Wednesday, 5 November 2014

SMWS November Outturn PART ONE!

That November outturn a week before first Thursday was a surprise to many of us, including some staff of SMWS I think.  It’s puny, at 13, but the good news is it’s a prequel to a total outturn of about 50, released at the end of this week.  It’s going to be epic!

However, there’s these lot to get through first.  Here’s some small notes – definitely some good stuff in here and some strong buys.  Clean and bright?  The 5.  Weird and interesting?  The 35.  Earthy malt with Islay in it’s core?  The 3.  Filthy, overt, beautiful Islay?  The 53.  There’s even a “I can’t believe I could have bought that for only £150” special in here…


SMWS 5.41, Vibrant lively and zingy, Auchentoshan, 13yo, 56.2% A⊕

20141105_154417Nose - lovely sweet, floral and balanced wood structure. Lovely citrus, wax nose very bright - up to cleaning products and lemon wax. Just a lovely fresh, balanced, clean and expressive nose.

Body - Spicy, sugar coated fennel seeds, good wood structure. With water a little harsher but more toffee and structure.

Finish - medium, balanced and clean. Just a wonderful, clean, fresh dram. A little bitter in the finish with water, but love the nose.


SMWS 9.93, Interplay of light and shade, Glen Grant,  17yo, 55.6% A+

20141105_155240Nose - Sweet, sour, structured, earthy, damp wood and sprouting potatoes. But all balanced, works well with the name, very yin and yang dram working together. Lots of toffee and citrus brightness. Refreshers with water, lots of icing sugar sweetness, more lemon toffee.

Body - Bitter sweet, suddenly very floral, a little spice

Finish – Long, very sweet, bitter wood and lemon pith - quite an odd whisky but very balanced and works very well. Excellent but not sure when I'd turn to it. Lovely but troubled.

41.61, Liquid Hedonism, Dailuaine, 33yo, 51.5%  A⊕+

20141105_160803Nose - Deep, ripe fruit, strawberry laces and cherry sweets - maraschino cherries at the bottom of a martini. Totally integrated wood, totally polished and deep. With water - a little less fruit but good wood and balance

Body - Fruit bomb immediately, then balanced wood, then UHU glue and waxed wood. With water, dried tropical fruit and some lovely sulphur. Extremely intense now and loads of toffee.

Finish - Gentle but lingering, elegant. Worth it.


2.90, Flower meadows and patisseries, Glenlivet, 10yo, 60.2% A+

Can’t believe I didn’t take a photo of this – I’ve got 2 of the Bowmore and Caol Ila!

Date Distilled: 25 November 2003 Colour:Angel’s curls in the moonlight Age: 10 years Flavour : Young & spritely Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon barrel Whisky Region: Speyside Spey Outturn: 208 bottles

Nose - Sour and light, then some sulphurous notes and pastry, some copper coins but some very lovely toffee sweetness underneath. Some malted barley. Quite a small whisky but pleasantly formed.  Not the greatest whisky to follow a 33 year old Dailuaine to be fair!

Body - Spicy, good sweetness, rather lovely spice and sulphur actually - a classic intense delivery and a good angular SMWS interpretation of Glenlivet.

Finish - medium, bitterness starts to dominate. Balanced a bit better with the water on the finish and lengthens out the finish, adding fizzing notes and green apple.

SMWS 7.108, Exotic fruit and spices, Longmorn, 10yo, 61.2% A⊕

20141105_161539Nose - Earthy, exotic, warm fruit, warm spices, leatherette, warm cloth, warm toffee a very juicy fruit - orange juice. With water even richer, more fresh pine. It's rather lovely.

Body - Really orange zesty, warm xmas spices, clementines. With water, lovely toffee and sulphur,

Finish - Orange bitter, very zesty and mulled wine. Very long and very xmassy, like the kings ginger. Glorious.


SMWS 35.119, An Alice in Wonderland dram, Glen Moray, 16yo, 57.7% A⊕+

20141105_162336Nose - Intense. Toffee fruit and cooked ground beef. That green hand wash you use in a workshop. Bread, butter and jam. And a classic wax wood sweetness.

Body - More earthy, very intense sweet blasting. A little spirit sulphur, good drying back notes. Toasted bagels and bright glace cherry. What wonderful fruit and structure!

Finish - Very long, great balance and integration, good oiliness. Very Springbank in the delivery. Big fan.



SMWS 3.227 Tasty farmhouse cooking, Bowmore, 16yo, 56.4% A⊕+

20141105_164429Nose - Dark and gentle. Definitely cooking beef stew with braising carrots and onions, some red wine and deep vegetal sweetness. A real gentle structure to balance the gentle sweetness, and only the merest structural note of peat, like a blend might have. Grows and grows on you. With water, more cereal (not new make, I mean fresh malted barley) peat, a touch of sulphur on the nose.

Body - Toasted malt and bright cereal sweetness, lots of rich toffee and lightly sour peat and more beautiful drying sulphur, increasing with water.

Finish - some ashen notes start to come through, last night's burnt logs. Finally, bright and spicy and very Bowmore – you’re left with lingering, beautiful, clear peat. With water, bitterness starts to show through. Yet another awesome Bowmore.


SMWS 53.211 …And it is goodbye to care, Caol Ila, 22yo, 54.8% A⊕+

20141105_162401Nose - Very sweet, sour cheesecake and sour peat. Salt and vinegar crisps, nudging into ammonia, a little restrained, a lot of barley and very grown up.

Body - Massively rich and sweet, unexpectedly so with lovely ripe fruit and perfect peat. Damn! I thought I was going to get away with not buying it this month!

Finish - Long, menthol tobacco, numbing like tobacco on the tongue, lingering deep sweetness. Damn it's beautiful. I didn't get to add water to it because I drank it all!


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