Another month and another exciting release of single cask, cask strength Scotch whiskies from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada. You’ll note I didn’t say Single Malt, because one of our whiskies this month was a grain whisky; incidentally, one of the most popular at the First Friday tasting. You have to be a member to purchase whiskies from the Society, but membership has its perks. Visit www.smws.ca for more information on, or to join the Scotch Malt Whisky Society!
105.17 – Wowee! – 28 Year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Speyside -Ã‚Â First Fill Sherry Hogshead – 55.3% – Outturn: 310 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Wowee! Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a mouth-watering nose Ã¢â‚¬â€œ initial waves of teriyaki, soy noodles, crispy bacon, cough medicine and rum, followed by roast pork with apple sauce and sultanas cooking in cinnamon, butter and sugar; also some grass, wood glue and bubble gum. We tasted fascinating flavours of char siu pork, dried figs and cooked cherries and apples Ã¢â‚¬â€œ then a breath-taking finish of liquorice, shoe polish, wood and posh leather. The reduced nose was sweeter and tamer Ã¢â‚¬â€œ spiced onion jam and Old English Spangles. The palate now suggested brown sugar on porridge, maple candy and hints of grapefruit. The distillery has a musical clock tower.Ã¢â‚¬Â Drinking tip: Ã¢â‚¬Å“While waiting for the roast pork to be ready – easy on the water.Ã¢â‚¬Â – $189.99 – Members Only Product
7.73 – Sunshine on barley fields and meadows Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 18 Year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Speyside Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 56.4% – Outturn: 224 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose entertained us with spicy oak, leather, pepper, polish and glue; considerable toffee and vanilla kept blossoming in the glass Ã¢â‚¬â€œ followed eventually by dusty tobacco, cigar boxes and saunas. The flavours were dark and interesting Ã¢â‚¬â€œ attractively bitter; hinting at dark chocolate, leather, singed orange zest, liquorice, tarragon and chipotle chillies. The reduced nose gave us sunshine on hay bales, barley fields and meadows, Old English spangles, oatmeal, raspberry and banana, with tutti frutti ice-cream and vanilla underlying everything. The taste became fruity, floral and perfumed but with nippy, earthy elements Ã¢â‚¬â€œ full and complex. From the distillery next to Benriach.Ã¢â‚¬Â Drinking tip: Ã¢â‚¬Å“A lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon dram.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã‚Â - $148. 99 – Members Only Product
85.22 – A lady of the night Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 12 Year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Speyside Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Refill Ex-Sheryy Butt Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 60% – Outturn: 592 bottles -Panel’s Tasting Note: “Dark scents beset us: date loaf with Pecan nuts, rum truffles, Jamaican ginger cake, fudge with raisins, and a waft of (unlit) menthol cigarettes. At natural strength the taste is sweet with a light bitterness like burnt toffee (Ã¢â‚¬Ëœsalt-water taffyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ commented one), dark chocolate in the finish and Kendal mint-cake in the aftertaste. Water conjured a leather couch against a backdrop of dripping candles, Pecan pie, treacle tart and Caramac, with a smooth texture and a centre-palate taste, sweet overall, with hints of spice and camphor in the finish. The malt comes from the last distillery to be built in the 19th Century.Ã¢â‚¬Â Drinking tip: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Reclining on a leather Chesterfield with a special friend.Ã¢â‚¬Â – $116.99 – Members Only Product – Only 5 Left!
