This is the second blended malt from SMWS, a blend of Islay and Speyside.
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Nose - Light at first, balanced sweetness with a waxed, almost marble character. The peat is unobtrusive but present, burnt rather than medicinal with liquorice all-sort sugars and some burnt orange. There's a lovely warm Scotchiness to the nose which actually reminds me of the stairs up to the member's lounge in Greville street - that and oak under a soldering iron. Water brings grapefruit juice, floral hand soap.
Body - Maybe it's the just opened bottle but this does seem to clash at first - a lack of integration between the sugar and the peppery charred woods. Once it starts to build on the tongue that's less apparent, the fruit comes through more and the peat is more structural. The fruit is really lovely, almost dusty orange cake. There's an awkward bitterness throughout, though, which is much reduced with water (making it a more balanced whisky); Seville orange and grapefruit.
Finish - Bracing citrus balances the woodsy peat with quite a lot of astringency and grapefruit bitterness. Tobacco tar at the end with repeated sips and lots of black pepper.
This is a very drinkable whisky but for me the two components - Speyside and Islay – haven’t quite come together yet, with the peat clashing a bit with the really quite good Speyside. Water improves the delivery but doesn't rescue the finish. Maybe it would have rounded things out a bit at 46% and a bit longer marrying? Not that I'd know about such things, but it does seem to need something to bring the two halves together.