Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada Outturn for January 2018

Happy New Year!

We have turned the page on 2017 and we now start another year of great tastings here at Kensington Wine Market. As has been the case for the past five (!) years we ring in the new year with a fresh Scotch Malt Whisky Society Outturn. Nothing can get you excited for another spin around the sun like SEVEN brand new cask strength offerings!

The septet features quite a few familiar distillery numbers though some are shown in a different light when compared to other recent bottlings – much of this due to a total of three cask finishes in the lineup. It also seemed to carry a theme of ‘out with the old – in with the new’: only one of the old-look bottles was on hand. The other six were all showing off the new look for SMWS bottles with the light accents of colour that are not necessarily all SMWS GREEN(TM). I am sure we will see more old look bottles this year but this is surely a sign of things to come.

Another feature of the January Outturn is the inclusion of a bottle some may already be familiar with: SMWS 10.117 – SMOKY, SALTY, SWEET PORRIDGE. Though this Outturn is its regular-sized debut, the is also a 100mL version was included in our sold-out 2017 Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar. As we have done over the past few years – we featured a special 100mL SMWS bottle on the 25th day of the Calendar and this time around it was the above mentioned smoky, salty and sweet Bunnahabhain. We have a few extra bottles of the 100mL version for Society Members who would like to add another mini to their collection.

Curious about the Scotch Malt Whisky Society? More information can be found on our website here. Past releases and other available bottles can found on our website as well.

A big thanks as always goes to our neighbor’s Peasant Cheese for supplying the food compliment for the tastings.


Here is the January 2018 SMWS Canada Lineup:

This 14-year-old Speysider is 58.2% after maturing in a 1st fill barrel
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn: 228 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The initial nose was clean, fresh and alluring, offering chocolate, nougat and honeycomb toffee; gradually balanced by dried grass and flowers – we could imagine honeyed apricot flan and corn dollies laid out on a polished boardroom table – classy. The palate had two complementary levels – a lively bugle blast of juicy, succulent sweetness (fudge, cinnamon biscuits, currants, orange zest) underpinned by a very dry, deep tuba-like reverberation of toasted oak. The reduced nose became slightly more perfumed – fresh marigolds and nasturtiums instead of dried. The palate discovered a compromise note of putty, oiled cricket bats and waxed wood. A rewarding dram.”
Drinking tip: “Might be too mouth-watering for playing brass instruments – but could make listening to them more bearable”

This 16-year-old single grain whisky from the Southern Highlands comes in at 62.6% after maturing in a 2nd fill barrel
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn: 245 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “First impressions swung heavily towards creamy vanilla and fine powdery sawdust with a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg spice. After a few deep breaths light citrus, milk chocolate and oily walnuts announced their arrival before developing into intriguing peppermint freshness. The palate delivered a punch of intense sweetness as it danced across brown sugar, mango and chocolate orange with the definite shadow of Caribbean rum. Water accentuated the citrus side with a lemon sherbet zing and a much softer and delicate approach on the palate that lead to a satisfying finish of dark chocolate, apple pie and candied orange.”
Drinking tip: “A general purpose dram for all occasions and celebrations”

From a refill butt, this 15-year-old Speysider is 57.4%
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow
Outturn: 572 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose had us frolicking in flowery Spring meadows; then we were rewarded with apple strudel, strawberry jam donuts and mulled cider. Spice dominated the neat palate – spiced oranges in mulled wine, cinnamon apple pie and intense dark fruits; the finish contained drying white pepper and chili powder. The reduced nose was a tug of war – spiced wood, old bookshops and black bun* pitted against tinned pears, crème Anglaise and apple and elderflower. The palate found its resolution with water – playful nutmeg spice and sherbet, lemon meringue pie, vanilla and Belgian caramel wafer; strangely mouth-watering and drying at the same time. (*a very dark, spicy fruit cake enclosed in pastry, traditionally served in Scotland on New Year’s Eve).”
Drinking tip: “Perhaps with an apple dessert”

This 17-year-old Speysider is 53.9% and after spending 17 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead it was transferred to a 1st fill French oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 227 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “It was time to sit back and relax in a world of gloriously comforting aromas. Muscovado sugar and melted butter combined with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg whilst on an open fire we roasted sweet chestnuts. Then figs, dates and porcini mushrooms came to the fore with a fruit zing of blood oranges, blackcurrant sweets and spiced rhubarb and ginger tart. The sweetness turned towards toffee and fudge with a suggestion of heather honey and sweet Malaga wine before finishing with old wood and dark chocolate. After spending 17 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead it was transferred to a 1st fill French oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.”
Drinking tip: “Whilst relaxing by an open fire in a robe and fluffy slippers”

This 26-year-old Speysider is 54% and after spending 25 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead it was transferred into a 1st fill American oak Pedro Ximenez hogshead for the remainder of its maturation
Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet
Outturn: 234 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The distinctive woody whiff of old dunnage warehouse opened the doors for suggestions of soft fudge, nougat, toffee and dark chocolate pralines. Fruit followed with roasted peach and demerara sugar, overripe strawberries, gooseberries and rum soaked cherries before rich notes evolved of bitter chili chocolate, freshly ground coffee, tobacco and spiced orange chocolate covered marzipan. The extended finish combined perfumed talcum powder with Chantilly cream and a varnished cricket bat. After spending 25 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, this was transferred into a 1st fill American oak Pedro Ximenez hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.”
Drinking tip: “With a box of pralines and a bunch of flowers”

This 9-year-old from Islay comes in at 61.2% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Peated
Outturn: 150 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Plenty of peat smoke, chimney soot and tar right at the beginning, but it did not stop there as we discovered an underlying sweetness which needed to be unearthed. In time we discovered aromas of brown sugar glazed parsnips, honey roasted chocolate peanuts and black currant wine gums. The taste was like a sweet golden syrup, but at the same time, smoky salty austere, steaming hot creamy porridge – most unusual. Water calmed tempers somewhat, on the nose now sweet potatoes and honey glazed carrots whilst on the palate grilled hot dogs with mango chutney and red onion relish.”
Drinking tip:  “Experience the difference between neat and diluted”
$32.99 for the 100mL version

This 8-year-old Highlander comes in at 60% and after 7 years in an ex-bourbon barrel it was transferred into a custom new oak barrel with a #4 char and heavily toasted heads
Flavour profile: Peated
Outturn: 216 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “On first nosing we were surrounded by “new age shop” fragrance (incense), and very intense smoke. With time, we imagined an old desk with lining paper. Upon it sat a bottle of rose water, some potpourri, a bowl of dried raspberries and a sprig of scorched heather. A final hint of peppery pine-smoked salmon invited us to delve deeper. Plumes of burning heather to taste, toasty and nutty. The smoke grew, and finished with smoked bacon crisps and aniseed. Water brought pencil shavings, herbal notes of rosemary and lemon thyme, and hot smoked salmon. The taste was still more savoury, like creamy whisky sauce poured on chicken stuffed with haggis. After 7 years in an ex-bourbon barrel, we transferred this to a custom new oak barrel with a #4 char and heavily toasted heads.”
Drinking tip: “A post-meditation dram”

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