Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada September 2015 Outturn

Fall is nearly upon us, and we have an amazing September Outturn. Consensus from the tastings in Calgary is that all the whiskies showed well. Members had a hard time deciding what to buy! They were all solid contenders with the 127.43, G13.1 and 27.107 being the most in demand. For me it was all about subtlety, and the top performers taste-wise were the 26.105 and 53.210. The former was delicate and tropical with the beeswax notes one typically associates with the distillery. The latter showed a more nuanced side of heavily peated Islay whisky, with delicate layers. If I had to pick a third for my tastes it was the other Ileach, 127.43: Kissing a smoker, which was a proper sweet and smoky mess! The Japanese Grain whisky, G13.1, was just as the name implied a complete revelation. While there were hints of its age in some spirity top notes, it was mind-blowingly complex for just 4 years!

Here is the full September 2015 Outturn from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada:

  1. 26.105: Bumblebees by the sea – 57.6% – 29 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Highland - Flavour profile: Light & delicate - Outturn: 548 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “The first aromas were predominantly dark runny honey over crackers, followed by salted lemon and fresh kiwi fruit. With time, camphor and citronella candles burning in a damp pine forest. Juicy Fruit gum emerged on the nose and in the taste. It retained a white peppery heat at full strength, with lemon zest and lime posset emerging. Aspen bark, cinnamon and spearmint all became easier to find with water as if they had all been washed up on a seashore. A muskiness reminiscent of coastal dunnage warehouses belied its age, but homemade lemonade and green Starbursts lifted any hint of heaviness.” Drinking tip: ” Have a light hand with water” – $259.99
  2. 123.14: Playful spices buzz the mouth - 57.4% – 12 Year – First Fill Barrel – Highland - Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet - Outturn: 225 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “Sweet but slightly assertive woody spices pervaded the nose – pepper, humbugs, ginger, cinnamon apple pie and Liquorice Allsorts; also some leather, dead leaves and furniture polish. The neat palate also had exotic spices (clove, liquorice, anise) and oriental wood; however; curious notes of After Eights, gin and fermented honey kept it from being one-dimensional. On the reduced nose, cinnamon glazed donuts and ginger snaps represented continuity, while spearmint, wet stones and very light coal-tar soap brought fresh suggestions into play. On the reduced palate chocolate, blackcurrant and toasty flavours appeared – while the spices still buzzed our mouths like playful hornets.” - Drinking tip: “A dram to perk you up – maybe with coffee and chocolate mints after a meal” – $121.99
  3. G13.1: A complete revalation – 58.3% – 4 Year – Virgin Oak Puncheon – Japanese Grain Whisky - Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla - Outturn: 622 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “The Panel were awestruck by this dram of intense beauty.  Luscious mango and pineapple juices accompany lychees, Bounty Bars and fragrant lemongrass.  The oak is remarkably fresh and fruity with toffee, marshmallows and damson jam.  Gingerbread spice is complemented by creamy milk chocolate and “impossibly rich vanilla custard”.  With water, cherryade, butterscotch, orange oil and fruit cake are entwined in seemingly endless complexity.  There’s pear crumble, fruit cocktails, coconut and gorse bush and a bourbon vanilla milkshake.  Candied fennel makes a brief appearance before plum crumble is served up with a toffee bourbon sauce.” - Drinking tip: “Give it time and you will be rewarded” – $207.99
  4. 73.69: Dark side eclipsed by sweet joys – 52.9% – 22 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Speyside - Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits - Outturn: 620 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “The nose delivered savoury notes, evoking tapas bars (fino, amontillado, tortilla, old polished wood, etc.) but the dessert menu was even stronger (crème caramel, rum and raisin ice-cream, apple granny cake). More complex with water – sugared seaweed, Japanese sweet omelette, earthy hazelnut and plastic toys in the sun. The taste was essentially sweet – vanilla, amaretto, caramel, carrot cake, figs – but with a slight metallic, gamey, bittersweet edge of burnt cake and walnut. With water, its darker side (hoisin duck patrolling the farmyard in wellies) was happily dominated by the joyful sweetness of toffee, toasted marshmallows, Nutella, Dr Pepper syrup and panna cotta.” Drinking tip: “Could accompany food (Spanish, oriental, e.g.) – or maybe better after a meal, with coffee” – $214.99
  5. 27.107: To the manor born - 56% – 16 Year – Refill Gorda – Campbeltown - Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits - Outturn: 759 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “Thick, old fashioned vanilla ice cream, with tinned peaches, then a complex of polished leather (an antique desk, a sea chest, a worn leather chair, a vintage car), but also sherry trifle and creamy yogurt, amber beads and rich fruit cake. Rich and sweet to taste, then tannic-dry with bitter chocolate and salt crystals; sandalwood. Water sweetens the nose to treacle toffee and sticky toffee pudding, hazelnut and almond praline – rich and complex. The taste is rich, sweet and very fruity; elegant, with dark chocolate and treacle, and macadamia nuts in the aftertaste.” Drinking tip: “Digestif after Sunday lunch” – $169.99
  6. 53.210: Fantastic stuff - 53.3% – 24 Year – Refill Hogsheads – Islay – Flavour profile: Peated - Outturn: 240 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “This nose had  a little bit of everything one might expect – peat smoke, tea chests, tobacco, pine resin, sea breezes, bandages, puff candy, peanut brittle and smoked salmon, to name just a few. The palate was a delight – a good whack of smoke and toffee apple sweetness – but nicely complicated by aniseed, liquorice, Brazil nuts, sesame oil, soy sauce, five-spice powder, salt and vinegar chips and smouldering sawdust. The reduced nose was softer and sweeter, with caramel, treacle, old tawny port and pork crackling, while the palate found some mint and ash in the finish. Fantastic stuff from Islay’s biggest distillery.” Drinking tip: “Could accompany a stir-fry or aromatic duck – or an evening bonfire as the stars appear” – $222.99
  7. 127.43: Kissing a smoker – 65% – 12 Year – Refill Barrel – Islay - Flavour profile: Heavily peated - Outturn: 228 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “A damp shed containing oil paints, turpentine and rabbit skin glue soon developed into meaty and peaty notes. There was roast pork, turkey and pheasant on the menu and a Twix to wash it all down. The palate had lots of peat and a caramelized meatiness then lasting cigarette smoke on the finish. It was described as ashy and epic, “Like kissing a smoker” one panellist said. The nose with water took us back to the shed in oily overalls for some putty and linseed oil. Then the meaty notes returned – Chinese suckling pig and duck in hoisin sauce. Honey glazed ham with rosemary and thyme on the palate and plenty of smoke to finish.” Drinking tip: “For chilling out with a Simon and Garfunkel CD” – $149.99

KWM also has a wide variety of past SMWS releases still available. You can browse all of our available Society releases here at any time!

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