The lineup chosen by the SMWS Canada for March is insane.
Feel free not to take my word for it – I am an unabashed SMWS fan and I should not be trusted. Regardless – by bottle stats alone you know that this Outturn is going to be a wild ride. Of the seven bottles new bottles for the month, FOUR of them are higher than 60% ABV. Of those, THREE are North of 64% ABV. Now, take a look at how many bottles in the lineup have some sort of sherry cask influence imparted on them. Go ahead and scroll down to the SMWS info below my own tasting notes – I will wait.
Now, do you see what I mean? You may have also noticed that one of the bottles in this Outturn isn’t filled with Scotch Whisky. Instead, it is the first time we have seen an SMWS bottle from a Swedish distillery. Fun stuff!
Read on for my own tasting notes on these bottles.
1 – 39.196 – ENRICHED GERANIUM
On the nose, I get some typical grassy and floral notes for a Linkwood along with the hint of waxiness, lemon bonbons, cotton candy and spicy ginger. The palate shows waves of orchard fruit including green apples, yellow pears, apricots and yellow plums along with juicy fruit gum and an earthy, peppery, grassy note. It all balances nicely with a surprisingly smooth finish.
2 – A CURIOSITY OF FLAVOURS
The nose on this Glenlossie shows golden raisins, dried apricots, coconut shavings, lychee. The palate goes toasty and shows some nice maturity with wood spice and waxy notes plus a bit of stroopwafel, shelled sesame seeds, Marcona almonds, and a tinge of minerality and a slight oaky dryness on the finish.
3 – FUNKY OLD BODEGA
Bodega indeed – the sherry is strong in this young and bold Glentauchers! The nose starts with fruit leather and keeps going right into full-on leather hyde notes along with pipe tobacco, pancake syrup, and full-on Shirly Temple mocktail notes, grenadine, fake maraschino cherry and all. The palate is, in a word, RICH. Deep notes of dates, dried blueberries, Chambord and Cassis liqueurs, and blackberry jam. Delicious stuff!
4 – STIRS YOUR SOUL
The nose on this Glen Moray shows that we are continuing into sherry territory on this one. Fresh wood varnish, bananas flambe, wood spice, cashews and Mackintosh Toffee all show up aroma-wise. The palate starts big and gets bigger as time goes on with notes of yogurt-covered raisins, polished oak, dates, dried apples, and walnuts.
5 – A BELTER OF A DRAM!
Big sherry again on this Macduff, but going more into balsamic and cherry cider notes as well. The nose also shows maple syrup glaze, fruit leather, strawberry jam, cherry cola, and hot buttered rum mix. The palate gives spicy cinnamon and ginger in a boozy fruit cake plus a touch of dark chocolate and cinnamon chewing gum.
6 – CHEEKY AND REEKY
The nose shows chicken soup with barley, lemon and acetone scented cardboard, Galliano liqueur, and lemon zinger tea. On the palate, this peated Loch Lomond gives us a salad consisting of smoky thyme sprigs, sliced fennel bulbs, small yellow tomatoes, quinoa and basil and a drizzling of olive oil.
7 – SEARINGLY SWEET PURPLE SMOKE
This first bottling from High Coast Distillery in Sweden shows notes of black forest cake on the nose along with lavender potpourri and eucalyptus, whipped butter with sage, and Dettol. The palate is a mix of spearmint Tic Tacs and Thrills gum, lox, dill and capers on top of herb-infused cream cheese spread on a poppyseed bagel, finishing with peppermint and licorice tea.
That is all from me for now. Don’t forget we have plenty of past releases you can browse anytime our Scotch Malt Whisky Society Pages.
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39.196 – ENRICHED GERANIUM
This 13 year old Speysider is 59.1% after maturing in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead.
Flavour profile: Light & delicate.
Outturn: 311 bottles.
Panel’s tasting notes: “We found a nose bursting with stone fruits, soft fabrics, burlap and the precision of clean, knife-edge cereals. In addition we noted Turkish Delight, waxed canvas, pressed wildflowers and marjoram, vase water, tomato vines in a greenhouse and lemon zest. With water there was a renewed abundance of fresh flowers such as daisies, dandelions and geraniums. Also grassy notes, under ripe apples, blueberry muffins, fresh wool, snapped twigs and potting sheds.
The neat palate displayed the tartness of green apple with sunflower seeds, trail mix, rapeseed oil, unsweetened granola and a rather gravelly minerality. Water gave us chamomile tea, chopped chives, digestive biscuit, flapjacks, lemongrass and Edinburgh rock. Enchanting stuff!
46.88 – A CURIOSITY OF FLAVOURS
This 22 year old Speysider spent 20 years in ex-bourbon wood before being transferred into a 2nd fill Spanish oak PX hogshead, and comes in at 53.1%.
