Thursday, 5 May 2016

SMWS May 2016 Outturn

A big outturn this month, and it was chaos in the bar tasting these with some missing and loads of extras – too many for me to get to all of them but I’ve got everything from the new outturn that I could.  There’s some fun to be had in here and importantly there’s quite a few interesting and reasonably priced ones to pick.  If you’re after some summer dramming you’re in luck.  But there’s not too much for the archivist.

26.117, Clynelish, Silky smooth sundowner, 14 years old, 56.8% A⊖

17th April 2001, 282 bottles, refill bourbon, finished in 2nd fill sauternes

20160428_175052Nose - Bright. Ozone and fruit toffee, modelling clay and bathroom spray. It's hard and young though, that finish has fattened out the nose with fruit oils and a light funk, but the hard refill bourbon lives on.

Body - That works though… the delivery has flowers, soap, rosewater and a little funk. Fruitier and rounder with water, with a cinnamon jawbreaker thing going on.

Finish - Long and zesty (grapefruit, preserved lemons), soapy but compelling. I really like the delivery. Hot at the back though.

A weird, unbalanced nose, disintegrated. An interesting and very drinkable delivery, but not a big hit overall.

39.123, Linkwood, A juicy jamoboree, 8 years old, 59.8% A

17th February 2007, 192 bottles, first fill bourbon

20160428_180115Nose - Full fat after that lot… fruit polos and iron filings, a little grilled corn on the cob with butter… washing up liquid… but that fruit polos thing is quite nice. Danish pastry with water…

Body - Soft, sweet and delicious; lemon curd and foxes glacier fruits now. A really lovely drinker, all boiled sweets and fruit juice. But with water, the fruit disappears.

Finish - Long and fruity, blood orange … quite a lot of spice at the end.

Young and fun, delicious neat but doesn't hang together with water.

If you want a fun drammer for summer, BUY

SMWS 36.102, Benrinnes, After the rain, 12 years old, 57.7% A+

23rd April 2003, 228 bottles, first fill bourbon

20160428_181059Nose- Sweet, lightly petrolic and mineral. Washing up liquid, toffee pennies, petrichor… yeah very clearly after the rain! On hot summer tarmac. Perfumed and clean, lovely.

Body - Gentle and juicy, a good cereal backing, plastic and popping candy. Delicious.

Finish - More fruit juice, hard oak. Softer overall with water, and good structure and long tannins.

A solid drinker. Evocative and well named.  Recommended.


SMWS 9.106, Glen Grant, Fun without fireworks, 23 years old, 51.7% A

16th November 1992, 198 bottles, refill bourbon

20160428_182810Nose - Zesty with fresh sweat and hand soap, birthday candles in buttercream icing. Liquorice imps. So perfumed it's practically Indian. Fuller and fruitier with water, more cereal too.

Body - Zesty again… Laminated cardboard, cut flowers. Toffee with water, charred newspaper, orange zest.

Finish - Long but restrained, toffee and cardboard again. Very long with water, more birthday cake…. Love that orange icing.

Looks good on paper but it was hard work - competent but not that interesting.

SMWS 7.131, Longmorn, Apples in the cellar, 12 years old, 58.3% A+

22nd September 2003, 186 bottles, first fill bourbon

20160428_185823Nose - Sweet, sour and bourbony, charred wood and candy cigarettes (quite austere) and fake apple (boiled sweets). Vanilla cream with water.

Body - Big and fruity, the full sweet shop, oily and not too young, posh lemonade, fence panel. More robust with water, lots of vanilla though.

Finish - Long, oily and delicious. Sherbet dib dabs, black pepper, cheap vanilla ice cream. Mint bonbons at the end.

A big, oily, sweetshop of a whisky. Delicious.


SMWS 123.16, Glengoyne, Madagascan white chocolate mice, 10 years old, 57.5% B+

4th May 2005, 216 bottles, first fill bourbon

20160428_191232Nose - Wax and white chocolate, freshly cut courgette, oat cookies? With time some hand soap, chardonnay and icing. Subtle, clean, young. More interesting with water, only a little bit though.

Body - Wax and chocolate again, but spicy and zesty, with Sichuan peppercorns and pea pods. Good white wine and white flowers with water.

Finish - Medium, soapy, hard. Nougat at the end.

A quite ordinary whisky with some decent floral sweetness.

SMWS 73.75, Aultmore, Raspberry Atholl Brose, 17 years old, 56.1% B

29th May 1998, 294 bottles, refill bourbon

20160428_192218Nose - Hard to pin this one down… raspberry jam on toast, more perfume, minted potatoes… it's hard work though. Cracked black pepper, Ryvita… hmm.

