So now it is June. We are already near the halfway point of 2018. The planet keeps spinning through the days and orbiting through the months with seemingly no inclination to stop and take a breather. Summer might not be officially underway but we have had some days where it feels like it is already here. Winter is remembered only as a quaint concept, at least until we get a freak snowfall in the middle of Stampede next month.
This past May was an impressive month for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada. We hosted two separate Outturns over a two week period. One focused on the typical seven new single cask releases we showcase at the beginning of each month. The other was quite a bit different, featuring the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s first foray into Gin as well as an Armagnac, two Cognacs and a stellar Single Grain. All told there were a total of TWELVE new bottles released in the past month, with many still available to sample and purchase for Society Members.
That number of new green bottles will not be topped this month, but we do have seven more for your enjoyment, and the lineup includes some very unique bottles:
- Two special Islay bottles from the 2018 Feis Isle
- One special Speyside bottle from the Speyside Whisky Festival
- This Speyside bottle also happens to be the first SMWS bottling from this distillery to make its way to Canada, and it is worth a try. This specific distillery was not well known until it was purchased last year by a group led by Billy Walker, famous for reviving Benriach, Glendronach, and Glenglassaugh Distillery over the past 15 years.
- The lowest ABV in the lineup is still at an impressive 56.1%. The highest weighs in at a nice, round 65%.
- Also in the lineup is bottling from a Lowlands distillery only seen a few times over the past couple of years.
All of this information, plus the information on previous releases that are still available can be found on our website here. If any SMWS bottles show as being out of stock on our website please contact us – we might still be able to get more. As always we would like to give a big thank-you to our awesome neighbour’s Peasant Cheese for supplying the small bites for the tastings.
What does this all mean? What does it add up to? Will I ever stop stalling and padding out sentences and just get on with the bottle information already? Only time will tell, and you must find the patience to endure until then, for now, I am tempted to place more commas and become more heavy handed with the use of run-on sentences if only just to test you further. Words. Words. Words.
Just kidding! Read on below.
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37.98 – A TRIFLE CITRUSY
This 14 year old Speysider is 56.5% after maturing in a refill hogshead
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow
Outturn: 246 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Tempted by the familiar aromas of fresh straw and old leather we ventured further to discover a world of citrusy treats. Lemon cheesecake along with lemon drizzle cake were initially dominant but opened the doors to elderflower sorbet and a very boozy trifle with a trickle of golden syrup and lashings of vanilla custard. The palate carried a peppery spice with crystallized ginger before turning to lemon peel and hot apple tart. Water presented sweeter and softer fruits with pineapple, toffee apples and jelly sweets. Floral elements appeared as parma violets and Turkish delight combined before finishing with seasoned wood dusted with muscovado sugar.” $166.99
5.59 – CHILI CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
This 16 year old from the Lowlands comes in at 58.2% and after 16 years in a 2nd fill bourbon hogshead it was transferred directly into a 1st fill charred ex-red wine hogshead for the remainder of its maturation
Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet
Outturn: 228 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “A soft sweet aroma greeted the Panel at first reminding us of mixed mini jelly fruit slices and marzipan combined with the freshness of crème de menthe Turkish delight. Neat we had a sweet chili peppery heat on the palate like a chili chocolate cupcake with a peppermint frosting. Water added marshmallow fluff, strawberry and vanilla ice cream and orange-spiced cranberry sauce on the nose, whilst to taste, now cinnamon and apple hot cross buns with a marzipan centre. After 16 years in a 2nd fill bourbon hogshead we transferred this whisky directly into a 1st fill charred ex-red wine hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.” $179.99
7.122 – HOLY MOLEY!
