Scotch Malt Whisky Society Late July Outturn – Scotch Whisky News

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July 2014 Outturn Offerings

Cask No. 53.194                                $145

A Calmac ferry dram

Islay

The nose gave us fruit salad chews, sherbet lemons, blackberries, lime and oysters, but mainly it was smoke, melting tar, brine, Germolene, coal-tar soap, seaweed, cigar ash, rubber tyres and exhaust fumes (like a Calmac ferry). The palate delivered loads of ash, soot and sweet smoke – chilli-roasted nuts and a charcoal barbeque with smoked mackerel and charred prawns. The reduced nose offered first aid boxes, canvas, burnt mackerel skin and something earthy (terracotta plant pots, grow-bags). The taste was sweeter – peanut M&Ms and sugar-coated fennel seeds – a fine sweet-salty balance with lots of heat, from the biggest distillery on Islay.

Drinking tip: Chill out with this, sitting on the harbour wall watching the boats

Colour: Moonlight Chardonnay
Cask: Refill butt
Age: 17 years
Date distilled: August 1995
Alcohol: 60.1%
USA allocation: 150 bottles

Cask No. 1.176                                $140

Zesty Ginger-Lime Cooler

Speyside, Spey

The initial nose neat has the freshness of green saplings and cut grass soon followed by fruity notes of apricots and peaches. With time deeper aromas of old fashioned rose water perfume are taking centre stage. The taste starts off similar to the nose; green and grassy, slightly cereal (Weetabix) and then fruity (now apple slices). The medium length finish is refreshing like a ‘Zesty Ginger-Lime Cooler’. With water we are preparing a fruit punch with strawberries, pineapple, peaches and cherries. The taste is now clean and fresh like minty grapefruit sorbet and Jasmine iced tea – a well-balanced sample from the distillery established in 1836 on the Recherlich Farm at Ballindalloch.

Drinking tip: Looking at a blue sky and the shapes of white clouds weaving imaginary stories

Colour: Citrine gold
Cask: Refill hogshead
Age: 16 years
Date distilled: March 1997
Alcohol: 55.4%
USA allocation: 84 bottles

Cask No. 2.85                                        $95

Vibrant and tongue-dancing

Speyside, Spey

From the nose flowed fountains of fruit (green apple, mandarin, lime sorbet, pink grapefruit, lemon puffs, pineapple); we also found bubble gum, pickled ginger, toffee, honey, oiled wood and Formica – vibrant and complex. The palate had treacle toffee, butterscotch, peanut brittle and vanilla sweetness, with chilli and eucalyptus heat and some citric bitterness – lively and tongue- dancing. The reduced nose still majored on light, effervescent apple, but deepened by eucalyptus. The palate gave us fresh apple and pear, Mr Kiplings apple pies and fizzy lemon rock –further interest coming from mint, hops and Radox. Distillery founded by a pistol-totin’ mountain man.

Drinking tip: So much apple – one a day might keep the doctor away!

Colour: Winter sunrise
Cask: Refill barrel
Age: 9 years
Date distilled: November 2003
Alcohol: 61.4%
USA allocation: 102 bottles

Cask No. 30.80                                $180

A wicker basket full of dark pleasures

Speyside, Spey

The basket opened and the picnic began with cheesecake of Mirabelle plum and marmalade. But underneath lay deeper notes of dark cherries, chocolate brazils, manuka honey and ripe dates. As the panel delved in they were reminded of leather school bags with crushed tobacco – an errant youthful experience. Brambles, raisins and cranberry were dominant, with a whiff of licorish and mint. A careful hand with water is recommended but coaxed out some softer flavours. The panel found the bottom of the basket lined in hessian scented with eucalyptus. Toasted brioche with Nutella and salted caramel to finish.

Drinking tip: A reward after a hard days gardening

Colour: Golden syrup pudding
Cask: Refill hogshead
Age: 23 years
Date distilled: September 1990
Alcohol: 54.9%
USA allocation: 114 bottles

Cask No. 77.33                                $110

Orange Grove at spring time

Highland, Northern

A very clean and slightly spirity nose to start with but give it some time and you will be rewarded with aromas of lemon sherbet, orange zest, pink grapefruit juice and stewed plums. The taste neat to begin with is again very clean and citric (Bitter Lemon), but at the same time nippy like chilli flavoured peanuts. Herbal notes of aniseed and fennel and lemon curd cheesecake arrive after the initial wave of heat. Water turns the aroma into a fizzy sweetness, pineapple cubes and lemon sherbet but also the intoxicating smell of an orange grove in spring time. The taste leaves you with a fresh mouth-feel of a lemon and mint sorbet.

Drinking tip: A palate cleanser in between courses

Colour: Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cask: Refill barrel
Age: 11 years
Date distilled: April 2002
Alcohol: 58.0%
USA allocation: 108 bottles

Cask No. G8.3                        $180

Surprise Me…

Grain

Even at this age the spirit is still spirited; the aroma is of golden syrup and toffee popcorn, with juicy green apples and pears behind; very slightly woody and dusty: ‘a cupboard shelf covered in Fablon’. The taste is sweet and sour – kiwi fruits, lime cordial, Seville orange, sour cherry, stewed tea – with a short finish. Reduced, the aroma initially becomes more oaky (a musty sea chest, a brush shop), then sweeter – lemon puffs, lemon meringue pie. A soft mouthfeel; a sweetish start (‘white jelly babies’), then bitter lemon, with a very short finish. This large grain distillery near Alloa, built 1806, closed in 1993.

Drinking tip: Frozen, as an aperitif

Colour: Harvest wheat
Cask: Refill hogshead
Age: 23 years
Date distilled: June 1989
Alcohol: 59.0%
USA allocation: 36 bottles

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