Scotch Malt Whisky Society May 2017 Outturn

It is the beginning of May which means it is also time for the big reveal of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada’s new Outturn. We had another three sold out tastings here at Kensington Wine Market with those in attendance clamouring for the opportunity to taste their way through these seven new SMWS bottlings.

After Aprils departure from the ordinary which featured only one heavily peated whisky and not a single drop of Islay Malt, we have returned to the fabled isle in a big way: Two Islay bottles capped off another stellar Society lineup that also featured four malts from Speyside and one elder statesman Grain whisky from a distillery that closed in 2010.

What is out of the ordinary is that this Outturn featured not one – but TWO cask finishes; something we are seeing the SMWS start to dabble in recently.

Thank you to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for helping to make these tastings happen by bringing in the great green bottles. Thanks as well to Cured Delicatessen for providing the charcuterie and cheese to go along with the whisky.


Here is the May of 2017 SMWS lineup:

64.84 – SPRUCED-UP FRUIT SALAD : $132.99
This 12 year old Speysider is 58.7% after maturing in a 1st fill barrel
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn: 204 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “This felt like a spruced-up tropical fruit salad of grapefruit, orange, pineapple and kiwi, more exotic perfumed lychee and slightly nutty dragon fruit, all ‘dressed up’ with watermelon vinaigrette using a combination of agave and Dijon mustard. Smooth and mouth-watering like a breakfast quinoa fruit salad; fresh berries, orange zest, vanilla powder and cinnamon. Diluted, a perfect Eiskaffee – creamy iced coffee made with extra strong coffee, two scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate brittle whilst the finish turned into a cafe Mexicana called ‘café de olla’ with cinnamon and orange peel.”
Drinking tip: “In a street cafe whilst people watching”

85.45 – THE LEMON ROCKET SHIP: $109.99
After 8 years in a 1st fill barrel, this Speysider comes in at 61.8%
Flavour profile: Young & spritely
Outturn: 210 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The countdown had begun as we seated ourselves on board the giant lemon rocket ship with marshmallow seats and dials made of yellow wine gums. A car air freshener hung from the rear view mirror and our destination was plotted in marker pen on a large whiteboard. The rocket had been fuelled with bitter lemon and quality tonic water with cooling menthol and spearmint to prevent overheating. Holding the honeycomb and chocolate steering controls the countdown reached zero and then blast off! With a chili kick the giant lemon soared into the stratosphere, destination… the twin planets of rhubarb and custard.”
Drinking tip: “When your senses need a boost”

37.83 – AN ODYSSEY OF FLAVOUR: $139.99
At 57.1%, this 12 year old Speysider spent most of its life in an ex-bourbon hogshead before finishing its maturation in a virgin oak hogshead
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn: 234 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Complex beyond its years, the panellists were delighted to find fruity ripe mango with spiced sugar syrup, quince jelly and tart black cherries integrating most wonderfully with liquorice cake, treacle tart with soft short crust pastry and creamy custard. In the background appeared an interesting woody backbone of a French polisher’s toolbox, damp forest floor and sweet balsa wood. Water released dried herbs in a farmhouse kitchen with welly boots and wax jackets by the door, fennel and coriander seed, fresh sweet carrots and homemade ginger beer with dandelion and burdock. After 12 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead it was transferred to a virgin oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.”
Drinking tip: “When you are in no hurry and can give it the time and contemplation it deserves”

This single grain whisky from a closed distillery is 35 years old and comes in at 49% after maturing in a refill hogshead
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow
Outturn: 198 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We entered a carpenter’s workshop whilst he was working hard preparing wood with a hand plane. When he saw us he stopped, walked over and the scent of a vetiver fragrance he was wearing – masculine, slightly smoky with hints of incense, mixed with the smells of wood shavings, fresh cut cedar, beeswax and French polish – made it an evocative experience. He offered us white chocolate-covered jalapeno peppers, butterscotch toffee cookies and candied nuts. Water added aromas of fresh cut grass with a hint of pine sap whilst on the palate now a creamy lime cheesecake with an Espresso Martini.”
Drinking tip: “After a hard day’s work”

46.47 – MEXICAN BREAKFAST: $151.99
This 14 year old Speysider comes in at 59.8% after maturing first in an Oloroso sherry butt then in a 1st fill Pedro Ximenez butt
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry
Outturn: 600 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We started off with a Mexican breakfast: chili tomato stew with onions, garlic and bay leaves, fried eggs and cheese all wrapped in lightly fried corn tortillas and our ‘huevos rancheros’ was ready. In the taste we added fresh coriander leaves, ginger and turmeric and a semi-sweet hot chili sauce. With a drop of water, we remembered what we drank last night before we went to bed, a clove-y, gingery and cinnamon-y liqueur and a splash of Fernet Branca. After 13 years in an Oloroso sherry butt, we transferred this whisky directly into a 1st fill Pedro Ximenez butt for the remainder of its maturation.”
Drinking tip: “With a late brunch”

This 17 year old from Islay was matured in a refill sherry butt and comes in at 56.9%
Flavour profile: Peated
Outturn: 636 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose was deep and rich (like a millionaire’s pockets), with tarry ropes and wetsuits on a pier, a night-club bouncer’s leather trousers and sneakers, struck match, antiseptic, syrup of figs, Branston pickle, balsamic and embers from a seafood barbecue. The neat palate was salty, smoky and sweet – a big personality of a dram delivering sweet pickled onions, anchovies, burnt raisins, treacle, bonfire ash, sherry and biltong. The reduced nose found mussels, sea water and wet sand with a hint of new leather. The palate became softer and sweeter (but still no pussycat) – raisins and lemon peel in a fruit cake.”
Drinking tip: “With food – even a fish and chip shop take out”

This 17 year old from Islay is at 58.8% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Peated
Outturn: 216 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Cycling along the beach we passed an old shipwreck with its weathered and tar-covered timbers that sat amongst the glistening rock pools and dried seaweed. The sweet smell of sticky pork ribs on a bbq hung in the air along with smoked rhubarb crumble with whipped cream and roasted limes. Suddenly my tire punctured on the sharp edge of an oyster shell, releasing a sweet inner tube aroma. We sat down on a rock and opened a packet of salted almonds and some sweet smoked salmon, and as a rain shower started we relaxed whilst watching patterns being made by the raindrops in the sand.”
Drinking tip: “Drink whilst cleaning barnacles off of fresh mussels”

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