The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has a place very dear in my heart. Its where I first learnt to appreciate fine Single Malt Scotch whiskies. It served as whisky highschool and university for me, and its where my love for all things whisky blossomed.
For those unaware of the SMWS, you really really need to click this link www.smws.com and join immediately. It is unimaginable to me that any serious whisky fan could seriously consider not being a member.
The Vaults in Leith, the original and best home of the SMWS are sacred ground in whisky circles. The place is mentioned in the same hushed tones by those who have yet to visit as by those seasoned 7 days a week loyal members who are as much of a fixture at the bar as the leather armchairs and the hand drawn cartoons that adorn the vaulted ceilings.
So to the tasting: 17 years in a refill hogshead have certainly treated this malt well. The power of the 55% abv cask strength kick does not over power the subtle smoke aromas of this fine specimen.
On the nose: Dry tree moss burning in the distance. Linseed window putty from a freshly glazed window and the cigar smoke wafting through it.
To taste: Tar-stuck beach pebbles and McVities digestive biscuits. Later, aromas pleasantly reminicent of germoline on newly asphalt-grazed knees mixed with the inevitable playground tears.
With water: Floral and comforting, like a warm wool sweater laced with perfume. Menthol notes combine to give an impression of mothballs and perfumed paper used to line clothes drawers.
Another great SMWS bottling. Although not entirely typical of the usual style from this distillery (missing a little of the sweet, bacony style one expects), this bottling has a facinating style and complexity all of its own.
Im scoring SMWS 53.136…. 89 pts
Music to drink this to: Where’s me jumper, by The Sultans of Ping