Scotch Malt Whisky Society December 2016 Outturn

KWM was the scene for three sold out Scotch Malt Whisky Society tastings this past Friday and Saturday. The assembled parties were there to sample the new December Outturn of single cask Scotch whiskies from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the world’s largest whisky club. On the occasion we launched six new single malts, and a very well received single grain.

A number of whiskies stood out this month. Including 55.38: Flaming red wine punch which was very interesting, but also a bit polarizing. The wine finishing of this whisky imparted an unusual character. G8.6: Jazzed up banana split was interesting to me as I don’t often find water improves Society whiskies, but in this case the difference was night and day. I found it much improved with a drop of water, and a very enjoyable dram. 1.190: Smoky chipotle Bloody Mary was one of my favourites this month, very complex, I feel it really stood out from the pack. It was also interesting to see another legendary release from distillery 3, filled into barrel on September 25th 1997. Weve seen more than a dozen of these over the years, and there has been quite a range of profiles. 3.270: Surf n turf in a camel’s saddle bag was one of this month’s best sellers. But there was one dominant malt,  53.236: Culinary cannonballs was the most popular whisky in the Outturn, but beware the SMWS flavour profile, far from lightly peated, it is a beast!

We always taste blind at the SMWS tastings!

Here is the December Outturn:

  1. 7.139: Salsa verde - 60.5% – 11 Year – 1st Fill Barrel – Speyside – Outturn: 186 Bottles – Flavour Profile: “Youg & spritely” – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose neat started off extremely fresh and green; eucalyptus, mint, melon-cucumber smoothie and freshly mown grass, then it moved on to lime marmalade and quince jelly with lemon scented geranium leaves and finished with buttered croissants and strawberry jam. The palate combined all these aromas in a strawberry, basil and mint cocktail which whizzed through the mouth like a whirlwind. With water it became a lot more herbal, but still green like a crème de menthe or a mixed herb salsa verde. While in the finish, herbal and spicy flavours of thyme and cardamom with a good dose of cayenne pepper seasoning.” Drinking Tip: “A saucy start on a warm summer evening.” - $131.99
  2. 64.75: Feast of fruits – 60.8% – 12 Year – 1st Fill Barrel – Speyside – Outurn: 126 Bottles – Flavour Profile: “Spicy & sweet” – Panel’s Tasting Note: “It was like a feast of fruits on the nose neat; lemon bonbons, dried banana chips, three fruit marmalade on a ‘Paddington Bear sandwich’, strawberry banana milkshake and fruit-flavoured herbal shisha tobacco. The taste initially was spicy chili white chocolate followed by cinnamon candy and watermelon with ground black pepper, salt and lime. Water released a real indulgent aroma of fluffy American pancakes with whipped butter and blueberries and a very tasty French croissant. On the palate now mango-banana juice, an olive oil bread dip and the refreshing finish of a peppermint tablet.” Drinking Tip: “Stimulates your senses”. - $146.99
  3. 55.38: Flaming red wine punch – 58.1% – 15 Year – 2nd Fill Sauternes Oak Hogsead Finish – Speyside – Outturn: 288 Bottles – Flavour Profile: “Spicy sweet” – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The aromas neat gave us a warm glow in our hearts, boozy rum baba with Chantilly cream, a seriously sherried jelly berry trifle and a Feuerzangenbowle (flaming red wine punch!). The taste, ‘fruit and spice and all things nice’ like gingerbread cupcakes with creamy brown sugar frosting. Water added a spicy sponge cake with rum soaked raisins, candied oranges and kumquats and on the palate, a rum rich Planter’s Punch! After 14 years in an ex-bourbon refill hogshead, we transferred this whisky directly into a Sauternes cask for the remainder of its maturation.” Drinking Tip: “For those cold, dark, dreary days.” - $168.99
  4. G8.6: Jazzed up banana split - 59.7% – 26 Yer – Refill Hogshead – Grain Whisky – Outturn: 258 Bottles – Flavour Profile: “Juicy, oak & vanilla.” Panel’s Tasting Note: “Our inspired musings included sawdust sprinkled on soft fruits (plum, peach, pineapple), dried flowers in wicker baskets, crushed nettles and buttered popcorn – interesting nose, enthused imaginings. The palate was sweet (butterscotch, caramel popcorn, vanilla, sweet liquorice), but we also found lively, warm wood tannins, chili jam, fruit schnapps and perfume; hints of gentian and ginger in the finish. The reduced nose offered banana split (including maple syrup, chocolate sauce and ice-cream), but all jazzed up by menthol, eucalyptus, lavender oil, potpourri and wasabi. The reduced palate successfully integrated toffee, love hearts and candy necklaces with menthol vapour rub and tree bark bitterness.” Drinking Tip: “Slightly more vibrant at natural strength – a bit of a curiosity dram.” - $178.99
  5. 1.190: Smoky chipotle Bloody Mary – 56.2% – 21 Year – Refill Hogshead – Speyside – Outturn: 220 Bottles – Flavour Profile: “Spicy & Sweet” Panel’s Tasting Note: “This is best described as being eccentric and if you carry on reading you will understand why. Aromas mentioned:  sweet herb-seasoned sausages, beef mince curry, Bavarian smoked cheese and crayfish cocktail with a smoky chipotle Bloody Mary. Initially to taste, a tantalizing hot/cold sensation like holding an ice cube in your mouth. More customary flavours of toffee apple, molten toffee pudding and cookies with dark chocolate, mango and coconut followed. Water changed everything; prawn cocktail chips, seaweed and salty liquorice caramels on the nose and the taste, crab cakes with sweet chili sauce and menthol cigarettes in the finish.” Drinking Tip: “So you think you’ve seen/tasted it all!” - $214.99
  6. 3.270: Surf n turf in a camel’s saddle bag – 55.8% – 18 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Islay – Outturn: 594 Bottles – Flavour Profile: “Oily & coastal” Panel’s Tasting Note: “On the nose ash, embers, treacle on leather, smouldering leaves, honey-coated kippers, toffee Pavlova, Fisherman’s Friends and camel saddle bags were all mentioned. Water brought campfire waffles and maple syrup, donuts and surf and turf savouriness to the mix. On the neat palate, we found    barbecued prawns and lobster shells, treacle toffee, ginger cake, leather, prunes, cigars, dark rum, sherry and smoke – rich and slightly challenging for some. The reduced palate was still substantial – coke clinkers, sweet tobacco, marmalade, cinder toffee, yeasty rye bread and ‘fish pie on Hobnobs biscuits’. Sherry and smoke lovers will lap it up.” Drinking Tip: “To accompany any strange food combination.” - $221.99
  7. 53.236: Culinary cannonballs - 64.1% – 16 Year – Refill Hogshead – Islay – Outturn: 264 Bottles – Flavour Profile: “Lightly peated.” Panel’s Tasting Note: “The giant flavour cannon was loaded with all manner of scrumminess including dark fruits soaked in rum, flambéed banana, sesame and prawn tempura, toffee and spiced plum chutney. We aimed the barrel at the huge target constructed from bacon and pancakes covered with maple syrup and lit the fuse of muscovado sugar. A sweet smoke explosion shook the ground beneath us as the contents blasted into the   stratosphere, filling the air with ash, chewy soot and gunpowder remnants. On impact the power of the blast had transformed the bacon and pancakes into rye bread and spun sugar.” Drinking Tip: “A living in the moment dram.” – $191.99

Don’t forget we have a lot of past releases also available. You can browse them on our Scotch Malt Whisky Society pages. We update the site once a week, if the product is on our site, but says sold out, there is a good chance we can still get it!

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