Happy 7th Birthday to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada!
October marks the 84th Outturn for the SMWS Canada and its 7th year of operation by the dynamic duo of Rob and Kelly Carpenter. During that time it has grown from having Kensington Wine Market as the flagship store to including Branches at Keg & Cork in Edmonton, Legacy Liquor Store in Vancouver and The Strath in Victoria. Information on other these other fine retail establishments can be found here.
This Outturn had quite a few tricks up its sleeve, including:
- Not one, but TWO bottles from distilleries never seen before at our Canada chapter in SMWS bottle form!
- One of the above bottles is from a distillery in Northern Ireland that is notoriously difficult to obtain casks from. This was the first SMWS cask from distillery number 51 in 25 years!
- The other is from a Highland distillery with the SMWS number (lucky) 13.
- Only one cask finish in the lineup this time around, but it is a wild one from distillery number 5. One person at our tastings commented that this is not a sit back and relax dram – this whisky forces you to pay attention to what is happening in the glass.
- There is also one very unctuous and sherried Milestone Cask from distillery number 30. Some found it sulfered and tangy – others didn’t care and asked for more.
- To cap the night off, two Islay bottles were featured, both showing divergent style from one another.
What this adds up to is one impressive seventh birthday!
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. Also a big thanks to Rob and Kelly for the birthday mini-cupcakes!
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51.12 – PASTRIES AND SWEET TREATS
This 15 year old Irish whiskey was matured in a 1st fill barrel and comes in at 58.9%
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla
Panel’s tasting note: “A first sniff promises much – milk chocolate caramel shortbread, indulgent apple and apricot pastries, turning malty with dried flowers and gentle herbs (chamomile). Sweet and spicy (ginger and white pepper heat) to taste, then pineapple, vanilla, butterscotch and milk chocolate. Add a drop of water and the aromas are crème brulee, icing sugar, vanilla, a hint of lemon and then dried fruits (apricot, mango). It becomes slightly winey, bitter and savoury. The taste is of sweet tea (not tannic), spicy heat, vanilla, caramel, chocolate and fizzy orange drinks. There’s a hint of herbs and a waxy mouth coating.” $309.99
48.97 – 1950s ICE CREAM PARLOUR
This 10 year old Speysider comes in at 58.3% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Sweet & spicy
Outturn: 192 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose wafts warm, welcoming vanilla aromas – like a 1950s ice cream parlour, with strawberry milk shake, fudge and chocolate profiteroles – someone is chewing Dentyne (subtle cinnamon) and the bar stools are covered in leather. The palate has sweetness, depth and good viscosity – toffee, brown sugar and white chocolate, with gentle chili and old-fashioned gobstopper mouth-etching spice. The reduced nose finds biscuit tins and caramel apple granny cake, and then light liquorice and anise make an entrance. The palate has become wonderfully sweet and accessible as that early vanilla returns to vanquish any chili; sweet cinnamon, clove and dry oak leave haunting tingles.” $131.99
13.56 – THE DARK SIDE OF THE MELON
From a Highland distillery, this was matured in a refill barrel and comes in at 60.7%
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry
Outturn: 186 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Green aromas of ripe melon and freshly cut grass advanced towards the floral feelings of marigold, clover and spice-laden frankincense. Suggestions of cedar beckoned a woody tone that teased with sweet cereals and bread dough to conceal a palate that deployed an altogether darker strategy. The first sip conveyed fresh ginger and a viscous texture that coated the tongue like thick oil. Citrus skin provided a lift towards ice cream cones dipped in muscovado sugar before we headed into unlit territory. The spiciness of mince pie mix blended with bitter chocolate and thick cut marmalade on rye bread before a woody finish gave way to tobacco in a soft leather pouch.” $141.99
5.62 – CRUMBLED SWEETS IN A LEATHER SATCHEL
This 17 year old Lowlander spent 15 years in ex-bourbon wood before being transferred to an Oloroso hogshead for the remainder of its maturation, and comes in at 58.8%
Flavour profile: Sweet & spicy
Outturn: 240 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We were taken back to our childhoods with the familiar smell of lunch boxes and new leather satchels containing the crumbled remains of mint chocolate, parma violets and cherry cake. The sweet smell of desserts bellowed from the kitchen, as tins of fruit salad were prized open and mixed with thick cream. Gooseberry tart was fresh from the oven and issued an irresistible aroma of fresh pastry. The palate carried the spicy kick of horseradish sauce with sultanas and treacle before veering towards rum and raison ice cream sprinkled with chilies. The finish introduced wood and tobacco with sweet plum and marzipan that faded into the floral tones of rose water. After 15 years in ex-bourbon wood, we transferred this whisky to an Oloroso hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.” $169.99
30.100 – AN
AMBULANCE ABUNDANCE OF FRUITCAKE
This 20 year old Speysider is 56.5% and was matured in a 2nd fill sherry butt
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 636 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “A comforting fragrance filled the room as frankincense and cinnamon blended with toasted malt loaf and cherry bakewell tarts to give a heavy sense of sweetness. Then strawberry jelly gave way to raisins and sticky dessert wine accompanied by weighty Madeira cake. Water encouraged an even darker temperament as prunes, dates and Pedro Ximenez sherry paved the way for fruitcake and mince pies with brandy butter. We finally moved on to the palate, undeniably smooth with a mouth-watering juiciness encased in chewy toffee and caramel with brazil nuts and chocolate nibs. Battenberg cake and butter icing brought more sugary delights before we rounded up with stewed pears and plums covered in dark chocolate sauce.” $204.99
10.133 – AN ENTIRE MOUTH EXPERIENCE
This 10 year old from Islay comes in at 62.2% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Oily & coastal
Outturn: 195 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We found the nose sweetly seductive – toffee apples, gooey caramel, dark clover honey, biscuits and toasted coconut with faint suggestions of beach bonfires and seared scallops. The palate was impressively mouth-filling – chewy textures, good viscosity and lively fizz – ‘an entire mouth experience’ said one panellist; once again, that sweetness of toffee, butterscotch, dark chocolate and salted caramel. With water, the nose remained vibrant – ice-cream and raspberry sauce by the seaside. The (slightly) reduced palate still danced on our tongues; sweet and salty popcorn and dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt – hints of sweet cinnamon and tar tingled the finish.”
$150.99 SOLD OUT!
29.231 – SUBLIME SERENITY
This 20 year old from Islay was matured in a refill barrel and comes in at 48.5%
Flavour profile: Lightly peated
Outturn: 228 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We were on deck, soaking in the sun while cruising along the south coast of Islay spotting, in the distance, the peat smoke billowing from the pagoda roof all mixing with the salty sea air. Can it get any better than this? Yes, wait until you try it. A delicate balance of sweetness and smoke enhanced by a mineralic note yet a creamy texture so often found in Pouilly-Fume wines from the Loire Valley. Carefully adding a drop of water we indulged in fragrant ripe strawberries with sugar and fresh mint then covered with Chantilly cream, and on the palate soft sweet smoke.” $291.99