Sunday, March 8, 2015

SMWS Causal Day March 7th 2015

As often before, we gathered a group of people to go through a line up of new releases from SMWS. With one guest whisky. The recent bourbon release B3.1, which is the first bourbon release from SMWS I had a chance to taste. Former bourbon releases are rare as a hens teeth and I have never seen one

This time we were 7 whisky entusiasts attending. The event was set in Aarhus' best whiskybar, Highlanders Bar (which also carries a good selection of beers, both draft and bottle. And the best pub food in Aarhus)

All whiskies were tasted blind. And we used the common 100 point scale as a reference.
The pace was rather speedy and we shared 6cl of each amongst us. Big thanks to Thomas Korsgaard, SMWS brand ambassador to help set this up.

Glasses are poured. Let's go !

Here are the groups verdict with my personal score in green:

1. Longmorn 24yo 7.113 51.7% Dist. 11/12-1989 Score 87.3 (86)
2. Aultmore 29yo  73.44 53.7% Dist. 21/4-1982 Score 86.1 (86)
3. Strathclyde G10.8 G10.8 58.0% Dist. 23/11-1977 Score 85.6 (87)
4. Glen Grant 25yo 9.84 55.6% Dist. 18/4-1988 Score 85.1 (86)
5./6. Balmenach 12yo 48.54 57.4% Dist. 1/11-2001 Score 84.9 (82)
5./6. Cragganmore 29yo 37.61 51.2% Dist 24/4-1985 Score 84.9 (85)
7. Cragganmore 29yo 37.60 52.4% Dist 24/4-1985 Score 84.0 (86)
8./9. Glen Moray 20yo 35.133 55.8% Dist 11/11-1994 Score 83.3 (86)
8./9. Glen Elgin 29yo 85.28 44.1% Dist 2/5-1985 Score 83.3 (86)
10. Cambus 25yo G8.5 59.6% Dist 12/6-1989 Score 83.0 (85)
11./12. Caol Ila 14yo 52.221 65.5% Dist 16/3-2000 Score 82.3 (81)
11./12. Girvan 22yo G7.9 57.3% Dist 21/4-1982 Score 82.3 (78)
13. Bowmore 26yo 3.230 50.5% Dist 11/4-1988 Score 81.9 (80)
14. Glen Grant 25yo 9.88 55.3% Dist 18/4-1988 Score 81.1 (79)
15. Bowmore 17yo 3.237 57.2% Dist 25/9-1997 Score 81.0 (72)
16. Rock Town 3yo B3.1 53.9% Dist  15/7-2011 Score 79.9 (74)
17. Bowmore 29yo 3.235 50.9% Dist 11/4-1988 Score 78.7 (65)

Here is a few of my comments and observations:

Whisky produced by Chivas did very well taking 1st., 3rd. and 4th places with their 4 "entrants" (Glen Grant used to be owned by Chivas before 2006)

I was very dissapointed with the bourbon. Being the bourbon drinker in the group I scored it considerable lower than the other 6. To me this tasted like newmake and was no way ready to be bottled. It didn't taste like bourbon at all. As SMWS never bottles bourbon I see this as a major FAIL

I didn't like the Bowmores. All tainted with FWP and when I got the 3rd one, it was just too much. Couldn't drink it. My tasting note was YUK. I do have hopes for Bowmore distilled after the bad period in the eighties, but the 1997 was a dissapointment as well.

Half the whiskies where distilled in April. This was mainly due to all three sets of sister casks were from April.

Only 5 whiskies managed not to get a score in 70's (or lower) from at least one in the panel. They were the top 4 whiskies on the list above and the Balmenach. The whisky that shared the 5/6 place with the Balmenach was 37.61, a 29yo Cragganmore. It was the whisky that had the biggest difference between the lowest (76) and 2nd lowest score (85). Without that odd score this Cragganmore would have been in 2nd place.

The winner had a solid set of scores of 86-86-86-87-88-88-90 (only 90's score of the day)

My personal favourite, Strathclyde G10.8 happens to be distilled in my favourite city in Scotland :-)
It was a delicious fullbodies grain with loads of butterscotch.

If you want to read about earlier SMWS tasting they can be found under the SMWS label 


  1. Love the blog. Lots of good info here. I’m a big fan of whiskey as well as coffee. So I started sourcing and aging beans in whiskey barrels. Now I can get the nice finish of whiskey anytime! Would you be interesting in reviewing our coffee beans for your readers? I can get some free samples out to you. Let me know. Great site!

  2. Hi John. I am a bit of a coffeesnob myself. You can contact me on Thanks