We had three sold out Scotch Malt Whisky Society Outturn tastings at KWM this month to launch 7 new single cask, single malt Scotch whiskies. We had whiskies from 13 to 24 years old this month, malts from the Highlands, Speyside, Islay and Orkney. It was a great range tasting, and not a single malt disappointed, no pun intended!
- 112.10: A comforting hug in a mug – 57.4% – 14 Year – Highland – Refill Barrel - Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla - Outturn: 147 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “The neat nose had honest sweetness (golden syrup, honey, fudge), plenty of vanilla and cereal notes (grainy bread, Ovaltine) – even tropical fruits, but a hint of cleaning cupboards made some of us hesitant. The same applied to the palate, which was lively, even feisty and almost effervescent (Campinos, juicy oak, Maltesers). However, a drop of water brought resolution and redemption – the nose became fresh, juicy and tropical, with caramel, vanilla and new-baked bread. The palate completely dispelled any doubts – its complex character provoked comments like ‘Delicious vanilla, marshmallows, strawberries and white chocolate’ and ‘Like a comforting hug in a mug’.” Drinking tip: “If ever a whisky had its sins washed away in the water of baptism – this is it – don’t even bother trying it neat – unless you want to see for yourself if we are right” – $159.99
- 1.196: Sunshine, motherhood and apple pie – 57.2% – 13 Year – 1st Fill Barrel – Speyside - Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow - Outturn: 235 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “The nose held very pleasant fruity sweetness (sherbet lemons, red lips, Turkish Delight, Edinburgh Rock), while pears, apples, straw and wood, somehow suggested autumn orchards. The palate was immediately warmly attractive – all summer sunshine, motherhood and apple pie – like relaxing in a farmhouse kitchen with Victoria sponge cake and caramel apple granny cake. The reduced nose took us to gardens (wooden trellis, bougainvillea, wisteria, grass, vines) where we were supping cloudy lemonade and cider. The palate was now easy and indulgent – the apple dessert wonderfully balancing sweet and tart flavours; the wood was now as tasty as an ice-lolly stick.” Drinking tip: “One to enjoy in the garden, while the apple pie is cooling on a windowsill” – $150.99
- 64.65: Bitter-sweet as lost love - 60.3% – 14 Year – Speyside – First Fill Barrel - Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow - Outturn: 199 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “The nose had unstinted salivating sweetness (toffee, marshmallows, nougat, maple syrup on ice-cream, Crunchie bars, sugary espresso dregs) plus a mesmerizing melange of exotic fruits, some pine and old-fashioned perfumes. The palate was really juicy and lively – slightly bitter but attractive fruits dancing jigs on our willing tongues (kumquat, preserved lemon, Caribbean punch, sherbet lemons) – we also got balsamic glaze, cinnamon stick, vanilla and juicy oak. The reduced nose seemed fruitier, fresher and mouth-watering, with pineapple, apricot, melon, tutti-frutti and lemon tart. The reduced palate was as bitter-sweet as Tennyson’s lost love – lemon drizzle cake, bitter lemon and pickled ginger.” Drinking tip: “It’s quite lively – something to put you in the mood for dancing, fun fairs or sky-diving” – $163.99
- 35.138: Miss American Pie – 56.4% – 20 Year – Speyside – First Fill Toast Oak Hogshead - Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet - Outturn: 247 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “The panel kicked off their shoes and tapped their toes to those rhythm n’ blues. They found orange liqueur, cinnamon syrup over macaroons, liquorice and eucalyptus: all reminding them of drinking an American rye. Could music save their mortal souls from sandalwood and gingerbread laced with aniseed? Rock n’ roll, it packed a punch of fiery spice. The lonely teenage broncin’ buck was tempered a little with water, with hints of far off dampened down bushfire smouldering in the distance. The final air was sweet perfume and cold creamy coffee and orange zest on the day the music died.” Drinking tip: “Back seat of a Chevy” – $204.99
- 39.111: Total Shock! – 57.8% – 15 Year – Speyside – Refill Hogshead - Flavour profile: Lightly peated - Outturn: 257 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “This was a total shock! – completely unexpected in character. Our noses found jam, buttery cake mix, ginger biscuits and toasted tea-cake – but how come we got burnt paper, wood-burning stoves and cockles in brine? Someone even mentioned ozone and peat! The palate was peaty, salty, ashy and slightly metallic – like cooking burgers on a steam train shovel. With water – the nose got rock-pools and a pot of mussels cooked in wine on a beach fire; also lemon icing sugar, rainbow drops and Pillsbury dough. The reduced palate – smooth and sweet, but with burnt wood, gentle peat and a country house kitchen.” Drinking tip: “To warm you up while bravely cooking mussels on the beach in spring” - $165.99
- 4.211: Sun, Sand, Surf and Serenity – 52.2% – 24 Year – Refill Hogshead – Highland Island - Flavour profile: Oily & coastal - Outturn: 208 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “This sample had personality and character and brought up evocative descriptors on the nose neat. To mention just a few: grilled pineapple and lobster salad, barbecued langoustines in garlic and herb butter, tarry ropes and like lying in warm sand with a ’salty dog’ (the animal and the cocktail). The taste did not disappoint; salty, oily and sweet like skewers of barbecued scallops wrapped in crispy pancetta on a bed of lentils. With water a teasing light perfumed smoke appeared from a distant bonfire on the beach and in the taste the sweetness mingled with the smoke of lychees stuffed with smoked salmon.” Drinking tip: “In your duffel beach bag” - $134.99
- 53.227: Sweet, salty & smoky - 56.8% – 18 Year – Islay – Refill Hogshead - Flavour profile: Peated - Outturn: 248 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “On the nose neat a lot of foodie aromas made us all very hungry indeed; spicy sausage casserole, honeyed pork loin with plum and lavender relish but also simple old fashioned mincemeat pie and chips wrapped in newspaper served with salt and vinegar. It tasted as it smelled – fabulous! Sweet, salty, smoky like a broiled tuna steak (centre has remained pink) with a zingy herb sauce. Water turned it into a grilled pork cutlet with a maple chipotle glaze as well as dried seaweed and Japanese sweet omelette. The never-ending finish was peat smoke entwined with fresh salty sea air.” - Drinking tip: “Whenever, wherever” – $187.99