Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada First Anniversary Releases

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada is now a year old. At two events in Calgary on Friday October 19th and Edmonton Saturday October 20th we launched 12 new cask strength, single cask Scotch whiskies. Here is the mid October 2012 SMWS Canada Outturn:

  1. 25.63: Poire et Poivre21 Year – 59.8% – Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Outturn: 257 Bottles - Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose suggested fermenting beer – still life on the lid of a washback – greenapples, a pear, a peach, some lemon puffs, a stone bowl containing sweet pipetobacco and a bunch of fresh spring flowers. Pears again on the palate (ripernow), also some fizzy fruit (sherbet lemons), more flowers (this time from highsummer) and definite peppery spice (‘poire et poivre’). The second nosing hadmild liquorice (sherbet dib-dabs) tobacco leaf and pear and nettle sorbet. Thereduced palate gave light, pleasant flavours of bergamot and floral perfumes; amild tingly finish. From Falkirk’s sadly now defunct distillery.” Drinking Tip: “Summer time dram – perhaps to accompany tea in thegarden.” - $174.99 + GST – Rare Closed Distillery!
  2. 9.66: Melo-dram-atic14 Year – 56.5% – Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Outturn: 356 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The fragrant nose wafted Murray Mints, Blackpool rock, leather, apple, darkchocolate, gingerbread people with currant eyes and a man’s shaving cupboard.With water it became a fruity dessert served in an actor’s dressing room (sweat,hot light, dust, grease paint remover). The palate, however, was sweet andperfumed – with woody, spicy, men’s cologne (the actor now freshly shaven);finishing slightly nippy and drying with cold black tea tannins. The reducedpalate had cherry lips and Juicy Fruit chewing gum; sweet, spicy, playful warmth(was that actor Kevin Spicy?) mingled witdh serious pleasure. Distillery founded bythe Grants (not Cary).” Drinking Tip: “Pre-theatre, interval or back stage.” - $126.99 + GST
  3. 63.27: Jar Jar Binks in Trouble Again - 5 Year – 62.3% – Second Fill Sherry Butt – Outturn: 641 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “ Remarkable for its age, the nose suggested unripe green fruits, stewed rhubarb,lemon bonbons, mint, golden syrup and Werther’s butterscotch. It reminded usof grappa, tequila, pear schnapps etc. The substantial palate delivered applesours, lime fruit pastilles and red cola – a caustic/sweet combination so juicy ithad us slavering like Boss Nass berating Jar Jar Binks. The reduced nose hadapples sautéed in butter and raspberry jam pips – and woody, earthy, floral notesinspired the gardeners among us. The palate now had tart toffee apples and Keylime pe – very interesting indeed. The distillery was built by James Buchanan.” Drinking Tip: “To accompany light gardening or an episode of StarWars.” - $88.49 + GST
  4. 4.164: Muddy Tractor11 Year – 62.0% – First Fill Ex- Bourbon Barrel – Outturn: 203 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Rich Madagascan vanilla with lemon barley to start on the nose. On the first sipof spirit, the panel’s composure was tested. There was an immediate welling upof eyes. The sensation was akin to sucking on full strength peppermint sweets.An old mud covered tractor remembered one of the panellists. An unexpectedcombination of flavours mingled favourably- lapsang souchong tea and chillichocolate. With water the Panel got recently extinguished camp fires and aheather covered field on a hot summer’s day interspersed with wild garlic. Themouth had us chewing on smoked bacon to start, then were sucking on dustyboiled lemon sweets for our dessert.” Drinking Tip: “Time to drink: camping trip in late September.” - $123.49 + GST
  5. 2.81: Black Tea in a Green House15 Year – 59.9% – First Fill Sherry Butt – Outturn: 500 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Rich and heady aromas of butterscotch, molasses and rum soaked raisinstogether with crème brulee, orange oil, geraniums and a greenhouse on a warmday. Toffee sweetness was balanced by balsamic and a trace of struck matches.The taste was hot, there was liquorice, black tea tannins, toffee and blackpepper. Water improved it offering smooth buttery toffee, tobacco and balsamic.The palate was still tannic (like chewing sticks) with brown sauce bitterness butalso sweet with vanilla, butterscotch and caramel. This Speyside distillery isclose to the famous pack horse bridge.” Drinking Tip: “A pudding dram.” – $149.99 + GST – Sampled this one in Scotland and it stood out!
  6. 35.64: Eating Custard in an Old Jag10 Year – 60.8% – First Fill Sherry Butt – Outturn: 618 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Robust notes on the nose to start with brown sauce, soy sauce, figs, dates andOld Jamaica chocolate. Tasted neat, it was hot and had some struck matches(sulphur?), salty toffee, fruit cake, cloves and coke. Adding water made us thinkof egg custard in an old Jaguar (leather) and there was fig jam, toffee andrapeseed oil. The taste retained the sulphury notes but it was pleasant – rum &raisin ice cream, glace cherries, dark chocolate, ginger loaf and a toffee saucefinish. Elgin’s gallows once stood within the grounds of this distillery.” Drinking Tip: “Following a drive in the country in a classic car.” - $112.99 + GST