4.163 – Soaring sweetness and ocean spray Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 11 Year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Highland Ã¢â‚¬â€œ First Fill Bourbon Barrel Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 62.8% – Outturn: 215 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Various bass notes grounded the nose (tobacco, creosote, burnt sticks, white pepper, chipotle chilli, balsamic reduction) but soaring on a breeze of clean, minty smoke and ocean spray, was a kite made of toffee, puff candy and chocolate melted over ice-cream. The palate suggested smouldering bonfires, nippy sweeties, liquorice, menthol and ash, with barbecued chocolate bananas and Weetabix. Water freshened the nose Ã¢â‚¬â€œ chocolate limes, perfumed soap, kiwi and pear belle Helene with mint sprigs. The reduced palate was sweeter, less smoky and very tasty Ã¢â‚¬â€œrhubarb crumble, ice-cream and banana chips; charred walnuts in the after-taste. From ScotlandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most northerly distillery.Ã¢â‚¬Â Drinking tip: Ã¢â‚¬Å“A wonderfully restorative dram.Ã¢â‚¬Â - $120.99 – Members Only Product – Only 4 Left!
93.46 – Tar, tea-chests and engine oil Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 12 Year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Campbeltown Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Refill Ex-Sherry Gorda Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 59.8% – Outturn: 796 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose started out with wood polish and pear, before turning sweeter (strong honey, toffee crunch ice-cream). It also had a smoky, oily meatiness, like grilled lamb chops and a coal-minerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s overalls. The palate was somewhat challenging at full strength Ã¢â‚¬â€œ putty, plasticine, tar and liquorice root but with big toffee and fudge sweetness. Water turned the nose cleaner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ citrus, banana, candle-wax and honeycomb, but with distant singed mackerel or breakfast kipper. We agreed the reduced dram was eminently drinkable Ã¢â‚¬â€œ bourbon cream biscuits and brandy snaps balancing leather, tar, tea-chests and engine oil. This distilleryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cast-iron mash-tun is painted bright red.Ã¢â‚¬Â Drinking tip: Ã¢â‚¬Å“An outdoor party dram.Ã¢â‚¬Â – $111.99 – Members Only Product
3.182 – Peeling tangerines in hospital Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 21 Year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Islay Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 46.4% – Outturn: 159 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “We found quite a bit of fruit on the nose Ã¢â‚¬â€œ tinned pears, passion fruit and Ã¢â‚¬Ëœsomeone peeling tangerines in a recently painted hospitalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in addition we enjoyed lavender, orange blossom, patchouli, burnt paper, smoky bacon and well-kept stables Ã¢â‚¬â€œ quite complex all in all. The palate had Elastoplasts and gauze bandages, star anise, walnut fudge, honeysuckle, nutty tobacco and baklava. Water brought freesias and parma violets, creosote and peat fires to the nose, while the palate became sweeter, developing slightly burnt treacle tart, sugar cane and dark chocolate coated marzipan with some coconut to finish. The distillery was built in 1779.Ã¢â‚¬Â Drinking tip: Ã¢â‚¬Å“A good barbeque or campfire dram.Ã¢â‚¬Â – $165.99 – Members Only Product
G7.2 – Fascinating and inspiring Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 27 Year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Grain Whisky Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Refill Hogshead Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 60.3% – Outturn: 270 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “We found the nose both fascinating and inspiring Ã¢â‚¬â€œ lightly varnished wood, then honey, toffee popcorn and marzipan sweetness; fruit cake (raisins and cherries) and Italian sponge (lemon and vanilla). Typical of grain whiskies, the taste lagged slightly behind Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but definitely pleasant Ã¢â‚¬â€œ peach and apricot, lemonade, manuka honey, toffee, vanilla, scorched wood, almonds and a lemon peel finish. The reduced nose was light and bright Ã¢â‚¬â€œ like sunshine on barley; pineapple, pear, marshmallow, meringue, crÃƒÂ¨me brÃƒÂ»lÃƒÂ©e and sugared rose petals! The palate benefited from water Ã¢â‚¬â€œ scented wood, incense, Demerara and a little frisson of nutmeg. The distillery is near the Ayrshire coast.Ã¢â‚¬Â Drinking tip: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Add a touch of water and take time to enjoy the fabulous nose.Ã¢â‚¬Â - $179.99 – Members Only Product – Only 2 Left!