Wednesday, May 22, 2019

SMWS Festival bottlings 2019

Here is my review of 5 SMWS festival bottlings.

A festival in front of my laptop

SMWS 93.109 - Let Them Eat Hake
8yo 59.7%
Cask filled 1 April 2010 - 1st fill barrel ex-bourbon

SMWS, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, is an independent bottler that uses number codes to identify distillery and cask. 93.109 is cask number 109 bottled from their distillery number 93. Distillery number 93 is Glen Scotia

This was bottled for the Campbeltown Malts Festival, which takes place from 22-24 May

The nose is warm and welcoming. Sweet and meaty with medium fruity touch of peat.
This whisky is extremely oily the the extend it feels like actual drinking oil. It's dominated by a touch of both peat and salt, with warm almost olive oil flavour. No, not really, but the viscosity gives me that association. Later comes  a little meaty-ness and the finish is medium with some vanilla.

Rating 88/100

SMWS 10.169 - Obsidian Salmagundi
9yo 60.6%
Cask filled 22 October 2008 - 1st fill hogshead ex-oloroso
(Oily & Coastal)

This is the 169th cask bottled from Bunnahabhain, SMWS distillery number 10

SMWS operates with 12 colour coded flavour profiles. I have added them in paranthesis.You can also see the colour codes on the bottles on the bottles. The vertical line and age statement has a dark blue-green colour. This colour is the catagory "Oily and Coastal"
Colour coded flavour profiles is probably a good idea, but for me personally I have a hard time setting up a new system to box my whisky into it. I allready have a system and it's hard to learn old dogs new tricks.

This was bottled for the Islay Festival, Feis Ile, which takes place from 24th May to 1st June

The nose is dominated by the oloroso sherry notes and some sweet wet wood notes, likes the smell of just unbunged casks. Whisky does smell different from a cask than a bottle.

This is a sweet,  a little sharp, sherry dominated flavour. It's not a sherry monster, but one of those delicate woodforward sherry whiskies. As I often find in Bunnahabhain, the spirit have quite some maltiness

The finish is long and this whisky remninds me of drinking straighth from the cask

Rating 88/100

SMWS 7.216 - Champagne and Crepes Suzette
14yo 58.9%
Cask filled 17 November 2003 - 1st fill ex-bourbon 
(Juicy, Oak & Vanilla) 

Beside the number codes, each bottle also carries a name for the whisky. This whisky has the name "Champagne and Crepes Suzette". Let's see how it fares. I really dislike Champagne, but I love Crepes Suzettes. Number 7 is Longmorn from Speyside and this was bottled for the Spirit of Speyside festival which happened in the beginning of May

The nose is very dominant on vanilla. Vanilla whisky. Tasting it, I immidiately get a lighter and less oily whisky compared to the other ex-bourbon, the 93. It's a bit simple and one dimensional, it's good that that one side is vanilla. The only other thing I can find is a very faint soapy note

The finish is medium and doesn't reallt add much to this whisky

Rating 84/100

SMWS 30.106 - Succulent, Scintillating, Substantial
21yo 57.2%
Cask filled 17 April 1997 - 2nd fill butt ex-PX
(Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits)

SMWS is an independent bottler and you need to be a member to get access to their bottlings. They were founded in Edinburgh and have two locations in Edinburgh and one in London. Beside that they have chapters and partnership bars all over the world. I can sometimes be seen helping pouring craft beers at the one in my hometown. "Mig & Ølsnedkeren" in Aarhus, Denmark

Number 30 is Glenrothes. This was also bottled for the Spirit of Speyside festival

The nose is a classic sherry bomb. I am very sulphur sensitive, but I have to really dig into this to find the faintest hint of rubber. Or maybe not. There is also a faint hint of balsamic vinegar. 

The palate is huge sherry bomb, with a lot of licorise. Add a faint hint of rubber and balsamic vinegar. It's super dry as some dark sherry bombs but more on the fruity side. 

The finish is rather long and spicy

I am probably not the biggest fan of heavily sherried whiskies but I can drink this one. If you are a sherry whisky fan I suggest you check this out. if you can find it

 Rating 87/100

SMWS 29.261 - An Evil Dutch Dentist's Dram
21 yo 50.3%
Cask filled 1st fill hogshead ex-oloroso
(Old & Dignified)

Being a member in Denmark we have these great opportunities every 2nd month to taste all the new bottlings (usually around 14-16 bottles) at outturn casual days events set in various bars around Denmark. It's always good to try a whisky before you buy.

Distillery number 29 is Laphroaig. And this Laphroaig is also a Feis Ile bottling

The nose is sweet, sherrried and very peaty

On the palate I get eucalyptus, hint of red berries and loads of peat and it's quite light on the viscosity surprisingly. 

The finish is long with medicinal notes

Rating 88/100

You can find a decoding of the SMWS distillery codes here: