Late Winter Outturn Offerings From The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America – Scotch Whisky News


Late Winter Outturn Offerings

Teasing torture in Granny’s cupboard

Cask No. 30.67
Highlands, Speyside (Rothes)

On the nose, attractive sweetness (pancakes and maple syrup, honey, vanilla, Tia Maria) was balanced by polished wood, beeswax, bergamot, dried fruit, menthol and eucalyptus; a mixture that evoked one panellist’s ‘grandmother’s cupboard’. The palate carried caramel, butterscotch, coffee, oranges and mint humbugs – a sweet, tasty package shot through with various interesting elements, all tied up in oaky, tannic ribbons of tongue-drying, teasing torture. The reduced nose actually changed little – dark cherries, dry wood and tea were identified; but on the palate, the ‘torture’ faded to light coffee and quinine, while the sweeter side swelled deliciously. From Rothes’ second distillery.

Drinking tip: To share with special friends – give it time

Colour: Maple candy
Cask: Refill sherry butt
Age: 30 years
Date distilled: July 1980
Alcohol: 53.3%



Lamb chops, mint sauce and blueberries

Cask No. 44.49
Highlands, Speyside

One Panellist was tucking into lamb chops with boiled potatoes and mint sauce while the rest of us found cherry pie, white pepper, dried fruit and pot pourri on the nose. To taste we too found lamb chops with mint sauce but also crème brûlée, cola cubes and Twiglets with a hot finish reminiscent of English mustard. Water yielded sliced ham and Fruits of the Forest, vanilla, blueberry muffins, and Jammy Dodgers smothered in natural yogurt. We found more of the same on the palate but also milky coffee and a lasting minty freshness. The distillery name means ‘rocky hill’

Drinking tip: Reading a short story before Sunday lunch to get the gastric juices flowing

Colour: Old trombone
Cask: Refill sherry butt
Age: 11 years
Date distilled: August 1999
Alcohol: 58.7%



Lovehearts in a coal sack

Cask No. 53.153
Islay, North Shore

The nose was a fabulous mix of smoke, scorched heather, TCP and clean seaweed with marshmallows, vanilla and fresh laundry. The unreduced palate had soot, ash, lime and honey-coated burnt heather stems, with a treacly, woody aftertaste; some (but not all) found it a little harsh. The reduced nose was fresher, with lovehearts, refreshers, twizzle lollies and Jolly Ranchers as well as heather honey, smoke and empty coal sacks. The reduced palate had soapy, salty notes, butterscotch, burnt sticks and pine notes in the finish. This non-typical sample from Islay’s biggest distillery had panel members facing off in mild contretemps.

Drinking tip: After a few douce drams when you need something heftier

Colour: Moonlight and lemon juice gold
Cask: Refill hogshead
Age: 14 years
Date distilled: March 1997
Alcohol: 56.5%



Cask No. 77.25
Highlands, Northern Highlands

First impressions were of fresh pipe tobacco drenched in cider or damson vinegar, floral notes soon became prominent with rose, elderflower and geranium buoyed up by stewed apples & pears with lemon rind. To taste the Panel were licking caramelised chilli tobacco on new leather but softened by floral and woody undertones. A little water released aromas of red apples, liquorice, dried rose petals, lemon rinds and vanilla tobacco all in a leather pouch, while to taste it was sweet – coconut, vanilla; fruity – stewed apples with cinnamon, but still pleasantly floral. This is the only distillery on the Black Isle.

Drinking tip: For discussion

Colour: Buttery gold
Cask: Refill hogshead
Age: 23 years
Date distilled: August 1987
Alcohol: 56.8%



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