SMWS Canada July 2017 Outturn

July is here and we are currently entrenched in the long and hot days portion of summer. Being that this is Calgary we will likely see rain, hail, and a freak snowstorm soon but for the time being at least we can enjoy the outdoors and bar patios and barbeques.

The only reason to be inside is an occasion such as this: The July Outturn for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada. What a reason though! This month’s lineup includes TWO single malts that are at least 25 years of age. There is a twenty-year gap between the youngest and the oldest bottle tasted. There is an Islay bottle that was tasted second in the lineup instead of last. Has the world gone mad?

Perhaps. It is Stampede time so everything – at least here in Cowtown – is a little more topsy-turvy than usual so keep that in mind.  By next month we might return to calmer waters but for now, we should all enjoy this outturn with its generation gap of ages on the bottles and the vast spice notes and vibrant, big flavour contained therein!


Here are the six new SMWS bottles in the order tasted:

This 13 year old Speysider is 56.1% after maturing in a 1st fill barrel
Flavour profile: Light & delicate
Outturn: 120 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Fresh, sweet and fruity aromas of apricot Danish, poached pears in honey, French apple tart, buttery shortbread and a melon medley salad in a citrus ginger dressing gave us all that ‘summer time and the living’s easy’ feeling. To taste; citric with the slightest touch of spice like pear Calvados liqueur served over refreshing mint and lime sorbet. Water added a creamy mango and lime smoothie, foamy bananas and the freshness of glacier mints, while on the taste deliciously easy drinking like a Pineapple Fluff cocktail; white coconut flavoured rum, pineapple and banana juice with the final ingredient being Midori melon liqueur.”
Drinking tip: “Summer time, either reality or fantasy”

From Islay, this 9 year old spent its life in a refill barrel and is 60.9%
Flavour proflle: Young & spritely
Outturn: 204 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “A sweetly perfumed and floral cloud gave way to puffs of wheat breakfast cereal, salted caramel and sawdust in a dunnage warehouse before condensing into heavier dried papaya, samphire and Turkish delight in a sandalwood box. The texture was superbly rich and mouth coating with a buttery oiliness of shortcrust pastry and lifted sweetness of maple syrup in Earl Grey tea with lemon peel. Water released a complex interplay between sweet orange, vanilla ice cream, tuna steaks and leather alongside sweet and salty popcorn with a refreshing finish of Fisherman’s Friends and tangy wood spices.”
Drinking tip: “Prepare to be surprised”

This 13 year old Speysider comes in at  57.9% after being matured in a 1st fill barrel
Flavour profie: Spicy & sweet
Outturn: 234 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We agreed the nose was complex – sweet vanilla and liquorice bullets, strawberry smoothie and dusty lemon sweets; also some herbal elements and a sawmill situated in a summer meadow. The palate was sweet but sharp (icing sugar on green apples, white pepper on banana custard) with spicy heat (sweet chili chips, fiery gobstoppers, cinnamon, liquorice). The reduced nose was a more straightforward confectionery of aromas (jelly babies, lucky bags, dolly mixtures, chocolate). The reduced palate had lost some of its heat – now fruity and sweet (jammy dodgers, gomme syrup, strawberry jam) with light spices tingling the finish.”
Drinking tip: “With snack food or tapas”

39.127 – TO DIE FOR
This 25 year old Speysider spent 24 years in an ex-bourbon refill hogshead before being transferred into a second fill toasted oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 288 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Wow!! The nose is big, bold and beautiful, floral, herbal and fruity – essence of rose petals, patchouli oil, rolled oolong tea leaves, fresh mint, ripe plums…  discover 1001 aromas but just wait until you taste it. Brilliant albeit, no surprise, a little tamer; roasted pineapple with honey and pistachio, candies tangerine peel and the soft spiciness of gingered gooseberry chutney. Water added surprising freshness, lemonade with orange blossom water and the taste was simply ‘to die for’. After 24 years in an ex-bourbon refill hogshead, we transferred this whisky directly into a second fill toasted oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.”
Drinking tip: “The title says it all”

This 29 year old Speysider was matured in a refill hogshead and comes in at 58.5%
Flavour profile: Old & dignified
Outturn: 116 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Utter silence, you could hear a pin drop at the first nosing and it took some time for us to come out of our trance before some aroma descriptors were muttered; rum soaked raisins, dates, figs, sultanas, walnuts, cinnamon, baked apples and ripe cherries. The taste neat was rich, sweet and smooth with exotic spices, charred oak and dark chocolate. Even more elegant with the slightest drop of water like vintage leather seats in an E-Type Jaguar with handmade Oriental rug car mats and unlit cigars lying on top of the wooden dashboard. Whoever said “to travel is better than to arrive” was wrong!”
Drinking tip: “Close the curtains and pretend there is no world outside”

This 17 year old from Islay is from a refill hogshead and comes in at 53.9%
Flavour profile: Lightly peated
Outturn: 246 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Have you ever tried sweet, spicy and smoky cowboy beans made with bacon, garlic, fried onions, ketchup, balsamic vinegar and smoked paprika, all in a pot simmering over a barbecue fire in the wild west (on a Hebridean island)? Someone needed medical attention with antiseptic, but then we all tucked in with thick slices of ciabatta. If you are into sweet and salty flavours you will enjoy this. If not, can I tempt you with a drop of water as it turned into a lamb, black pudding and mustard hotpot and how about finishing with pickled herring in a sour crème sauce.”
Drinking tip: “With a loaded hot dog by the sea”

A big thank you goes to Cured Delicatessen for their ongoing support and food pairings at many of our tastings including this one.

In addition to this month’s new releases, you can browse all past releases on our Scotch Malt Whisky Society pages!


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