SMWS February 2014 Preview Tasting

Another month and another Outurn preview night at the The Scotch Malt Whisky Society hosted once again by Ryan (@RyanMcCafferty) who loves making us squirm by doing the tastings blind, which we all actually enjoy, although we all would like to secretly know what the drams are.

It was a good turn-out and lots of friendly banter between my fellow whisky enthusiasts although i do feel sorry for the guy who mentioned he was involved with the trams.

The whiskies as ever were crackers so here's my thoughts on what we had, remembering all my notes were taken blind and the comments about it are after i knew what it was..

Scotch Malt WHisky SocietySMWS 36.69 - Totally Tropical, Man!

The first dram of the evening is usually always one that goes down well and this is no different, lots of lovely fruitiness, a syrupy creamy consistency in the mouthfeel and lovely soft oak notes, this was actually my dram of the night although others did suggest some Welly boots on the nose and palate there was nothing there for me.

Interestingly this distillery is one i tend not to enjoy normally so it is a great joy to have really liked this one.

Bottle Name SMWS 36.69 - Totally Tropical, Man!
Bottler Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Distiller Benrinnes
Age* 24
ABV 52.9%
Nose the first and strongest note in here for me was fruit salad chewy sweets, gentle fruitiness it's got some definite very fresh citrus notes with crunchy green appls and some gentle oak leaf sauce
Taste theres a soft and gentle woodiness, oak leaf sauce and tree sap, with vanilla and a hint of the fruit salad chews and a hint of pepper
Finish very creamy and fruity lovely mouthcoating

Scotch Malt WHisky SocietySMWS 25.65 - The Whispered Kiss

As with anything whisky related there are rumours, and one of the rumours was that there would be a bottle from this distillery appearing at some point, i initially thought it may have been with the Christmas list but alas it was February who gained.

I'm a big fan of this distillery but do find that the whisky can be either exceptional or quite average and i was a little disappointed by this one, in the blind tasting this was voted into last place by all but one of the 10 people at the tasting. It is very drinkable, but just not as special as a bottle from this distillery can be.

Bottle Name SMWS 25.65 - The Whispered Kiss
Bottler Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Distiller Rosebank
Age* 20
ABV 50%

there's a really creamy butteryness to the nose here with some very light werthers originals toffees, underlying that is some violets and floral perfumey notes with black jack sweet liqorice and aniseed

Taste very bready, undercooked doughy bread with something fruitier in the background and a touch of honey
Finish Gentle, doughy and honied

Scotch Malt WHisky Society SMWS 35.103 - The Great Easter Bake Off

This was in many peoples top 2 drams and probably gets the 3rd spot for me it's old and dignified and has that wood spice note that comes with well aged drams, the fruitness is lovely and tangy but the salty seaside note really threw many people off the track here and there were a lot of suggestions of this possibly being a Bowmore.

Bottle Name SMWS 35.103 - The Great Easter Bake Off
Bottler Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Distiller Glen Moray
Age* 29
ABV 58.8%
Nose A really interesting start here as initially get some galaxy milk chocolate before it morphs into fruity sweets (bons bons, jelly tots) before some mixed fruit juices, but there's also quite a salty seaside note in here
Taste Quite tangy, almost haribo tantastics, with fresh citrus and some tinned fruit salad insyrup, gentle and refined oak
Finish gentle and syruppy with a hint of wood spice creeping in

Scotch Malt WHisky SocietySMWS 29.151 Polished Violins and Vintage Cars

This is the only one that everyone guessed right, ok there was only one sherried smoky dram on the outturn but it was unmistakably from this distillery, lovely sweetness underlying a gentle good quality cigar smoke, lovely stuff.

Bottle Name SMWS 29.151 Polished Violins and Vintage Cars
Bottler Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Distiller Laphroaig
Age* 24
ABV 50.8%

Oh now this is just lovely, there's the smoke, it's heavy peated but not hugely powerful meaty smoke it's more gentle with cigar smoke, lots of gentle sherry sweetness and dose of demerera sugar in here also

Taste More cigar smoke with chunks of sweet demerera sugar cubes and hints of melon balls in syrup
Finish Sugary sweet with a dose of good quality cigar smoke.

Scotch Malt WHisky Society SMWS 10.76 - Duelling Banjos Dram

We all thought this one was tasted the wrong way round with the 29.151 as although slightly peaty the previous dram had taken away any chance of finding it strongly in here. It is lovely though although the bitterness on the finish did come as a bit of a surprise.

This was on my list of possible purchases after this tasting, although i ended up plumping for something much sweeter.

Bottle Name SMWS 10.76 - Duelling Banjos Dram
Bottler Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Distiller Bunnahabhain
Age* 8
ABV 60.8%
Nose There's a gentle maltyness in here that is maybe a hint smoky, brown bread, hints of smoke and carbolic soap, and gentle hints of oak woodiness
Taste Dry and chocolatey with hints of sweetness and dark dried fruits, lovely gentle maltyness
Finish Really quite sharp with citrus peel bitterness