Tonight’s release of single malts included six single malts and a grain whisky from Scotland. All showed well and were popular, but my personal favourites were the Duirach 31.23 and the sherried Speysider 24.124. The two Ileachs (29.126 and 53.169) also showed very well and 41.54, “Takes the Biscuit” was a crowd favourite.
October’s Outturn of Whiskies:
- 31.24:Â Lively as an acrobat – 54% – 24 Year – Highland/Island – Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Outturn: 255 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose was as nutty as a pie-eyed professor â€“ macadamias,Brazils, cashews, almonds, peanuts â€“ savoury too â€“ pulled pork,roasted peppers, onions, thyme and sage â€“ then straw, treacle,honey, smoke and coal on a pufferâ€™s deck. The neat taste was as lively as an acrobat â€“ with manly sinew and muscle tumbling powerful flavours of orange peel, coal, treacle, tar, bouquet garni and sanded beech wood. The reduced nose became sweeter;butterscotch, fresh donuts, seared scallops, lobster shells, lemonand mint. The palate was now savoury, herbal, buttery, woody,chalky, but beautifully sweet and tasty. A strange one from the island of deer.” Drinking Tip: “An unusual, conversation provoking.” - $187.99
- 41.54:Â Takes the biscuit - 58.7% – 8 Year – Speyside – 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – Outturn: 217 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The initially reluctant aromas start as clean and fresh with apple boiled sweets, an artificial raisin and coconut then, muesli, old cut flowers, macaroons and milk chocolate. The taste was surprisingly sweet and long. A mix of rich tea biscuits, jammy Wagon Wheels,sweet tea and tropical fruits. With water the aromas remained rich.A selection box of biscuits, tropical fruit yoghurt and fruit salad syrup. The taste had a satisfying texture â€“ biscuits, coconut and mixed fruit in Greek yoghurt with aromatic honey. In 1889 this was the first distillery to have a Charles Doig pagoda fitted.” Drinking Tip: “A dram for an indulgent afternoon.” - $99.99
- G4.2:Â Attractive spirit in a cloak of oak - 55.4% – 28 Year – Grain Whisky – Refill Hogshead – Outturn: 218 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The oak has a make or break impact on grain whisky â€“ and we found abundant wood on the nose â€“ dunnage warehouses and a French polisherâ€™s workshop â€“ plus corn cobs, tobacco leaf, Manuka honey,candy floss, vanilla, chocolate-coated marshmallows, pineapple and rum truffles. It became more buttery with water (marmalade on toast,buttered crumpets) with spun sugar, shoe polish and charcoal embers. The palate held our interest â€“ bourbon-like sweetness(butterscotch, chocolate, peanut brittle, caramel, honey-glazed ham)with slightly bitter hints of cocoa powder, tobacco and leather and a pleasant oaky dryness insinuating resin and wood-sap. From the biggest distillery in Scotland.” Drinking Tip: “A good mood dram – perhaps to enjoy along with your favourite music CDs.” – $193.99
- 24.124:Â Close to the edge of extreme – 50.8% – 23 Year – Speyside – Refill Sherry Butt – Outturn: 403 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The sherry influence dominated, almost overpowered the nose â€“layers of wood (cedar, polished furniture, varnished wood,wood-sap, salted peanuts, matchbox) and tons of treacle; plus toffee, tobacco, syrup of figs, leather, orange and gammon cooked in coca-cola. The un reduced taste was huge and mouth-drawing â€“a real â€˜stoaterâ€™ but, being close to the edge of extreme; maybe not for everyone. We loved the flavours of honeycomb, dark chocolate,salty ham, pipe tobacco, toffee, toasted hazelnuts and oaky tannins. Water brought sugared almonds, sultanas and coffee to the nose and clove-studded oranges and barbecued ribs to the palate. From the â€˜chateauâ€™ of malt.” Drinking Tip: “For those who like to travel close to the edge and take life to the limit.” - $189.99
- 30.74:Â Sweet, fruity & rich - 60.3% – 11 Year – Speyside – Refill Port Pipe -Outturn: 767 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “We found plentiful fruit on the nose (sherry-soaked raisins in fruitcake, strawberry jam, dried cherries, bananas, toffee apples) candyfloss, crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e, nut brittle, syrup-drenched pancakes, honey,sawdust, crushed pepper and Muscat wine. The delightful palate had plum jam on scones, almond cake, treacle, peaches, apricots,syrupy figs, Peshwari naan bread, sherbet, Armagnac and a faint whisper of struck match. The reduced nose seemed slightly woodier, with balsamico, macadamias, Fruit and Nut chocolate and Turkish Delight. The palate now offered buttered fruit loaf,raspberry tart and date slice; sweet, fruity and rich. This Rothes distillery is named after the town.” Drinking Tip: “With fruit, with scones, with Peshwari naan – take your pick.” - $121.99
- 29.126:Â Protects against vampires - 60% – 17 Year – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – Outturn: 187 – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Early nose impressions conveyed fresh hay and canvas(camping scene?) â€“ then spun sugar, syrup, honey-cured smoked ham, peppered steak with Balmoral sauce, sweet cigar smoke, cream crackers soy sauce, and refreshers â€“ quite a feast. However, the reduced nose evoked more wood and earthy notes (ash, dust) sparking speculation about potting sheds and coffins. The palate was hot, fiery, effervescent, robust and earthy â€“ provoking talk about cigars, ginger beer and barbecued meat retrieved from the ashes; someone influenced by horror films described the effect of throwing holy water on a vampire. This â€˜love it or hate itâ€™ whisky split the panel.” - Drinking Tip: “Perfect dram for watching horror movies.” - $149.99
- 53.169:Â Invitation to a beach barbecue – 59.2% – 18 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Outturn: 596 – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose invited us to a beach barbecue â€“ bonfire smoke, pork ribs in BBQ sauce, over-toasted burger buns, brown sauce, fruity chutney, sand, beach balls, buckets and spades. The appetizing palate offered smoked sausage, venison burger, relish, pickled gherkins and jalapeÃ±os; also pink peppercorns. The foody theme continued in the reduced nose â€“ Thai chilli, Demerara-glazed gammon and pork crackling, but also a picture of someone wearing tennis shoes on a boat deck (rope, wood, canvas). The reduced palate combined honey and caramelised marshmallows with ash, clean smoke and charred sweet peppers. From the distillery named after the Sound of Islay.” Drinking Tip: “A perfect holiday dram – especially on a boat or at the beach.” - $151.99
You can check out all of our past releases at:Â https://www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/products/smws.php, including: 9.66:Â MELLOW-DRAM-ATIC: This Speysider is from a Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, matured 14 years and bottled at 56.5%. “The palate, however, was sweet and perfumed â€“ with woody, spicy, menâ€™s cologne.”
Congratulations to the Brasserie Kensington in Calgary www.brasseriekensington.com and to Fets Whisky Kitchen in VancouverÂ www.whiskykitchen.ca for becoming the SMWS Canada’s First Partner Bars. And welcome aboard toÂ Legacy Liquor Store, the new home of the Society in Vancouver.