasted peach (with brown sugar), dried apricot and flambeed banana – also toasted coconut, nut brittle and sea-salt and caramel dark chocolate, with woody nutmeg and cinnamon spice haunting the finish. The palate, now sweet and chewy, had coconut and chocolate (Macaroon bars) with balancing espresso, prune and mature oak lending heft and punch.” $150

From Islay, this 19 year old comes in at 60% after maturing in a refill hogshead.
Flavour profile: Peated.
Outturn: 226 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “A spellbinding and classical nose of lime juice, passion fruit sours, cherry Halls, menthol, eucalyptus resin, cinnamon balls, aniseed bark and an antique writing desk complete with ink well. Water adds extra layers of complexity with notes of coal dust, copper coins, sourdough starter, lemon rind, spearmint, smouldering herbs on a BBQ and a face-in-kiln-style peat smoke with a mezcal-esque briny twist in the middle.
The delivery in the mouth is undulating and exquisite. Tropical fruit chutney with coal tar soap, peat embers, blue cheese, salted cod, key lime pie and smoked grains. With reduction; Lapsang Souchong tea, clove rock, barley sugar, cured meat, pickled damsons and charred sugarcane. Quite a ride!” $399.99 SOLD OUT

This gin from Glasgow spent some time in a 2nd fill barrel before being bottled at 50.9%.
Outturn: 267 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Oily citrus notes combined with pine wood and pink peppercorns alongside eucalyptus on a bed of juniper and peppermint. Fresh oranges followed on the palate with drying notes of grapefruit, allspice and tree resin. A dash of water released roses and lavender with the soft fruits of blueberries and wild strawberries as incense wafted over Earl Grey tea.
The palate now exuded fresh herbs and aniseed with delightfully oily textures. Apples and pears joined mandarins and fruit jelly sweets to provide a juicy character that dried on the finish to crushed peppercorns and menthol.” $102

Kung Fu Hustle The Trouble With Knives

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