Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon first fill and Chinkapin
Additional coloring: No
Owner: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Average price: € 67.00
Official website: www.smws.com
As everyone knows (or at least those who have read all the previous reviews), the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is perhaps the best known and most widespread international whisky club in the world, with a large number of its own bottlings (mostly single cask) distinguished by a unique code that identifies the distillery of origin and the number of bottlings dedicated to it.
At each annual renewal, a dedicated bottling is proposed, and the 2021 bottling is rather unusual in that it has no code on the label.
An unknown distillery, then, for a single malt produced in small batch (1367 bottles), distilled in 2006 and aged for fourteen years in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks and toasted virgin Chinkapin (or Chinquapin) oak casks, a detail that might give some clues as to its provenance.
This particular type of oak is in fact not yet very widespread, and in Scotland very few distilleries use it, and it doesn’t differ greatly from the classic Quercus Alba.
But every tree (and wood) is unique…
On the nose, the influence of virgin casks is very present, with a decisive spicy charge (cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg) on intense fruity notes (wild strawberry, raspberry, green apple) veined with grapefruit, aniseed and almonds. In the background, brushstrokes of wood polish, propolis. Lengthwise, sponge cake. The wood is felt throughout.
In the mouth it becomes warmer and softer, with spicy spices of ginger and paprika on cinnamon, raspberry, caramelised apple, nuts (walnuts, almonds), citrus veins. Hints of vanilla and shortbread, with an impression of butter biscuits along the length.
Quite long and spicy finish, with citrus, biscuits, red fruits, almonds, caramel and a slight puff of smoke.
Not particularly complex but pleasant, the influence of virgin casks dominates in a balanced aromatic complex without surprises. There is a lack of strong emotions, but not a lack of interest.
Reviews of Scotch Malt Whisky Society whisky in the blog:
SMWS A shape-shifting chimera
SMWS: April 2021 Outturn
SMWS In a Sunny Lemon Grove
SMWS Magical Fairy Dust
SMWS Nectar In a Hip Flask
SMWS Tarry Tarry Night
SMWS The Peat Faerie 7yo Batch 04
SMWS Uncle Monty Goes Burgling