For the second month in a row the Canadian arm of the world’s largest whisky club released eight new single cask, single malt Scotch whiskies. We had four full tastings at Kensington Wine Market to launch the release. irThey were broadly popular across the range. I had a lot of favourites this month, 55.25: “Scrumdidlyumptious” (which I think is a Ned Flanders reference) was so layered and delicate. 76.119: “Christmas Day in the Morning” lived up to its name, and 72.43: “Bunsen burner and burnt capacitors” (AKA Christmas in Voytek’s house) was also a standout. My favourites were the two Campbeltown Malts, 27.109: “Guns on the grouse moor” and 93.63: “Unapologetic non-conformist” were also great.
- 55.25: Scrumdidlymptious - 54.3%- 20 Year – 2nd Fill Hogshead – Speysider – Profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits – Outturn: 199 Bottles - Panel’s Tasting Note: “”This lavish dram oozed with honey and mead, and was perfumed with oiled sandalwood and rose petals. Aromatic aniseed mingled with carrot cake with frosted icing and chunks of roasted sweet potato. The flavours at full strength were deeply indulgent and the texture chewy and creamy. Juicy Jamaica cake laced with plump sultanas and coffee and walnut gateau topped with fudge. With water, cranberries and pomegranate tussled with plump prunes and honey soaked raisins. Peanuts and praline coated with caramel, and butterscotch jostled for supremacy. The finale delivered rich fruit cake and Black Forest gateau. Ravishingly indulgent and wickedly good.” Drinking tip: “Great for a treat on a wet Monday night” - $203.99
- 123.8: In the Spanish mountains – 59.2% – 12 Year – Refill Port Pipe – Highland – Profile: Spicy & Sweet – Outturn: 743 Bottles - Panel’s Tasting Note: “From the nose, we conjured an image of Spanish mountain villages – horses, hay-wains, orchards, citrus groves, rose gardens, sunshine on rosemary and rustic farm-labourers whittling wood. We also found plentiful sweetness in plum jam, juicy raisins, chocolate, toffee,marshmallows and fig rolls. Water brought out raspberry notes and Sangria. The palate was fruity, winey and tasty, with various jams, dried figs, vanilla sponge,Soreen and granola, but spicy notes ofginger, clove and chili tweaked our tongues. Water sweetened it further resolving those tweaks into tingles –cranachan, jam tarts, Pavlova and posh Pimms. The distillery is near the West Highland Way.” Drinking Tip: “Will get a conversation going for sure.” - $142.99
- 76.119: On Christmas Day in the Morning – 56.7% – 18 Year – Refill Butt – Speyside – Profile: “Deep, rich & dried fruits.” – Outturn: 586 Bottles - Panel’s Tasting Note: “The panel were whisked away to the excitement of Christmas morning as a child. Aromatic spiced orange mingled witheggnog, sugar puffs and milky hot chocolate sprinkled with nutmeg. Still in their pyjamas, the panel dipped into their stockings to find cranberry,pomegranate and red currants with Hubba Bubba gum. Water opened glugg infused with orange and mint, cola bottle candies. Fragrant lavender, saffron and lemon thyme wafted from the glass. Fresh wood from a homemade dolls housegave a grippy quality to the reduced taste which tingled with Ras el Hanout spiciness. Lingering flavours of pomander completed the festivities.” – Drinking Tip: “Well now… Christmas Day!” – $183.99
- 72.43: Bunsen burner and burnt capacitors- 59.8% – 10 Year – 1st Fill White Wine Hogshead – Speyside - Profile:Deep Rich & Dried Fruits - Outturn: 262 Bottles -Panel’s Tasting Note: “There was smoke in the air; slightly burnt buttered toast or ginger biscuits, smoked apple pie and smoked mackerel risotto but also burnt capacitors, a fuel spill and a distant struck match – could this possibly be a lethal combination! Let’s try it; the struck match was for a Bunsen burner to scorch acrème caramel, some runny egg yolk still in a bowl nearby, but also tostart the barbecue with some firelighters.Water defused the situation; toffee popcorn, chocolate dipped cherries, Reese’s peanut butter cups and in the taste slightly burnt sweet fruit quiche and potato wedges with a roasted garlic dip.” Drinking Tip:“For those heated moments.”- $128.99