  7. G5.4: Sweet Treats - 18 Year – 65.6% – New Toasted Oak Hogshead – Outturn: 247 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The nose held sweet bourbon-like treats – banana toffee, golden syrup, barleysugar, pecan pie, maple syrup on pancakes, rum and raisin, sugar on cornflakes;vague hints of coconut, balsa wood, vanilla and felt-tip pens. The palate was HOT,chewy, tannic – an explosion of wood extracts with pears, lollies, pecan pie,toffee popcorn and treacle tart. The reduced nose found sultanas, cinnamon,apple strudel and bananas – the most telling comment – ‘I could sniff it all night!’The reduced palate was unusual, succulent and interesting – perfumed, spicedand ‘insanely sweet’ – like rum baba, sprinkled with Devil’s Penis chilli; fromScotland’s northern-most grain distillery.” Drinking Tip: “With dessert or watching a DVD of the Dixie Chicks inconcert.” - $129.99 + GST
  8. 121.50: Xmas Cake & Afghan Coats - 9 Years – 61.3% – Refill Sherry Butt – Outturn 673 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The malts of the island from which this distillery takes its name (opened in 1995)were once ranked second only to those of Speyside, yet only one (closed in 1837)was licensed. This example has a deep, rich hue. The nose is relatively closed tostart with, then reveals scorched coffee, burnt Xmas cake, liquorice and ginger,with glazed ham studded with cloves. Unreduced, the taste is sweet, hot andpeppery, with burnt dried fruits. Water raises leather notes (the scent of HippieAfghan coats), struck matches, salted potato skins and more Xmas cake, andnow the taste has treacle sponge, with ginger and spice, developing into deep chocolate.” Drinking Tip: “With coffee on a wet Sunday afternoon.” - $102.49 + GST
  9. 3.188: The Camping Trip - 14 Year – 58.8% – Refill Sherry Butt – Outturn: 616 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Remember the last time you were camping? The smell of the dew touched grassin the morning a distant memory as the sweat, deep heat and old tent pierceyour nostrils. An oily smoked fish caught earlier in the day mixes with thearoma of roasting marshmallows and ash. The barbecued green peppers,mushrooms and lemon dressing on the palate make way for heat and lavender.When the water is added, the campfire smoke intensifies, the petrol used tolight the fire maybe wasn’t such a good idea as it catches the nose, but thatwon’t retract from the comforting beach aromas and the budget chocolate baryou’ve been sitting on all day.” Drinking Tip: “On a camping trip.” - $130.49 + GST – One of my favourites!
  10. 29.118: Surprise! - 16 Year – 60.3% – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – Outturn: 187 Bottles - Panel’s Tasting Note: “Greeted by an inviting and luring perfume smell, combined with Morellocherries and oranges. Followed by a mineral, slight salty aroma – lobster shellson a sunny beach, as well as the occasional whiff of a distant peat fire. The tasteinitially dark chocolate with orange, followed by a spicy gingery note and plentyof hot tar. The finish is refreshing, reminiscent of the ash of menthol cigarettes.With water, floral as well as sweet notes appearing like custard and pineapplecubes – sitting on the machair with a Pina Colada. The taste has an addedherbal tarragon note and a long slightly lemony finish. An unusual make by theonly distillery to have been owned and run by a woman.” Drinking Tip: “First (Islay) whisky of the night.” - $149.49 + GST
  11. 53.167: Old Style Smoky Pubs - 15 Year – 58.2% – Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Outturn: 269 Bottles – Panel’s Tasting Notes: “The nose, with smoke, embers, smoky bacon crisps, ashtrays and seasonedwood suggested old-style smoky pubs. We also got cinnamon sugar and pearsin wine with clove and orange peel. The unreduced palate was intensely sweetand hot, conveying cinders, sugar-coated fennel seeds and liquorice allsorts.Water brought incense, perfumed smoke, jamón serrano and barbeques to thenose; also ginseng, wood-sap and herbal hints. The palate seemed even sweeterbut always balanced by coal, ash, smoke, citrus and salt water – suggestionsincluded margaritas and ‘lime squeezed on a razor strop’. You almost could hitJura with a skimmer from here.” Drinking Tip: “A sweet and pungent dram that would accompanytapas well.” - $136.49 + GST
  12. 127.26: Student Party Aftermath9 Year – 65.6% – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Initial fireworks in coal cellars became a doctor’s surgery (antiseptic, wood,leather) – also some pastrami and smoked sausage, but gradually sweetnessasserted itself (vanilla, sweet spices, caramelised pear, cola cubes, pineapplecubes). The palate was simply huge! – sweet and smoky, with medicinal notes,cinnamon, chorizo and an ashy finish. The reduced nose suggested theaftermath of a student party – cider and blackcurrant, pistachios, Gauloise ash infruit salad tins used as ashtrays. The reduced palate was still breath-catching butsweeter and more approachable; tar, liquorice and menthol spiced up the finish.Distillery named after a town named after a woman.” Drinking Tip: “Last thing at night (if not afraid of spontaneouscombustion).” - $108.49 + GST

This was one of the finest Society releases we’ve seen to date, and we don’t expect some of these whiskies to last long!

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