July is here, the Calgary Stampede is underway, and it is raining outside as I type this. I am sure we could use the rain (as long as it doesn’t lead to flooding), and I personally prefer when the temperature doesn’t go above 20 degrees Celsius outside. It may bum out most everybody else, but at least I am happy!
In the summer months, the Scotch Malt Whisky of Canada releases six new bottles instead of the typical seven. At KWM, we add a returning SMWS bottle to the lineup that was featured in a previous Outturn. July’s bottle is 72.57 – CHEERFUL SOUL, which was originally released as part of the December of 2018 Outturn. Regularly priced at $126.99, the price has been dropped on the few remaining bottles by 15% off to $107.94!
What are the new six bottles in the July Outturn? Here is a quick rundown:
- We start with two solid, summer-ready sippers, including one of my favourites from the lineup: the first release we have seen from Distillery 88 in Canada. The saltiness in the dram was enticing…
- The second dram offers an exciting mix of sweet notes and oak. Like the 72 featured above, the distillery that produced this bottle of 71 also plays a prominent role in the Ballantine’s Blend.
- The SMWS Canada chapter had saved a Bourbon with a Stampede-ready name for this Outturn. Bucking Bronco is the second Bourbon we have seen in a green bottle in Canada. Both have been from B3 – a young distillery in Little Rock, Arkansas. Looking for a cask strength Bourbon with wood, fruit, and a lot of other notes going on? Check this one out.
- We finished the lineup with three straight cask finishes. Each one was wilder than the last. First up was my favourite from 135, which hails from the most versatile distillery in Scotland. It was finished in a first fill Sauternes cask, but it is unlike any other Sauternes cask finish I have personally tried…
- Next comes what is a contender for best recent SMWS bottle name: SPEYGERMEISTER! Not only worth checking out for name alone, this guy is a crazy px cask finish that doesn’t just go for syrup and sweetness in style.
- Last but not least comes our only foray into peat, but not from Islay. Great Fun comes to us from the Highlands workhorse distillery that is featured in Teachers Blended Scotch. Finished in what might be called an STR cask by other companies. It is a wild twist on this distillery’s typical style.
All of this information, plus the information on previous releases that are still availableÂ can be foundÂ on our website here. If any SMWS bottles show as being out of stock on our website please contact us â€“ we might still 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.
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 – all in jest like a pest at its best before rest lest I test you further.
Read on below.
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88.11 – A DAY AT THE BEACH
FIRST RELEASE FROM DISTILLERY NO. 88 FOR SMWS CANADA
This 8 year old Speysider comes in at 54.8% after maturing in a refill barrel.
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry.
Outturn: 224 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “On the nose neat we felt like a morning walk over the sand dunes. The reed grass rustled in the sea breeze whilst we watched the sun appear over the clear horizon and felt the warmth of the first rays on our skin. We then enjoyed a sweet porridge with grilled crispy crumpled bacon rashers as well as sweet and salty peanut granola bars.
Invigorated with a drop of water we started to paint our beach hut in bright colours and by the end of the day, having finished, we sat on the veranda and enjoyed a mint-flavoured Grasshopper cocktail.” $142
71.54 – CAKE DOUGH REMINISCENCE
This 10 year old from Speyside is from a refill barrel and comes in at 60.5%.
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla.
Outturn: 168 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Sweet and fragrant scents implied happy childhood attempts at mixing up cake dough in a giant bowl whilst being enveloped by a cloud of icing sugar and flour. Drops of vanilla extract landed in the dough and from the oven came hot sponge cakes ready to be topped with sticky icing. The air carried the aroma of ladies’ perfume that mingled with other treats like poached pears with cream, salted fudge and pink wafer biscuits.
Through the front door the wind blew a fresh whiff of pine forest with its dry and dusty needle strewn floor. A dash of water delivered brown sugar on porridge followed by a dessert of rhubarb and custard. A thick and luxurious texture was framed by heavy oak, still dusty from the sawmill and a lasting finish of dry spice.” $135.99
B3.4 – BUCKING BRONCO
This 3 year old bourbon out of Arkansas comes in at 57% after maturing in a new oak barrel.
Outturn: 210 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Some panellists went corybantic-crazy for this (not sure theyâ€™ve recovered yet!) â€“ the nose bursts with brandy snaps, banoffee pie, juniper berries, cinnamon and liquorice â€“ one panellist imagined playing cards in a mahogany-panelled speakeasy with a gangsterâ€™s moll (living dangerously!). The palate was dry as wood shavings, with burnt orange, black tea, cinnamon bark, cloves, dried figs, cherries, marzipan, dark chocolate, honey and well-torched crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e.
The reduced nose developed all the polished leather of a rodeo and the Tiger Balm muscle rub required after one. The palate now found clove and orange pomanders, cherry brandy, peppermint and astringent wood â€“ quite an experience!” $164.99
135.2 HESSIAN, WOOD AND INCENSE
This 16 year old Speysider was in an ex-bourbon hogshead for 13 years before being transferred to a 1st fill Sauternes hogshead and comes in at 52.3%.
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow.
Outturn: 274 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “This big whisky starts with dry, sweet and savoury aromas â€“ old hessian sacks, dunnage warehouse, dried apricots, orange fruit pastilles, marmalade, tomato chutney and a faint whiff of iodine. The taste is savoury and spicy with tannic woody notes. Rich roast beef gravy, dark chocolate and brown sugar it was thick and mouth coating.
Adding water brought out chocolate raisins, brandy butter, stem ginger, nectarines, plum skins and incense. The big taste offered a barrage of orange barley sugars, chocolate, raisins, mint, woody spices and tannins. It developed into old Baco style Armagnac and Christmas cake with some smoke at the end. Previously in an ex-bourbon hogshead.” $189
76.139 – SPEYGERMEISTER
This 15 year old Speysider spent 13 years in a bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a 1st fill PX sherry hogshead for the remainder of its maturation, and comes in at 56.5%.
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits.
Outturn: 266 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The panel found this immediately earthy and organic with plum chutney, spicy wood, honey cake, molasses, pomegranate syrup, menthol sweets, lemon butter and pear liqueur. A little water revealed Jagermeister, flapjacks, flambÃ©ed raisins, throat sweets, orange bitters, lemon oil, blossom, coriander marmalade and coal hearths.
On the palate there was charred pineapple with herbal sweetness and some summer fruit barley water. Also notes of grape must, aged Riesling, wax, mineral oil and dried tarragon. Reduction gave deeper tannins, malt loaf, honey comb, cinnamon buns, lanolin, paraffin wax, rosewater and Earl Grey tea. Matured for 13 years in a bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a 1st fill PX sherry hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.” $206
66.128 – GREAT FUN
This 12 year old Highlander spent 11 years in a bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a 1st fill charred red wine barrique for the rest of its maturation, and comes in at 57.6%.
Flavour profile: Peated.
Outturn: 229 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose â€“ sweet peat reek, bandages, earthy; plums soaked in brandy, burnt toast with marmalade and jam. The taste â€“ earthy, deep, woody â€“ syrup of figs, aniseed, liquorice; venison with juniper, dark chocolate, fruits of the forest, red currant, leather and pears poached in wine.
The reduced nose â€“ antiseptic and medicinal, woollen socks on an Aga stove, venison goulash, banana toffee and smoke. The reduced palate â€“ chewy and substantial â€“ toffee apple rolled in embers, pickled ginger and blood orange â€“ lots going on and great fun. After 11 years in a bourbon hoggie we moved this into a 1st fill charred red wine barrique.” $170.99