- 93.63: Unapologetic non-conformist - 56.1% – 15 Year – Refill Hogshead – Campbeltown - Profile:Oily & coastal - Outturn: 275 Bottles -Panel’s Tasting Note: “To nose, we found venison in a red wine and cocoa sauce, maple syrup on pancakes and salted rum caramel. Then, a furniture workshop was crafting benches for a bodega whilst a mechanic with grimy overalls tucked into a bacon sandwich at the beach. To taste, cranberries coated in chocolate, melted salted butter on Belgian waffles, and hoisin sauce noodles. Water brought brown envelopes, wet seaside rocks, Branston pickle, and memories of smoking a shisha pipe (apple tobacco) in a leather armchair. It was sweet and earthy with papaya, roasted beetroot, salted cashews, mint humbugs and bran cereal. Conformity is overrated.” Drinking tip: “While camping on the beach” – $165.99
- 27.109: Guns on the grouse moor - 58.3% – 16 Year – Refill Gorda – Campbeltown - Profile: Oily & coastal - Outturn: 738 Bottles - Panel’s Tasting Note: “The panel imagined themselves on a misty moor cupping a mug of consommé laced with sherry while munching custard filled doughnuts and caramel bars for breakfast. In the distance was a trail of burning heather and a plume of gun smoke. Lunch was a fine spread of mustard crusted gammon, dressed crab, Iberico ham and honey glazed ribs. For dessert, sherry trifle, zabaglione and chewy orange fudge. A shower of rain amplified all the aromas and flavours, increasing the sweetness. The hunt for game ended with damp hairy tweeds scented with eucalyptus and wild boar on the grill.” Drinking tip: “After a bracing day on the hill” – $172.99
- 10.83: Incredibly awesome - 58.8% – 9 Year – Refill Barrel – Islay - Profile: Oily & coastal - Outturn: 738 Bottles - Panel’s Tasting Note: “If you like this sort of thing, then this is the sort of thing you like – smoky bacon crisps, smoked eel, pickled vegetables, whole grain mustard, creamy horseradish and burnt honey glazed parsnips. What a sensation to taste; salty, sweet, smoky, spicy – kelp noodles, burnt honey and orange glazed ham, sweet sticky spicy spare ribs with red onion salad and candied walnuts. The addition of water changed the nose completely, much more maritime; sea spray, rock pools, driftwood, steamed mussels and sautéed scallops with a Chablis cream sauce whilst the flavours were now sweet soy oyster sauce, salted caramel and key lime pie.” Drinking tip: “The change when adding water is remarkable” – $121.99
- 29.154: Camping with M*A*S*H* - 49.8% – 23 Year – Refill Hogshead – Islay – Profile: Peated - Outturn: 253 Bottles - Panel’s Tasting Note: “Wow – the nose had so much – burlap, canvas, leather, bandages, first aid boxes, surgical soap, seashells, seaweed, tar, bonfire smoke – it was like M*A*S*H set up camp on an Islay beach. The palate spoke confidently of harbours and hospitals – lobster pots, fish boxes, fishing boats, salted macadamias, heather and mussels lined up against Big Red gum, Elastoplasts and sweet peat-smoke. After reduction, the nose twitched at a breeze carrying heather, peat and crab claws over the machair. The palate became easy-drinking; medicated sweetness, both cooling (menthol throat sweets) and with pleasant heat on the finish. The distillery looks out to the Isle of Texa.” Drinking tip: “An end-of-the-pier sundowner” – $209.99
There are also lots of past Scotch Malt Whisky Society releases still available. You can browse them here at any time!