January 2015 Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada Outturn

The first Scotch Malt Whisky Society tasting of 2015 was another roaring success. At two sold out tasting at Kensington Wine Market, Society Members and Guests sampled through 7 single malt whiskies. They all had some fans, but three in particular really stood out on this evening: 72.38: “Lucious, luxurious and velvetty smooth”, 31.27:  ”Bold Sailor’s Dram” a peated Diurach and 3.202: “Doctor’s surgeries and flowershops” a brilliant sherried dram from Islay’s oldest distillery.

  1. 72.38: Luscious, luxurious and velvety smooth – 50.1% – 28 Year – Refill Hogshead – Speyside – Old & Dignified – Outturn: 248 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “On the nose, initial bursts of perfumed exotic fruits (pineapple, apricot, peach, grape, lemon) gave way to vanilla sponge, biscotti, caramel, honey and toffee apples – a sweet masterpiece framed by interesting wood (wicker, oak sawdust, a new pipe). The palate was luscious, luxurious, elegant, rewarding, and velvety smooth – drawing out superlative exclamations from a star-struck panel – toffee, dark berries, rich fruit dessert, walnut whip and chocolate-coated raisins, with oaked chardonnay and rich mahogany on the finish. Water (totally unnecessary) brought Anton Berg chocolates (marzipan, plum jam) and Oddfellows to the nose. The name hints at a previous ‘mill’ function.” Drinking Tip: “If you ever want to make a big impression, like on a first date, this will not let you down.” – $254.99
  2. 39.95: Caressing, warm and friendly – 61.2% – 9 Year – Refill Barrel – Speyside – Young & Spritely – Outturn: 221 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose, fresh and attractively youthful, tumbled aromatic antics of vanilla, gorse flowers, sandalwood, scented candles and melon,plus plentiful sweet suggestions (stroop waffles, toffee ice-cream, lemon puffs, Edinburgh Rock, white chocolate). The palate also provided intense sweetness in the form of butterscotch, brownsugar, toasted marshmallows and custard creams; but we also found marmalade and black tea bitterness, white pepper, orange blossoms and ‘licking a new stave’. Still refreshing, the reduced nose conveyed pot-pourri, icing sugar, nougat and pancakes with lemon and honey. The palate now seduced us with its caressing sweetness and friendly warmth. From the east Elgin emporium.” Drinking Tip: “On a camping holiday – even when the sun don’t shine, this will provide warmth.” – $119.99
  3. 9.69: Turkish Delight and fragrant Thai rice – 56.9% – 17 Year – Refill Hogshead – Speyside – Sweet, fruity and mellow – Outturn: 267  Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose was attractively complex – green apple, kiwi, peach and lemon zest freshness; almond slice, Turkish delight, apricot Danish and toffee sweetness; then floral dimensions in old roses, geranium leaf, straw, Mediterranean herbs and fragrant Thai rice (jasmine). The palate offered toffee, jelly beans and dates, but blackcurrant and liquorice boiled sweets, cinnamon and Pernod provided deeper interest. With water, the palate gave hints of smoke and ash, but mainly cooked fruits – apple strudel, rhubarb crumble, poached pear and baked apple with raisins. The palate was now a triumphant balance of tart and sweet. The distillery has nicer gardens than any.” Drinking Tip: “Between the working day and a fun-filled evening – this is the perfect transition.” – $155.99
  4. 76.115: Glamping in a yurt – 56.5% – 18 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Speyside – Spicy & Sweet – Outturn: 535 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “We are on a glamping holiday waking up early in the morning in a yurt, getting up from our Japanese style futon, stepping out on to the redwood pine decking while watching the sunrise over the sea and sand dunes. The air is filled with smells of green grass wet with morning dew, freesias and clover. Whilst enjoying the moment we eat a slice of Royal chocolate biscuit cake with cinnamon, crystallised ginger and maraschino cherries. With water elegant aromas of jasmine, magnolia and orchids are adding to the ozone filled air warming up with the rising sun and in the taste, chocolate dipped ginger snaps and that first sip of coffee that you’ve made just right. Perfection!” Drinking Tip: “Add a luxury element to your camping holiday.” – $173.99
  5. 31.27: Bold sailor’s dram – 52.4% – 25 Year – Refill Hogshead – Island – Lightly Peated – Outturn: 245 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “A complex nose – sweet, salty and medicinal, with light smoke – panellists mentioned salted popcorn, gammon with pineapple, seaweed and various impressions of wood. With water, we imagined sea-breezes and bold sailors strutting along a breakwater, by oyster shells and dying barbecues; also sweet suggestions of apricot Danish and Edinburgh Rock. The palate was fascinating – maritime notes joined by citrus (including Terry’s chocolate orange), clove-studded gammon, oak, ash, white pepper and coal-dust. The reduced palate found sweet tobacco, floral flavours (lavender, Parma violets) and the dryness of heather smoke and barbecued meat and shellfish. The K Foundation burned £1,000,000 here in 1994.” Drinking Tip: “Beach barbecue dram – with or without sailors.” - $220.99
  6. 3.202: Doctors’ surgeries and flower shops – 57.4% – 15 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Islay – Peated – Outturn: 585 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The aromatic nose displayed geranium, bog myrtle, aromatherapy oil, soy sauce, lavender and clove – but also bacon, lobster bisque, smoked chicken, seaweed, honey, doctors’ surgeries and flower shops. The neat palate was huge, mouth-filling and long-lasting, with a heavenly flavour combination of scorched heather sprigs dipped in honey, caramelized onions, charcoal, chutney and smoked fish. The reduced nose was hijacked by caraway seeds – gripe water, Kummel, salami with caraway, rye bread and stir-fried Chinese greens with soy sauce. The palate became sweeter – sugar-coated pistachios and sweet barbecued ribs with echoes of salted sea biscuits, lavender and tar. From Islay’s capital town.” Drinking Tip: “With food – Chinese, German – whatever.” – $139.99
  7. 66.47: Campfire character – 59% – 11 Year –Refill Barrel – Highland – Heavily Peated – Outturn: 213 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose delivered hickory and campfire wood-smoke, tar and charred wood, a touch of briny sea air and sweet medicinal notes (honey Lockets, Elastoplasts, Germolene, nurses’ aprons) with hints of gorse and vanilla flung in for good measure. The palate had a mouth-numbing peppermint and menthol antiseptic mouthwash astringency and also reminded us of ash, soot, cigarettes, liquorice and fennel seeds. The reduced nose suggested smoke drifting over jelly babies, minty marshmallow Flumps plus firesides and carbolic soap on a sea-breeze. The palate gave us a campfire character of sweet and smoky intensity. Auspiciously, the distillery name has ‘more’ in it.” Drinking Tip: “The men on the panel liked it considerably more than the women – is it a men-only, page 3 dram?” – $127.99

Membership  in the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is open to everyone, for more info please visit the Society’s Canadian Website!

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