Sunday, March 16, 2014

Danish Drinking Team and the new SMWS outturn

This friday, me and two of my friends made a visit to the danish chapter of SMWS

This is a report of the new outturn

SMWS is a very nice whiskybar in Vejle, in fact, it's the biggest SMWS bar in the world, more than 300 open bottles in the bar, I didn't count them. I counted the Mortlachs just to see. 18 open Mortlachs. I can recommend the 76.94, it was great. Probably sold out. I didn't like the 76.95 at all. But that's SMWS, they like to bottle different things.

The host, Terje Thesbjerg, who runs the danish SMWS, and does it very well, was so nice to pour the 16 drams of the new outcome for us blind. 14 actually, as 2 wasn't availbale in the bar, but he threw in two substitutes instead.

So we went through the 16 drams blind and here are our average scores of the new outturn

9.83 - 88.7 (25yo Glen Grant)
37.56 -  79.0 (9yo Cragganmore)
35.108 - 84.3 (12yo Glen Moray)
1.178 - 88.3 (11yo Glenfarclas)
76.115 - 89.0 (18yo Mortlach)
29.153 - 81.7 (23yo Laphroaig)
132.2 - 81.3 (22yo Karuizawa)
53.203 - 82.0 (17yo Caol Ila)
39.97 - 91.0 (23yo Linkwood)
93.59 - 86.3 (14yo Glen Scotia)
127.39 - 80.7 (11yo Port Charlotte)
66.48 - 82.0 (Ardmore)
73.62 - 86.3 (25yo Aultmore)
4.189 - 86.7 (13yo Highland Park)
93.58 - 85.0 (14yo Glen Scotia)
4.186 - 88.7 (22yo Highland Park)

We rated all the whiskies indepently and only shared the scores after we all had a taste.

Now these are just average score and they do reflect that 2 of 3 in the group are known beforehand of not liking peated whiskies (the other two), but it only showed in one of the others ratings, he rated a couple  distinctively lower than the rest of us. I must say I wasn't a big fan of the Laphroaig or especially the PC myself, the latter having a terrible nose and awful finish, only saved by a somewhat decent palate.

By some facebook recommendations I had preordered the 35.108, but I returned it after tasting it blind, and got myself the Linkwood and Mortlach instead. Two distilleries that I normally don't rate that high. The Linkwood was the best whisky of the night, we agreed on that all three of us. I also found the 4.189 particular good for it's age and not like Highland Park at all. In fact I crossed it out as the whisky I hoped was the 35.108. Unfortunately it wasn't. It was very caramel-fudge-butterscotch in character.

But this is a great way to shop whiskies. Go by your palate. No labels or distillery names to distract you. In fact, this was the way I was introduced to the society in 2001. Back then I didn't really know a lot of distilleries. So I just went in, tasted some random whiskies trying to choose from the weird descriptions, and then purchased the bottle I like the best. It was SMWS that in this way introduced me to distilleries like Caperdonich and Glen Moray. I remember buying these whiskies and having no clue what the distillery was until I finished the bottles and decided to ask somebody

Of the above whiskies, it was the Aultmore where I was not in agreement with others. I rated it quite a lot lower as I found it to be sulphured

Getting ready for the blind tasting