After 25 years in a refill hogshead this Speysider comes in at 56.3%
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry
Outturn: 227 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Initial comment was ‘this one has something to tell.’ Starting off with an antique wooden jewellery box then a Manhattan cocktail using sweet vermouth and angostura bitters garnished with orange peel and maraschino cherries before moving on to maple syrup, ripe strawberries and chocolate fondant pudding. To taste, ‘Holy Moley’, sweet and spicy but at the same time thick and creamy. Flavours of ginger powder, damson jam and a rich chocolate and raspberry tart. With water like an erupting volcano releasing aromas of chocolate marshmallows, red currant coulis, fresh blood orange juice and crème anglaise and the taste – a truly remarkable experience.” $244.99
107.13 -ANDALUSIAN GAZPACHO
Bottled for the Speyfest Whisky Festival, this special-label bottling is limited to one per member and is the first release from distillery no. 107 for the Canadian branch of the SMWS
This 9 year old Speysider was matured in a refill Oloroso butt and comes in at 65%
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry
Outturn: 624 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “First we noticed the bright golden autumn reddish/brown leaf colour before the engrossing scent of an Andalusian gazpacho followed by Moroccan beef stew with figs, almonds, dried fruits, olives and plenty of red wine made us all lick our lips to try it. Big, chewy and meaty like a pot-roasted beef with prunes and balsamic vinegar served with basil and pine nuts garnished gnocchi. Water added that ‘Christmassy feel’ of mince pies with orange and almond pastry as well as chocolate covered raisins, whilst the taste was that of rich coffee and date walnut cake and in the finish, orange & honey glazed dry roasted macadamia nuts.” $154.99
35.196 – A MOROCCAN ‘SNAKE CAKE’
This 14 year old Speysider was matured in a refill Chardonnay barrique and comes in at 58.2%
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 255 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The first thing we noticed was the deep shiny auburn colour and as we poured it into the glass, the scent of polished leather and wood immediately filled the room. Then a glass of sumptuous well-aged Shiraz wine was served with plenty of red and black fruits (cherry and mulberry), along with rosehip and an enticing sweet herbal spice in the background. On the palate, spiced plum jam, dark chocolate covered stem ginger and an orange olive oil cake with candied walnuts. Water released a spiced cranberry and marzipan loaf with blueberry and licorice jam and the mouth-filling flavours of an almond, pistachio and Turkish delight m’hencha – a Moroccan ‘snake cake’.” $155.99
53.248 – SLAPPED BY POSEIDON’S GLOVE
Bottled for the 2018 Islay Whisky Festival and limited to one bottle per member, this 11 year old is 58% after maturing in a refill hogshead
Flavour profile: Lightly peated
Outturn: 304 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The sound of waves crashing against jagged rocks could be heard from the glass as a heavy mist of salty sea spray smacked the face like a slap from Poseidon’s glove. The smoke from burning heather whirled over rock pools before swirling around the thick tar that defiantly protected a sturdy wooden pier leaving lobster nets open to the full ravaging of the sea. The smoke permeated deep into our senses; a sweet reek that embraced salted caramel and the chewy familiarity of a charcoal pencil. Strong herbal notes stirred from the depths as fennel seeds spun with rosemary, sage and thyme before joining licorice stick dipped in salt on the finish.” $191.99
3.308 – A MARITIME MEANDER
Bottled for the 2018 Islay Whisky Festival and limited to one bottle per member, this 13 year old comes in at 57.9% after maturing in a 2nd fill hogshead
Flavour profile: Peated
Outturn: 258 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose was a maritime meander – waxed jackets by the seafood shack, beach bonfire burnt sticks and trawlers in the harbour – also coal-tar shampoo and one panellist got tea-tree, eucalyptus and mescal. The palate, notwithstanding Bakewell tarts and blackcurrant sweets, had powerful brush-strokes of smoke, ash and tar, burnt cork and salted liquorice – enough to satisfy the socks off any peat-freak. The reduced nose – oysters on a ferry, lemon bonbons, lavender, putty and Bovril. The palate now rewarded us with moist gingerbread, clove and salted pretzels – a night-cap dram to evoke ‘the tangle o’ the Isles’ and ensure Hebridean dreams.” $203.99