Body - Sharp and spicy, thin and dry, crusty bread. Slightly more interesting with water, a touch of Sauvignon Blanc? The centre of an aniseed ball.

Finish - Ginger nuts. Long but vodka like (dry, thin, spicy). This is more grain than malt.

Amazing that this is 17 years old, it must have been 5th fill.

SMWS 46.39, Glenlossie, Continental breakfast, 23 years old, 59.0% A+

2nd November 1992, 240 bottles, refill bourbon

20160428_192222Nose - Cereal. Pretzel pieces. Crunchy nut cornflakes. Black pepper? Urinal cake? Interesting… behind that there's some really well hidden toffee and fruit, there's a good cask in there somewhere. Works a lot better with water, now its classy rather than just closed.

Body - Big and sharp and fruity, pine and orange juice. Ozone. Really classy with water, like a fino sherry.

Finish - Seville orange, orange oils, sanded rosewood. Very long with water, orange slices with cinnamon powder. Very classy. Nutty at the end.

A weirdly austere whisky that works so well with water.


SMWS 41.73, Dailuaine, One night in Bangkok, 11 years old, 58.9% A

11th May 2004, 198 bottles, first fill bourbon

20160428_194712Nose - Ripe and Asian, waxed fruit and mango squash. But don't get too excited, that's under a blanket of spirit …. A recently extinguished coconut candle,

Body - Soft and fruity, the mango squash to the fore. Liquorice torpedos. Cut flowers with water.

Finish - Short but fruity, clean. A ton of coconut… almost Malibu levels.

This is the young blockbuster you're looking for.  BUY

SMWS 30.91, Glenrothes, Deliciously dark and sweet, 18 years old, 58.7% A⊕

17th April 1997, 744 bottles, refill Gorda

20160428_195616Nose - Dry and dirty but actually the ozone makes it clean too. Walnuts and chocolate sponge (dry and dusty though) with chocolate icing. Sherry vinegar, very pronounced, proper salad dressing. Caught stew. No sulphur.

Body - Pure Gorda here but no sulphur still. Dry and sherried.. Actually here's some sulphur. God I love these Gorda casks. Starting to get some proper filth with water, but much more tannic.

Finish - Lemon shells in the roasting pan, long and dirty. Very meaty, gamey even.

This is so compelling. I'm a sucker for these Gorda casks though.


SMWS 66.83, Ardmore, A memory of summer, 14 years old, 54.7% B⊕

26th November 2001, 222 bottles, first fill bourbon

20160428_200600Nose - Like a modern Laphroaig (like Select cask). French cooked pastry and ordinary peat. Smoky bacon, but quite weak. A touch of plasticine. Some lolly stick. With water, granite.

Body - Like a mescal, actually that works quite well - green and agave. Fresh, clean, green apple and after eight mints.

Finish - Medium but here's some actual whisky flavours. Toffee and cask, still fresh though. Big tannins at the end.

One of the dullest noses I've smelled, but it'd be an epic mescal on the delivery. Extremely neckable, and I mean this when I say BUY

SMWS 3.260, Bowmore, Delicate perfumed sweetness, 15 years old, 55.3% A⊕

28th March 2000, 240 bottles, first fill bourbon. Didn’t get a photo!

Nose - Mulled wine, salt and vinegar chipsticks, blueberries. Love hearts and sugar syrup.

Body - Deep, soft, crushed barley, quite dreamy. Tinned pineapple.

Finish - Condensed milk, really creamy.

This is a beautiful whisky, it bears a passing resemblance to Bowmore but I would have called it as Caol Ila if it wasn't for the deep vanilla cream. Absolutely delicious, it's like a cream liqueur Bowmore.

I didn't try it with water.  Always a good sign.


SMWS 29.180, Laphroaig, An apothecary shop on the shore, 16 years old, 52.3% A⊕

1st July 1999, 264 bottles, refill bourbon

20160428_204045Nose - Lime cordial, bandages, cob nuts and clay. Proper sticky danish pastry, cinammon swirl nearly. This whisky has a very clear mission statement. Wax, blackboard and agave with water.

Body - Sweet but tart and fruity. Dirty bandages with water. Delicious.

Finish - Slightly dirty, warm white wine. Very long, with burnt bandages at the end.

A classic society Laphroaig, just excellent. Buy it. I can't, I've got decalitres of Laphroaig at home.



  1. Excellent reading... Thanks again Ben

  2. Awesome. Thank you. I have got that Bowmore, and the Laphroaig. I also got a 9 yo Bunna - not sure what to make of that yet.