Scotch Malt Whisky Society Outturn for October 2017

The weather is slowly turning as we are into fall full-time and even seeing some part-time winter creep in as well. As is always the case, there is no better time for cask strength whisky – and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada supplies this to us in droves. This October’s Outturn provides a wide variety of flavours from an eclectic mix of distilleries. Some of these we had seen featured in other recent Outturn but this month also includes a few distilleries that we have not seen in SMWS bottle form in quite a while – hailing respectively from the Lowlands and Campbeltown. Welcome additions to the lineup they are, but then there are not many unwelcome additions to any SMWS tasting in my humble opinion.

This also marks our first sighting of the new look Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottles, which add splashes of colour and tweak the label layout of the iconic green bottles. Four out of the seven bottles in the October 2017 Outturn are in the new style. We will continue to see some of the older bottles in future months but the new look is here to stay and are now the de facto style for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Curious about the seven new bottles? Read on below – but first I would like to thank the always wonderful Peasant Cheese for providing the small bites to go along with our monthly pilgrimage up cask strength whisky mountain.


This 16 year old Lowlander spent 14 years in ex-bourbon wood before being transferred to a second-fill Sauternes hogshead for the remainder of its maturation and it comes in at 60.1%
Flavour profile:  Sweet, fruity & mellow
Outturn:  240 bottles
Panel’s tasting note:  “The nose had perfumed tropical fruits (peach, raisins, lemon bonbons, pineapple, passion-fruit) and polished wood. The palate combined those fruits (orange, papaya, banana) with toffee donut sweetness and some wood tannins; the finish found curry, wasabi and chili. The reduced nose detected cinnamon buns, Peshwari naan, cigarette packets and a Spanish bodega wine note. In reduction, the palate was now full of pleasant intrigue, any previous tensions were completely reconciled – exotic fruits and Eastern spice, sherbet straws and chocolate raisins – all wonderfully integrated – an eminently enjoyable dram. After fourteen years in ex-bourbon wood, we transferred this to a second-fill Sauternes hogshead.”
Drinking tip:  “While planning adventures” $173.99

Matured in a refill hogshead, this 19 year old Speysider comes in at 56%
Flavour profile:  Spicy & sweet
Outturn:  270 bottles
Panel’s tasting note:  “An expansive horizon of aromas lay before us, ranging from orange and apple blossom, dried rose buds, custard creams, syrup sponge cake, dried apple rings and bananas all the way through to caramel wafers, toasted pine nuts, coconut oil, dark chocolate and raisins soaked in Pedro Ximenez sherry. The palate boasted voluminous dimensions as fresh ginger, liquorice root, orange liqueur and black forest gateau opened into spiced marmalade, toasted almonds, chewy toffee and strawberry and apple smoothie. The finish was sweet with pipe tobacco in an old leather pouch, candle wax and a lasting suggestion of menthol.”
Drinking tip:  “For happy times watching the sunset” $196.99

From a 1st fill barrel, this 12 year old Speysider comes in at 60.7%
Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet
Outturn: 180 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The train was hot and spicy, assisted predominantly by our delicious bloody marys with celery sticks, pickled ginger and sweet chili sauce. As the driver shovelled mounds of black pepper into the engine’s furnace we chugged our way through the Indian countryside passing trees of lemons, limes and sweet blood oranges. With a shrill “toot toot” of the engine’s whistle we entered a tunnel cut deep through a blueberry muffin mountain. We could smell the peppery smoke from the engine that also had the sweet aroma of honey roast nuts. Then to our delight the afternoon tea trolley came around carrying pancakes with lemon juice, nutella and vanilla ice cream.”
Drinking tip: “With spicy food and/or a fruity dessert” $135.99

44.78 – PEEK-A-BOO
At 57.6%, this 14 year old Speysider spent 14 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead and was then transferred to a virgin oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry
Outturn: 276 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose suggested light fruit notes of apple, pear and sultana loaf with a nutty flip side of linseed oil and peanuts before arriving in a sweet demonstration of custard powder and icing sugar. However, concealed behind this alluring facade was an explosive palate of fireworks, liquorice, burnt raisins and burnt custard tart. Big, chewy and viscous with coffee cake, maple syrup, parsnips and soot sweetly finishing with old leather and tobacco. After spending 13 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead it was transferred to a virgin oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.”
Drinking tip: “For those contemplative moods” $154.99

This 9 year old Speysider comes in at 58.1% after maturing in a 1st fill Oloroso butt
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 594 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The panel embarked on a bold expedition into spectacularly rich and robust sweet meats and Spanish jamon with charred oak and honey on grainy toast. The way was chewy and viscous with mouth-coating oils like eating warm crispy bacon. Then a beam of sunlight illuminated tangy tangerine and baked Seville oranges to provide a moment of refreshment before we delved deeper into paths of golden syrup and malty bran flakes. The journey finally came to an end when we approached the fresh wood of charcoal pencils dripping with the dew of young sherry whilst milk chocolate and the slightest suggestion of sulphur provided a deliciously rounded completion.”
Drinking tip: “Drink when all else tastes bland” $105.99

This 9 year old from Campbeltown comes in at 58.3% after maturing in a 1st fill barrel
Flavour profile:  Oily & coastal
Outturn:  222 bottles
Panel’s tasting note:  “The nose evokes a candy factory, with all the machinery working – outside there is a barbecue with mackerel and chestnuts roasting; runny honey mixed with balsamic and heather burning in the distance. The palate is rather curious – sweet-cured herring and salt and chili prawns, dried seaweed, light nut oil and liquorice. The reduced nose conjures a beach bonfire with hickory smoke and tarry driftwood; peppered salami, treacle scones and burnt jam tarts (blackcurrant). The palate becomes sweeter – sugar-coated fennel seeds and Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – also an applewood fire cooking lobster and herb sausages – spearmint and ash to finish.”
Drinking tip:  “Might go well with charcuterie or smoked fish” $125.99

This 18 year old from Islay was matured in a refill hogshead and comes in at 55.3%
Flavour profile:  Peated
Outturn:  204 bottles
Panel’s tasting note:  “Clouds of dusty burnt ash began to settle on the remains of scorched wood and a pile of black soot with its characteristic tar-laden aroma. Sitting back the chimney sweep placed the lunch box on his blackened old leather apron and opened the lid to reveal smoked salmon on toasted rye bread, oat cakes with cinnamon honey and an olive and feta salad with a herbal dressing and crumbled smoked haddock. Opening his flask he poured a refreshing cup of eucalyptus and menthol tea and enjoyed the seaside view from the window as the tide gently washed against the seaweed-covered rocks.”
Drinking tip:  “As a welcome reward for knocking out an old fireplace” $274.99

Don’t forget we have plenty of past releases you can browse anytime on our Scotch Malt Whisky Society Pages.

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