A little belated, but like they say, better late than never… We launched 6 new single cask, single malt Scotch whiskies at three sold out Kensington Wine Market SMWS Canada Outturn tastings at the beginning of the month. The range was well received, with two of the whiskies selling out immediately. It didn’t hurt that one of them was an Ardbeg. Here is the range for February 2017:
- 30.81: A baker’s delight – 56% – 23 Year – Refill Hogshead – Speyside - Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow - Outturn: 206 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “Our noses found golden syrup, tinned peaches, rhubarb and custard, apricot Danish, ‘Magdalenas in a sunny Spanish orchard’ and croissants with marmalade – a baker’s delight. The palate offered leather, spice, caramelized sugar, dried mango, American Cream Soda, amaretti biscuits and coffee kisses. The mouth-feel, initially super silky, found pleasant fizzy spice working the tongue later. The nose became even more fragrant with water – Calvados, delicate ginger ale, redcurrants, citrus, peachy talc and ‘a respectable lady’s floral perfume’. The reduced palate had choux buns, butterscotch, melted marshmallows and sugar bubbling in a pot – big sweetness tempered by mild tobacco and perfume bitterness.” Drinking tip: “Might especially appeal to the sweet tooth, but we thought it could suit many palates” – $230 – SOLD OUT!
- 64.72: Fruitful joy - 58.2% – 9 Year – 1st Fill Barrel – Speyside - Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla - Outturn: 210 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “Fruity and sweet aromas on the nose neat of freshly made strawberry jam, alpine strawberry fruit wine, which apparently works as a remedy for “reviving the spirits and making the hart merrie”, Williams pear brandy and caramel coconut shortbread. The taste had the fruitiness of pastilles, black raspberry and gooseberry jelly, lemon curd and orange-infused water. A drop of water and we discovered aromas of banana bread, passion fruit, old-fashioned cloudy lemonade and orange hobnobs. Sweet and malty on the palate like white chocolate tiffin and in the finish a refreshing tangy strawberry and rose water gin fizz.” Drinking tip: “Does that count towards my ‘five a day’?”- $118
- 9.90: Spicy ‘adult’ sweetness – 55.1% – 26 Year – Refill Butt – Speyside - Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet - Outturn: 583 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “Lots of fine sweetness on the nose – we found caramel wafers, toffee, nougat and dulce de leche, but sweet tobacco, marmalade and sugary espresso dregs gave depth to that sweetness; we also got hints of pepper, Airfix glue, wicker and wax. That spicy, ‘adult’ sweetness characterized the palate too – Crunchie bars, honeycomb, pain au chocolat, coffee fondant and crystallized ginger, with one or two earthier notes (pepper, wood, tequila). The reduced nose evoked cinnamon-dusted rice pudding and satay sauce, while the palate’s yummy chocolate gingers and Tia Maria got the thumbs up all round.” Drinking tip: “With coffee and cake would be ideal” - $225
- 36.102: After the rain – 57.7% – 12 Year – 1st Fill Barrel – Speyside - Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla - Outturn: 228 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “We all agreed that a very strong perfumed aroma was the dominant factor on the nose neat. However the way we described the scent varied considerably: wood glue, spring meadow furniture polish, mango incense sticks, damp wine cellar and last, but certainly not least a coconut shea butter aromatic candle. Fiery and flavoursome on the palate; apricot and ginger frangipane tart, raspberry pepper jam and macadamia nut, coconut & white chocolate blondies made this a real experience. Diluted, like an aromatic rose garden in full bloom after the rain and on the palate lush, creamy and mouth-watering – an absolute delight!” - Drinking tip: “Let’s get the party started”- $146
- 55.23: Chow mein on a workbench - 55.1% – 20 Year – Refill Hogshead – Speyside - Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet - Outturn: 248 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “Despite cut grass, herbal notes, citrus, pineapple and watermelon, we could not describe the nose as clean – an almost grubby fascination kept drawing us back – we found toasted oak and pistachios, nutmeg, ghee, an engineer’s workbench, burnt eucalyptus and chow mein noodles. The palate was concentrated and intense (‘an espresso of a dram’) fizzy, mouth-watering and impressively textured – with hits of anise and fennel seeds, plus oily, nutty, peppery elements; sweetness appeared as liquorice allsorts, white chocolate and agave syrup (especially with water) but savoury undertones, even salty, seaside suggestions and medicinal intimations made it a slightly challenging but satisfying experience.” Drinking tip: ”Whether you have been renovating an old motorcycle or performing brain surgery – job well done and you deserve a dram of this” – $200 ( Re-release)
- 66.90: Steam train through a pharmacy - 58.8% – 12 Year – Refill Barrel – Highland (Peated) - Flavour profile: Peated - Outturn: 204 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: ”The nose delivered an immediate, unmistakable blast of vanilla smoke – then cigar ash, walnut shells, polished wood pharmacy counters – eventually pine forest freshness. To taste, the smoke had a more tarry character (the taste left after working with bitumen roofing sheets), Buckley’s Mixture and eucalyptus – the balancing sweetness reminded us of aniseed-flavoured Liquorice Allsorts and blackcurrants. The reduced nose had cleaner, more clinical smoke, causing one panellist to recall a journey on the Jacobite steam train (wood, leather, smoke, heather, pine). The palate now flooded our mouths with sweet, succulent easy-drinking joy – restrained hickory smoke and blackcurrant Halls.” Drinking tip: “To make the last hour of the day (before going to bed) something special” – $130
- 33.134: Peat roasted pig Hawaiian style -60.9% – 8 Year – 2nd Fill Butt – Islay - Flavour profile: Peated - Outturn: 648 bottles - Panel’s tasting note: “We were invited to a luau feast in Hawaii to experience traditional Kālua cooking using an imu. A whole pig, very well salted and wrapped in ti and banana leaves and finally in a wet burlap sack, was being slow roasted for a whole day surrounded by sweet potatoes, bananas and fish in an underground oven – a pit layered and covered with hot rocks and sand. Let’s try it – salty, sweet and smoky, juicy and succulent on the inside and the caramelized bark is chewy, crispy and crunchy. Now imagine all of this with peat – a mouth-watering proposition!” Drinking tip: “When and where is the feast?” - $190 – SOLD OUT!
Don’t forget we have plenty of past releases you can browse anytime on our Scotch Malt Whisky Society Pages.