This August marks the 70th Outturn for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada. As was pointed out on Twitter – this month also sees the 500th bottle released by the SMWS Canada!
This is a rollercoaster of an Outturn that contains some exciting changes in nuance and flavour from one bottle to the next. We go from vibrant and zinging flavour to an oak driven cask finish right into some decadent, well-aged grain – and it just keeps going from there! A stunning toasted oak Speysider is followed by our first peated single malt of the Outturn – a very well smoker coming to us from the Highlands. And it is all capped off by a bracingly bold young Islay malt.
I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I did!
This 13 year old Speysider comes in at 60.7% after maturing in a 1st fill barrel
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn: 180 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The flavours tiptoed on the tongue in a delicate dance, twirling through rosewater, peach, mango, dried papaya and white chocolate. With little pirouettes it displayed Turkish delight, hazelnuts, Bakewell tarts and strawberry jam before revolving into marmalade, orange blossom honey, pears, raw chocolate and black pepper. It swiftly turned into a jig of sticky figs and skipped its way through olives, spiced red apple chutney, salted caramel, old leather, candied fennel seeds and dusty chalk. Velvety smooth and exceedingly complex movements, the finish was resplendent with green apples, lots of sweetness and huge, long lasting spice.”
Drinking tip: “For a refreshing and vibrant dance around the senses”
After 11 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead this Speysider was finished in a virgin oak hogshead with a heavy toast and a medium char, and comes in at 57.6%
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry
Outturn: 270 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose neat had plenty of foodie associations; honey, orange and thyme glazed duck breast, steak cooked in Chinese Five spice powder with plum sauce and sweet mangos in fragrant steamed rice. The taste delivered the drinks; cocktail of green ginger wine and whisky, warm spiced pomegranate orange juice and dry Sercial Madeira wine. Diluted, an almond apricot cake and a sweet creamy Sherry trifle appeared and on the taste a Masala chai spiced tea with almond milk and fresh ginger. Eleven years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, finished in a virgin oak hogshead with a heavy toast and a medium char.”
Drinking tip: “After a round of golf”
This 34-year-old single grain whisky was matured in a refill hogshead and is 52.8%
Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet
Outturn: 180 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We imagined sitting in an old church with polished pews, natural wax candles wearing a freshly starched white shirt and opening up a new cedar wood trinket filled with caramel flavoured marshmallows and honey roasted mixed nuts. Rich, creamy, silky-smooth mouthfeel like runny honey or maple syrup with fragrant wood spice and the slight tart finish of a fresh stick of rhubarb. Water turned it into a mocha java coffee with plenty of whipped cream and cinnamon and chocolate shavings sprinkled on top. To accompany the coffee we had candy and peanut brittle, creamy vanilla fudge, as well as chocolate covered toffee.”
Drinking tip: “With a cup of joe”
After maturing in a 1st fill toasted oak hogshead, this 21 year old Speysider comes in at 54.1%
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 234 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “With great excitement an infinite torrent of descriptors flowed from our pens… Jamaican ginger cake, cinnamon swirls, almond cookies, walnut brownies, banana bread, rum soaked raisins, apricot tart, honeycomb crunch, toffee crunchy bars, baked orange and dark chocolate covered gingerbread men. We paused for air, and besides my pen was overheating. We resumed with old oak, incense sticks, lavender, Cognac, a carpenter’s workshop, wax polish, rich marmalade, bread and butter pudding, Christmas spices, patchouli, crystallized walnuts, linseed, cinder toffee, syrup sponge and brown sugar. The flow of flavours was seemingly endless, until inevitably my pen ran out of”
Drinking tip: “Any time, any place, anywhere”
At 59.9% this 11 year old Highlander was matured in a refill hogshead
Flavour profile: Lightly peated
Outturn: 270 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Tingles on the nose lead to a clean and mineralic hue with a suggestion of sea salt before the appearance of scorched leather and caramelized wood with a significant layer of charcoal. Then malted milk biscuits with a thin coating of milk chocolate and warm porridge where the milk had burnt slightly at the base of the pot. The creaminess persevered through to the palate and was joined by all-spice, cinnamon and star anise. Water drew back the curtains to unveil salted toffee, peach, apricot and nectarines that had been baked on the bonfire. Finishing dry and spicy like cracked black pepper then clean and fresh with an oily mouthfeel.”
Drinking tip: “To accompany a serious day of gardening”
This was a returning bottle – originally featured in the January 2017 Outturn.
From Islay, this 8 year old was matured in a refill hogshead and comes in at 60.3%
Flavour profile: Heavily peated
Outturn: 174 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We found ourselves on the beach starting a barbecue using firelighters and a few slabs of peat on top of the charcoal. We waited patiently for the charcoal to turn white before we started to grill tuna steaks squeezing plenty of lemon on top. Intense sweet and smoky to taste in particular when you added the flavoursome marinade made with red pepper, garlic and sweet paprika. Water added a salty and medicinal dimension like disinfecting a bleeding wound having stepped on a sharp shell in the sea and as an anaesthetic we had a spicy, sweet and very smoky Margarita cocktail.”
Drinking tip: “Wild camping by the sea”
A big thank you to Cured Delicatessen for providing some charcuterie for us to nibble on during the tasting.