Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada – January Outturn

We started of our 2017 in store tastings here at Kensington Wine Market with a bang – with three sold out Scotch Malt Whisky Society tastings held over two days. Tasting your way through seven cask strength single cask bottlings blind can be a grueling job but somebody has to do it.

As Andrew was on vacation I had the honor of leading everybody through the lineup – something that I have quite enjoyed doing when given the opportunity over the past year. It is made even easier when the Outturn is as solid as this one is. We are kicking off the new year with a vibrant and fresh lineup. Picking favorites was difficult on this one – which is always a good sign!

Here is the January Outturn:

This 11 year old Speysider is 60.4% after maturing in a 1st fill barrel
Flavour profile:  Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn:  192 bottles

Panel’s tasting note:  ”Lemon was the aroma dominating this one, not sharp and acidic but sweet and creamy; lemon sponge cake, lemon drizzle cake, lemon posset, lemon sorbet and a light lemon linguine. A lot livelier on the palate; freshly squeezed juice, Ricola lemon mint herb drops and zesty lemon tart but still as creamy as a caramelized lemon rice pudding. Water added the sweeter dimension of marzipan stollen with candied orange and lime peel, sultanas and raisins and the light perfumed scent of flowering gorse bushes (coconut). The taste still had an intensity which was in no way overpowering, but lip-smacking like a frozen lemon sherbet cocktail.”

Drinking tip:  ”Happy hours during sizzling summer months”


After maturing in a refill barrel, this 18 year old Speysider comes in at 57.9%
Flavour profile:  Sweet, fruity & mellow
Outturn:  198 bottles

Panel’s tasting note:  ”This light and fresh dram started with aromas of Prosecco, sponge fingers in strawberry jelly, a hint of perfume, pencil shavings and Mojito (fresh, salty, citric and sweet). Perfumed sweetness on the palate, trifles and then lots of strawberries (jam, cordial and fizzy sweets). Water made the aromas lightly floral (nasturtium), dusty (hay and sherbet lemons) and summery (sponge cake with butter icing and fruit cordial). It was ‘dangerously quaffable’ to drink. Light and milky in texture but also like a fruit juice’s drying aftertaste – lemon meringue pie and a fruit smoothie served in a coconut.”

Drinking tip:  ”For a garden party”


This 14 year old Highlander is 56.8% and was finished in a 2nd fill Sauternes hogshead after spending 13 years in a refill hogshead
Flavour profile:  Light & delicate
Outturn:  282 bottles

Panel’s tasting note:  ”After a long period of silence, the first comment was ‘this is a whispering dram’. The aromas were very elegant, but one had to ‘listen’ carefully and then it revealed yellow gorse bushes on a cliff side, vanilla & tonka bean scented candles and freshly crushed mint lemonade. The taste neat was grippy, teeth coating, like smoking vanilla and orange flavoured tobacco in a hookah. With a drop of water a lot more perfumed; blood orange, eucalyptus and sage hand cream and on the palate, as smooth as silk. After 13 years in a refill hogshead we transferred this whisky directly into a Sauternes cask for the remainder of its maturation.”

Drinking tip:  ”Aperitif at sundown”


This 23 year old single grain whisky is from a refill hogshead and comes in at 60.3%
Flavour profile:  Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn:  163 bottles

Panel’s tasting note:  ”The nose seemed delicate, yet also lively – gardens after rain, honey, vanilla, waffles, pepper and pine – but mainly fruit (melon, tangerine, grapefruit, strawberry, lemon, lime). The neat palate combined mouth-puckering citrus with pleasant sweetness (crème anglaise, honey nut cornflakes, lemon puffs) to balance; then leather, cocoa and dry woody spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg) on the finish. The reduced nose was a joy – lemon-scented candles, lemon drizzle cake, orange barley water, orange blossom and subtle shades of liquorice, cumin and tarragon. The palate now had lemon sherbet, lime zest and French fancies, with pencil shavings, gingerbread and star anise in the after-taste.”

Drinking tip:  ”A summery dram; perfect for a pre-barbecue dram to get the juices flowing”


5.) 35.145 – LOST IN THE DESSERT
This 24 year old Speysider matured in a 2nd fill hogshead and comes in at 57.6%
Flavour profile:  Old & dignified
Outturn:  228 bottles

Panel’s tasting note:  ”After walking for days we were still not sure which dessert we were in. Was it the apricot tart, lemon curd or spiced apple pie we debated. The ground crunched beneath our feet, perhaps it was creme brûlée or even honeycomb crunch. Small pods of vanilla sprouted out of the icing sugar around us. We continued to roam, passing dunes of desiccated coconut and Turkish delight. Then on the horizon… an oasis of scrumptious green apple trees with trunks of polished oak growing beside a lake of golden syrup or perhaps manuka honey and cream. Was this a mirage or pure heaven?”

Drinking tip:  ”Instead of dessert”


This Highland/Island 9 year old is 59.4% and is from a refill barrel
Flavour profile:  Lightly peated
Outturn:  216 bottles

Panel’s tasting note:  ”Maritime, mineralic, salty, slightly smoky – the adjectives used to describe lobster pods, wet rope on a sandy beach, seaweed but also Iberico ham and old-fashioned dentists’ mouthwash. The palate neat was all about food on a beach barbecue; scampi, crab meat, salted prawns, smoky fish chowder and spiced lamb sausages. With water at first aromas of smouldering tractor tires which then developed into a tribe of goats arriving on the beach with the goat herder eating fish and chips. By then we started to enjoy a Ploughman’s platter with blue cheese, plum chutney and a celery stick.”

Drinking tip:  ”Picnic on the beach”


This 16 year old from Islay matured in a refill barrel and is 51.6%
Flavour profile:  Peated
Outturn:  282 bottles

Panel’s tasting note:  ”The nose had smoke, tar and seaweed harmoniously melded with toffee popcorn and parma violets, plus unmistakable burgers and lemon scallops sizzling on a beach barbecue (wet suits and fish boxes nearby). The palate was deeply satisfying and full of personality – wood embers, ash, burnt lavender, liquorice and smoked fish and tarry ropes on a  wooden boat. The reduced nose had verbena and heather chucked on a fire of young wood – aromatic and pleasantly invigorating. The palate recalled Oil of Olay, floral smoke, soot and slight waxiness in the aftertaste – we joked about  cremations on the beach, but actually, we loved it.”

Drinking tip:  ”Beach bonfire, sundown, bliss”


There you have it. As I said it was a great lineup and a great start to this year. I can’t wait to see what February brings us!

As always do not forget that we also have many past SMWS Canada releases still available. You can browse them on our Scotch Malt Whisky Society pages. [Link] 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!

Cheers and until next time,
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