SMWS January Out-turn Preview Tasting

Last night was the January Out-turn Preview Tasting at the The Scotch Malt Whisky Society on Queen Street and I was lucky enough to head along with my good friends David and Steven to what was a cracker of a night.

FIVE cracking The Scotch Malt Whisky Society drams, great food and lots of interesting chat tonight with our host Ryan who decided to make us work for it tonight by having us taste our drams blind, so all of my notes were made without knowing the dram.

SMWS 125.71 SMWS 76.113 John Barleycorn was a hero bold

What a great way to start the tasting, this dram was full of butterscotch and caramel and really did work well for me, it was my instant favourite and stayed there until the 4th dram, i really enjoyed this one and there's still plenty of stock at the SMWS online shop if you fancy trying it too.

Bottle Name SMWS 76.113 - John Barleycorn was a hero bold
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Mortlach
Age* 11
ABV 58.5%
Nose The nose for me starts off quite malty with caramel toffess, werthers originals without the creaminess, lightly toasted white bread here too, the longer this dram is left in the glass the more caramel comes out here
Taste More of the caramel and toffees again although this time theres also a doughy note in here too with a kick of pepper and some tinned fruit salad creeping in.
Finish Peppery and sweet and mouth watering

SMWS 50.53SMWS 9.79 - Quiet Time Dram

This was an interesting one and Ryan even commented after that the name is appropriate as whilst we were nosing and tasting the room really did go all quiet, we all agreed this may have been a better dram to have had as the first as it was a little more difficult to get any notes from.

Not the easiest of drams to deal with, very subtle, especially for a 22 year old, and for an ex-bourbon dram there were not a lot of the usual characteristics, it's certainly very drinkable but isn't hugely memorable, again plenty of stock at the SMWS online shop for this one.

Bottle Name SMWS 9.79 - Quiet Time Dram
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Glen Grant
Age* 22
ABV 57.7%

This one takes a lot of sniffing to get anything from, it really is a subtle dram that needs time and patience, there is definite fruit in here though with fresh honeydew melon coming in for me along with malt loaf and with some water it becomes quite oaky

Taste The taste is light and needs patience also with hints of spices intermixing with melon balls and some kiwi sourness with a hint of oak
Finish fresh fruit and oak leaf sauce

SMWS 71.40 SMWS 2.84 - Katherine Hepburn in a Vintage Jaguar

A Really rare and interesting one this, with an out-turn of only 77 bottles from a ex-sherry hogshead at the time of writing there is only ONE bottle of this left remaining to order from the SMWS online shop although you will still be able to get a couple from the Edinburgh venues and all 3 venues will have stock on the bar for a day or two

It certainly split our tasting as although we all really enjoyed it, it didn't come out as the favourite of the evening but was in the top 2 or 3 for everyone which showed it really was a quality dram even if not exactly to everyones taste.

Bottle Name SMWS 2.84 - Katherine Hepburn in a Vintage Jaguar
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Glenlivet
Age* 20
ABV 53.3%
Nose The colour on this dram looked almost like Cola and the first thing i got when i stuck my nose in the glass was Cola, proper Coca-Cola but left to go flat, then theres lots of fruitiness, especially tropical fruits of pineapple and papaya with prune juice coming in also
Taste The palate is sweet and fruity before going a bit more bitter, with prunes and bitter dark chocolate, before flashing back to sweet tropical fruits
Finish sweet and bitter loveliness

SMWS 129.4SMWS 4.182 - Slippery Shape Shifter

Now this is fantastic, the nose and palate are so different but this hands down got my vote as dram of the night, so much so that Steven and I bought a bottle between us, and one of the other attendees also bought a bottle.

This distillery don't normally use ex-bourbon casks so this is a bit of an odd-ball that way but it is just such a fresh and fruity dram on the palate that i couldn't not have some more, grab yours at the SMWS online shop now.

Bottle Name SMWS 4.182 - Slippery Shape Shifter
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Highland Park
Age* 13
ABV 57.1%

A really interesting nose on this, hints of wet cardboard and malt loaf mix with fresh oaty porridge, with a lump of jam in it, notes of dried breakfast cereals with edges of black pepper and light fresh fruit

Taste so so different to the nose, this is fruity, fresh fruit with honeydew melon and watermelon, sherried dried fruits and a gentle waft of maltiness
Finish sweet and fruity, and really yummy

SMWS 71.40SMWS 29.150 - Hand Rolled Cuban Cigars

The one peat monster of the evening was pretty easy to identify which distillery it was from with lots of the normal distillery character in here, but with lots and lots of cigar smoke and the notes of unlit good quality cigars also.

A great way to round off the evening and available on the SMWS online shop just now.

Bottle Name SMWS 29.150 - Hand Rolled Cuban Cigars
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Laphroaig
Age* 18
ABV 59.2%
Nose There's a very recognisable medicinal smoke element in here with tcp and bandages mixing in well with sniffing good quality unlit cigars and that sweet lovely cigar smoke, underlying that is a fruitiness that reminds me of rowntrees tooty fruities
Taste the tooty fruities is here but they linger on the palate before a waft of quality sweet cigar smoke comes in also
Finish very sweet on the finish