So… two 21 year old toasted oak hogshead Glen Morays, these are only available on the bar in Greville Street.
SMWS 35.162, Glen Moray, Romantic inspiration, 21 years old, 54.5% A
17th November 1994, 234 bottles, 1st fill toasted oak hogshead
Nose - A big, full on bourbon nose with cherry compote, varnished wood and strawberry laces. Intensely sweet and heavy on the vanilla without the crushing oak that a cask strength bourbon of this character would have - in other words it's still Scotch, with its cold climate complexity. Even better with water, more beer, more ozone, weirdly - it works well with the thick fruit.
Body - Having gushed like that though… the delivery doesn't quite step up to that billing. There's a thinner character in the delivery that makes that bombastic red fruit and vanilla more like ordinary wood and cigarettes. Water doesn't help much either.
Finish - Long and sweetly rich, with salted caramel and fruit toffees. Very long - thick oils last right to the end.
Often it's hard to deliver on the promise the nose sets, and it’s a dangerous game to play with the crazy casks. Worth a dram though, certainly.
SMWS 35.163, Glen Moray, A playful wrestling match, 21 years old, 56.4% A⊖
17th November 1994, 276 bottles, 1st fill toasted oak hogshead
Nose - A very different character to this cask - green where the last one was red. Much more restrained too with chocolate and pipe tobacco, unripe apple and guava. There's something like a hotel lobby - recently laid carpets and old cigarette smoke. This is a much more ordinary nose than the last one, although good.
Body - And a much more considered delivery too, with chalky bonbons, Ricola lozenges and a touch of neat Vimto.
Finish - Long but hot and offputtingly tannic at the side of the mouth. Coconut burps!
Very different to the last cask, the nose on this is more restrained and very competent, however the delivery is quite ordinary and the whole thing falls apart with water - bitter, wet wood, only some of the fruit survives.