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits.
Outturn: 232 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Slightly restrained, the nose slowly divulged barley sugars, chocolate profiteroles, maple candy and bourbon biscuits – digging deep, we found earthier elements (pipe tobacco, rhubarb, nutmeg, cappuccino, seasoned oak). The palate offered sugar-coated fennel seeds, clove-flavoured brown sugar, camp coffee and roasted parsnips – ginger, cumin and cardamom on the finish.
The reduced nose gave us creamy toffee, Crunchie bars, dark chocolate with cherry pieces and coffee and walnut gateau. The palate now had blackcurrant cough sweets, liquorice, moist tobacco leaf, ripe gooseberry and a dry, seasoned oak finish. After 20 years in ex-bourbon wood we put this into a 2nd fill Spanish oak Pedro Ximenez hogshead.”
63.63 – FUNKY OLD BODEGA
From a 2nd fill sherry butt, this 7 year old is 66.2%.
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits.
Outturn: 602 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Unashamedly lavish aromas of raisins and sultanas plunged into the oily opulence of walnuts, olives and Serrano ham whilst a background funk encapsulated strong black tea and the warm air of Jerez. A mouth-coating swirl on the palate engulfed us in a world of root beer and strawberry wine with heavy juniper berries, prunes and leather as a tingle arrived from wasabi peas.
Water revealed hidden secrets in a bodega as dark chocolate melted over Brazil nuts with brown sugar and liquorice. A heightened complexity now drew us into soy sauce and balsamic glaze with truffle oil and brandy butter. Touches of salt remained on the tongue with a lasting warmth that suggested cognac, calvados and even dark navy rum.”
$134.99 SOLD OUT
35.258 – STIRS YOUR SOUL
This 11 year old Speysider was matured in a refill Oloroso puncheon and is 64.9%.
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry.
Outturn: 621 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The first comments were ‘wonderful’, ‘warm’, ‘embracing’ and ‘a Sherry lover’s dream’! We were further captivated by the aromas of walnuts, dates, raisins and tamarind, and when we took a sip there might have been the slightest hint of a struck match. What followed was truly superbly nutty, like a bone-dry Amontillado sherry with walnut cake, leather and even the slightest hint of smoke.
Diluted we prepared a pork schnitzel with onions, bell peppers and mushrooms in a paprika spiced sauce and we washed it all down with a glass of Icelandic Björk birch liqueur – certainly for the more adventurous souls!”
6.39 – A BELTER OF A DRAM!
After 5 years in an ex-Oloroso butt, this 7 year old Speysider was transferred to 1st fill Pedro Ximenex butt, and it’s 65.2%.Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet.
Outturn: 585 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “A fantastic deep amber colour was followed by an aroma which transported some of us to Jerez eating a slice of jamón Serrano next to a bowl of black olives, while others were in the Caribbean sipping rum and eating dark chocolate. Strong, powerful and fierce like flamenco with the feisty rhythm of percussion and guitar – a belter of a dram!
With water we could sense the stomping of the dancer on the floor while the tune on the palate now more like a rumba – elegant and breathtakingly beautiful. After five years in an ex-Oloroso sherry butt we transferred this whisky into a 1st fill Pedro Ximenez sherry butt.”
135.21 – CHEEKY AND REEKY
From the Highlands, this 14 year old is 53.3% after maturing in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead.
Flavour profile: Lightly peated.
Outturn: 277 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Thick plumes of black smoke bellowed from the glass, epitomising the very essence of ‘burntness.’ Through the heavy smog came notes of rosemary and thyme and substantially charred wood coated with linseed oil. The palate was chewy and scorched, wrapping rich gravy around eminently maritime components that embraced fishing nets and fishermen’s rain coats in a ship’s engine room.
With water we found ourselves at the harbour sipping on cappuccinos among the lobster nets and fish baskets, as puffs of smoke from a tug boat blew in the sea air. The palate had sweetened and ventured into roasted chestnuts and toasted pine nuts, dotted with seaweed and a sprinkling of chimney soot.”
144.1 – SEARINGLY SWEET PURPLE SMOKE
This 7 year old from Sweden comes from a new oak barrel and is 60.6%.
Flavour profile: Peated.
Outturn: 231 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “We felt like walking through fields of purple heather at sunset with the sky matching the ground in terms of colour (a lovely pastel hue), but then there was a smoking fire disturbing the tranquil scene. We took a sip from a hipflask – wow! Delicious, searingly sweet smoke was joined by venison carpaccio with caramelized walnuts.
With a drop of water, we discovered additional fruity apple smokiness next to stuffed Greek vine leaves with currants and pistachio called dolmades. The palate now had plenty of sweet smoky fruit flavours like baked apples and red cherries balanced with a slightly menthol and herbal finish.”
$235 SOLD OUT