Welcome to April! Is it still snowing outside? I could have sworn it was supposed to be spring by now… Gotta love that Calgary Weather.
Sometimes it is best to avoid what is happening with the weather outdoors, go inside, and settle down with a rewarding dram. Or seven. Good thing it is Outturn time for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada!
A very interesting lineup awaits us this month, featuring:
- one cask finish (73.87)
- one milestone bottling (66.100)
- one distillery never seen before from the SMWS Canada (96.12)
- one scotch masquerading as a bourbon (35.185)?
- one gorgeously sherried Islay malt from an increasingly hard to come by distillery (29.229)
- and for the first time in Canada – an entire lineup made of new-look bottles!
Tired of my preamble and looking specifics? Read on below! If you are looking for otherÂ bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society you canÂ check out what we have in stock here. If any SMWS bottles show as being out of stock on our website please contact us â€“ we might be able to get more.
As always we would like to give a big thank-you to our awesome neighbourâ€™sÂ Peasant Cheese for supplying the small bites for the tastings.
41.99 – A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
ThisÂ 10-year-oldÂ Speysider comes in at 58.1% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Light & delicate
Outturn: 199 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We walked through a well-tended apple orchard onÂ newlyÂ mown grass with cracked golden peanut brittle and multi-coloured candy floss in our hands. On the palate like sliced freshly baked sesame, sunflower & poppy seed bread, spread with a delicious, slightly spicy Bourbon vanilla peach jam. Water released the freshness of a cool mountain spring flowing over mossy rocks and iced mocha with whipped topping and chocolate drizzle and the taste was like a breath of fresh air, a summer fruit salad soaking in the juices with a large dollop of mango and peppermint ice cream.” $124.99
96.12 – SWEET LEMONS AND SOUR GRAPES
This is SMWS Canada’s first-ever release of distillery number 96!Â At 9 years old, this Speysider was matured in a refill barrel and is 58.8%
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow
Outturn: 193 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We had a fascinating mix of unusual Middle Eastern aromas at first; Persian sweet lemons and unripe sour grapes called Ghooreh,Â besideÂ more familiar notes of balsamic vinegar, honeycomb and orange blossom and a rose garden following the rain. The taste neat had the tangy, without being tart,Â sweetnessÂ of a rhubarb raspberry custard pie, SpanishÂ membrilloÂ paste (quince jelly) and green tea with sweet mint. Water released herbal, slightly sweet earthy notes of freshly crushed sugar cane and on the palate the fresh sweet minty flavour of peppermint creams, chocolate salted caramel ice cream and lychee & passion fruitÂ panna cotta.”
$124.99 SOLD OUT
39.146 – SANGRIA IN AN ARTIST’S STUDIO
ThisÂ 8 year oldÂ Speysider comes in at 61.8% and was matured in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet
Panel’s tasting note: “Our noses found lots of herbal aromatics (liquorice, tarragon, cypress, snuff, rosemary and thyme) â€“ we also got thick-set honey, scented leather and an artistâ€™s studio (oil paints, canvas, turps). The palate gave us perfumed sweetness, intense acidic fruits (chutney, Sangria, balsamic strawberries) and considerable wood-spice heat. Water brought more complexity to the nose â€“ melon, mango and mimosa; coconut, marshmallow and sage, with hints of Chinese sweet and sour spare ribs. The palate was now succulent and sweet, with juicy pear, wine gums, syrupy fruity flapjack bars and chocolate ice-cream wafers. One of those drams that truly comes alive with water.” $113.99
73.87 – DARE YOU ENTER?
ThisÂ 14 year oldÂ Speysider, at 59.5%, spent 13 years in an ex-Oloroso sherry butt before being transferred to a 1st fill Spanish oak Pedro Ximenez butt for the remainder of its maturation
Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet
Outturn: 558 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Initially the nose encapsulated the fragrant whiff of a scented garden, rich in orchids, jasmine and hibiscus flowers. An orange sponge cake had been baked for this occasion, dusted with icing sugar and accompanied by an apricot flan. The introduction of water uncovered an altogether denser disposition asÂ stickyÂ dessert wine, toffee apples and figs in syrup entered the game. Then came the first nuances of spice with hot cross buns, cinnamon, ginger and orange chutney. The palate unashamedly delved deeper into darker dimensions as we encountered rich fruitcake, juicy malt loaf and black cherry jam. The texture became thick, syrupy and intense like mulled wine combining honey, cherry brandy and Oloroso sherry. After 13 years in an ex-Oloroso sherryÂ buttÂ it was transferred to a 1st fill Spanish oak Pedro Ximenez butt for the remainder of its maturation.” $151.99
35.185 – FRIGHTFULLY DELIGHTFUL
ThisÂ 22 year oldÂ Speysider was matured in a 1st fill toasted oak hogshead and comes in at 57.5%
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 242 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The frightfully delightful nose suggested polished wood, spun sugar, caramelized fruits, coffee with Danish pastries and cedar shelves in a candy shop groaning under floral confectionery. The palate had great textures and a warm, flavoursome glow, expanding in the mouth like a giantâ€™s accordion â€“ maple syrup on French toast, fruit bars, toffee, dark sugar, cinnamon, cherry and chocolate mints. The reduced nose found honey, rosewater, hazelnut, caramel, orange peel, raisins and dates, plus an unaccountable curiosity of dusty smoke, ash, tobacco and creosoted wood. The palate was marvellously mellifluous â€“ dried fruits, crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e, amazinâ€™ rum and raisin and sinful cinnamon sweetness.” $224.99
66.100 – RELAX IN A RECLINER
From the Eastern Highlands, this 12 year old comes in at 55.5% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: LightlyÂ peated
Outturn: 173 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The sweet smoky scent of a Thai starter platter made us all feel very hungry. We could choose from prawn toast, spring rolls, curry parcels, spicy dumplings, crispy seaweed and smoky spicy prawn crackers with a sweet chili dip. The taste neat felt like relaxing in a recliner chair or a warming massage with menthol and lavender oil. Water added a Smoky Grove cocktail using peaty whisky, vermouth, bitters and the twist of a flamed orange peel. On the palate now loose ginger tea with a hint of lemongrass and liquorice with a well-balanced sweet and smoky seemingly never-ending finish.” $147.99
29.226 – SEASIDE SURPRISE
From Islay, thisÂ 18 year oldÂ was matured in a refill butt and is 56.8%
Flavour profile: Peated
Outturn: 420 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We were sweetly welcomed by freshly baked apple and sultana crumble, dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg and covered with butterscotch sauce. Then the heady notes of Tokaji dessert wine integrated with nut brittle and the marzipan ofÂ battenbergÂ cake to produce a most irresistible concoction. A medicinal note entered from the sidelines like pungent camphor smeared onto staves of new oak. Water released a profusion of salmon-smoking, lobster-cracking, driftwood-gathering maritime antics, all with a great abundance of fresh seaweed. The texture was oily and viscous like melted butter in preparation for frying sweet shallots. A harmonious finish carried a flinty andÂ mineralicÂ edge with sweet smoke and sticky tar on seaside wood.” $284.99