1 Year 100 SMWS Drams

The Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyBack in the early part of 2014 I stated that i wanted to review 100 The Scotch Malt Whisky Society expressions in 2014, and today i posted my 100th The Scotch Malt Whisky Society review in 2014.

There have been some hairy moments when i didn't think i would complete my challenge but i've managed it and along the way i've tasted some absolutely fabulous whiskies. I decided posting all 100 notes below wouldn't be a great idea so i've hand picked a number of them as my stand out moments from the last year.

I've loved all the events over the last year also, with the Clans and Drams events in May really meaning lots, so much so thats what my tattoo is based on. My favourite drams from this year are an eclectic mix of fun, tasty and downright interesting drams that if you can find you really should pick up and try.

Once again thanks to Barry (@thewhiskyphiles) and to Yoav (@yoavgel) and Ben (@ben_cops) for pushing me further and giving me the encouragement i needed and to Helen (@smwshelen) & Mark (@mark_at_smws) at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society HQ for all their support and encouragement and to all the folks at the venues who have been a pleasure to deal with over 2014.

You can view all of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society drams i've reviewed in 2014 by clicking here and i look forward to getting to another 100 The Scotch Malt Whisky Society reviews in 2015.

If you are a whisky fan you really should consider joining The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.


SMWS 116.17 Pin Ball Wizard in Japanese Tea House

The Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyThe second of two Japanese Scotch Malt Whisky Society drams provided as samples from the very awesome Joe McGirr (@smwslondon) from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society's London venue. Both of us shared the two drams and the reviews are of our own favourites of the two, with myself preferring 116.17 Pin Ball Wizard in Japanese Tea House.

I loved the orchard fruits in this one along with the dusting of icing sugar and gentle oak, an absolute cracker of a dram.

Many thanks to Joe McGirr (@smwslondon) for sending us these fantastic Japanese drams from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

 

A yummy sweet nose, this starts off with a sweet note of orchard fruits (apples and pears) and seville oranges rolled in icing sugar, there's a fresh pine note and gentle oak sap in here, with sweet fruits in here.

very sweet orchard fruits with more icing sugar and pine notes, lots of dried fruits and some gentle oak and wood spice and tannins

very drying lots of tea tannins and sweet fruits

Bottle Name: SMWS 116.17 Pin Ball Wizard in Japanese Tea House
Age: 25
ABV: 59.20
Distiller: Yoichi
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Japan, Please Select


SMWS 121.64 Maggie Thatcher at the Funfair

. The Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyAnother cracker from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society this is the wonderfully titled 121.64 Maggie Thatcher at the Funfair

This is what i love about the Scotch Malt Whisky Society the whisky is just so different from the distilleries normal character at times and yet so similar at others and this one shows both ends of that spectrum, it's very much got the distillery character but it's so different to anything you can buy directly from them that it just makes it so much more interesting.

If you're a whisky fan then the Scotch Malt Whisky Society really is for you.

 

there's notes in here of fresh fruit, apples, oranges, pears and gentle banana whilst a fresh sweet sugary note faints in and out also. Underlying that is a dusty, foostie note that reminds me of an old tartan picnic blanket that used to sit at the back of my grans cupboard and i would take into the garden in the summer for the first time of the year.

oh where did all the fruit go, very tweedie and dusty, with hints of nettle soup and then the sweetness comes back in as cloved infused oranges and pear slices in syrup

initially cloves and spice before orange and pear overtake it.

Bottle Name: SMWS 121.64 Maggie Thatcher at the Funfair
Age: 14
ABV: 54.50
Distiller: Arran
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islands


SMWS 127.37 - Dinosaurs Dancing to Stravinsky

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yet another brilliant dram from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society this is the SMWS 127.37 Dinosaurs Dancing to Stravinsky.

I really wanted this dram when i seen it and when i bought it i was desperate to open it, but my gorgeous wife decided it should be hidden away until Christmas and i managed to open it for a wee dram and then also had it as my New Year dram. This is a huge powerful dram that really knocks you off your feet, amazingly this is perfectly drinkable at over 66.5% and doesnt need any water to help release the flavours..

I love being a member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society If you love whisky, you would too.

 

There is some real meaty notes in here along with some good quality cigar notes that add a Moreish quality to this dram before it goes chalky and Very sweet with a fruity edge of Sweet tinned fruit salad and fruit salad chewy sweets also a hint of Soor Plooms too.

Considering this dram is 66.5% abv it certainly doesn't kick like it its smoky and chalky before going cigar like before sweet fruits and some old fashioned sweets take over there's a hint of struck match but the good side of it reminding you of sitting striking a match for a cigar

sweet and chalky with a powerful Smoky meaty hit

Bottle Name: SMWS 127.37 - Dinosaurs Dancing to Stravinsky
Age: 9
ABV: 66.50
Distiller: Bruichladdich
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islay


SMWS 131.2 Magic Carpet in a Sweetie Shop

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society When the Scotch Malt Whisky Society decide to bottle some Japanese distilleries that they hadn't previously they got this SMWS 131.2 Magic Carpet in a Sweetie Shopvery much bang on.

This comes from the first batch of bottle shares from a group of twitter mad whisky bloggers and friends and there will be a whole bundle more this year.

I really enjoyed the palate more than the nose on this one, the sweetness was very much right up my street .

I can't say it enough, if you're not a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society then why not? you really should just go join now.

 

First it's got that foosty dunnage note, almust dusty, then there's dark fruit skins, plum skin, and dark grape skin, then comes the christmas cake with more dark dried fruits of sultanas and raisins with mixed spice and dried citrus fruit peels all drizzled in dark sticky treacle

oh sweet and sultry, there's candied orange and mouthwatering chocolate limes with hints of floral gums creeping in with a touch of juicy pear

sweet and chocolatey with a slight hint of spice

Bottle Name: SMWS 131.2 Magic Carpet in a Sweetie Shop
Age: 13
ABV: 55.10
Distiller: Hanyu (Closed)
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Japan, Please Select


SMWS 2.84 - Katherine Hepburn in a Vintage Jaguar

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Last night was the January Out-turn Preview Tasting at 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.

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.

 

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

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

sweet and bitter loveliness

Bottle Name: SMWS 2.84 - Katherine Hepburn in a Vintage Jaguar
Age: 20
ABV: 53.30
Distiller: Glenlivet
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Speyside


SMWS 25.69 Fresh Faced and Fabulous

The Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyThis The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 25.69 Fresh Faced and Fabulous unfortunatly sold out before i managed to purchase a bottle, but with only 35 bottles available from this cask that is no surprise.

Amazingly exclusive and one of the best examples of this distillery i'm so glad it was on the bar at Queen St to enable me to have a dram and see just how good it is. Gutted that i missed it but know that every outturn there will be more drams from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society that i really want to buy.

If you are a whisky fan you really should consider joining The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

 

Initially quite floral and grassy with gentle freshly scraped vanilla pods juicy sweet grapes and melons and some hints of baby talcum powder.

Sweet powdery and chalky with vanilla juicy oranges and crushed flowers notes

Sweet juicy floral yummy

Bottle Name: SMWS 25.69 Fresh Faced and Fabulous
Age: 23
ABV: 52.50
Distiller: Rosebank (Closed)
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Lowland


SMWS 30.80 A Wicker Basket Full of Dark Pleasures

The Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyPart of a Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottle that was shared by a small group of whisky bloggers and whisky fans this is 30.80 A Wicker Basket Full of Dark Pleasures.

I remember tasting this after the preview tasting in March (info here) and loving it so suggested teh share and i'm so glad i did this is a cracking fruity, chocolate dram full of yumminess.

If you are a whisky fan you really should consider joining The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

 

There's a lovely fresh fruit basket note here first with a hint of spices and a dose of dark chocolate bounty, the coconut coming through lovely on this before the grated ginger comes through strongly

Fresh fruit basket comes through first then the grated ginger comes back with a twist of black pepper

Fresh fruit and tinned fruit syrup

Bottle Name: SMWS 30.80 A Wicker Basket Full of Dark Pleasures
Age: 23
ABV: 54.90
Distiller: Glenrothes
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Speyside


SMWS 4.182 - Slippery Shape Shifter

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Last night was the January Out-turn Preview Tasting at 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.

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.

 

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

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

sweet and fruity, and really yummy

Bottle Name: SMWS 4.182 - Slippery Shape Shifter
Age: 13
ABV: 57.10
Distiller: Highland Park
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islands


SMWS 72.36 Holy Moly

The Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyAnother from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society whisky for a year selection from this year as July's bottle was this 72.36 Holy Moly, one of only 51 bottles of this dram matured for 31 years.

Sweet, fruity, chocolatey, velvety, deliciousness with hints of baby powder and fresh oak furniture this is a beauty of an old whisky, with that wood influence there but not taking over and filled with such grace and finesse, a real pleasure to have been able to try this one.

If you are a whisky fan you really should consider joining The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

 

Melted milk chocolate in a fondue with honeydew melon chunks and sweet strawberries without the tang, a hint of Johnson and Johnson's baby powder and some gentle new oak wood furniture, hints of menthol hiding in the background

Juicy and mouthwatering with light oak spices then fresh honeydew melon and very light fresh vanilla, there's also some darker fruits appearing

Dark skinned fruits and hints of nutmeg

Bottle Name: SMWS 72.36 Holy Moly
Age: 31
ABV: 44.60
Distiller: Miltonduff
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Speyside


SMWS 73.55 Apples & Pears

The Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyYes, another Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling this was tasted after the February 2014 Preview Tasting and was recommended by Angus who always pick me nice drams, this is the 73.55 Apples & Pears

I was looking for an interesting dram for us to have as our final dram of the night when Angus picked this out as it was the current Malt of the Moment which also made it an unbelievable £4 a dram, which is astounding especially as it's a 21 Year Old whisky and one of only 73 bottles in the world.

Yet another dram that completely lives up to the name on the bottle, this is one i wish i had bought a bottle of.

 

I love the nose on this, the nose comes at you from across the room , it is Very much filled with lovely freshly cut bramley apples, with a touch of demerera covered stewed apples, with lots of rocha pear and sweet tropical pineapple and wood sap

Sweet fruity freshly picked bramley apples and crab apples, with pear halves in syrup.

sweet stewed bramley apples

Bottle Name: SMWS 73.55 Apples & Pears
Age: 21
ABV: 55.30
Distiller: Aultmore
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Highland


SMWS G12.1 Oh so sweet

The Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyA brand new Scotch Malt Whisky Society distillery number this is G12.1 Oh so sweet from a Japanese distillery.

This was my ultimate dram of the night, there's so much banana in here it's amazing with foam bananas, bannoffee pie and overripe bananas and it's sweet like who needs a dessert sweet, blown away by this dram, one of the best drams i've had anywhere.

If you are a whisky fan you really should consider joining The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

 

WOW!!!! sweet tinned pears with hints of the sweet aroma of nail polish, then theres hints of oaky wood spice before overripe bananas and foam bananas flood the nose, left in the glass it becomes foam bananas

foam bananas, banoffee pic, hints of creaminess with hints of soggy cornflakes and banana in fresh milk with a sprinkle of nutmeg

banana and nutella crepes

Bottle Name: SMWS G12.1 Oh so sweet
Age: 11
ABV: 58.90
Distiller: Miyagikyo
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Type: Single Cask Single Grain
From: Japan, Please Select


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