We were invited to the SMWS for a preview again. At the regular venue, this time, rather than Bistro du Vin.
G2.2 35yo 1976 A Vaudeville Act (53.6%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 139b): excited to see this one, as I have never tried this distillery. One smell and I ask for a bottle to be kept aside for me -- turns out it is the last bottle already, seeing as quantity is so limited (I am at the venue five minutes before the start, but still). Nose: Marzipan, ginger bread. Mouth: some slight wood attack. Finish: smooth and elegant. Happy to score the last bottle. More detailed notes when I try it again. 8/10
41.52 8yo 2004/2012 Boiled Sweets And Playdoh (59.1%, SMWS Society Cask, First-fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 226b): nose: mushrooms, forestry and some fruit juice or onion confit. Mouth: a narrow sting, there, affecting the center of the tongue, not the sides. Finish: wood and vanilla with some herbs (bay leaves) and varnish. Nice. Not a common distillery and a nice try.
35.67 23yo 1988 Winter Spice For The Summer (63.2%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 239b): nose: dunnage, warehouse, some fruit (apricot? plantain?), old school. Mouth: overly-boiled oranges, cooked wine. Finish: drying, warming and vaguely tarry. Interesting. The bar tender finds it soapy. 7/10
64.37 7yo 2004 Candy-Man (59.3%, SMWS Society Cask, ex-Bourbon Barrel, 242b): there has been a string of consistently good bottlings from this distillery; have to try this new one. Nose: soap at first, then oranges. Orange soap it is, then. How big a role suggestion plays in here is debatable (we just discussed soap with the bar guy). Mouth: punchy and full of sting. Pine tree, pine cones. Finish: long and spicy, then some sparkling cola. 7/10
121.53 12yo 2000/2012 Saddled-Up Cuddy In Woolly Socks (56%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 320b): nose: forestry and varnish, nail polish, then cardboard. Mouth: crayons, quite mellow with a tight balance of alcohol. Finish: woody. Just OK, this one.
76.91 22yo 1989 Caballero In An Orange Grove (57.9%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 618b): nose: I first think I was poured a grain. Then it is a full-on meat attack, leather with a bit of tar. Mouth: still meaty, barbecue, leather coats with a bit of Seville orange. Finish: oooooh! That burns. More oranges. Marmalade-glazed duck breast or beef steak. This is for Fixou, I think.
4.165 22yo 1989 Soft Peat And Seaside Piers (50.5%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 211b): nose: Speyside nose, this. Some fruit, perhaps some rhubarb. Mouth: grape juice, fruity and slightly bitter. Finish: grape seeds. Interesting take on Highland Park. Unusual stuff.
36.57 23yo 1989/2012 Puff Candy And Vanilla Sponge (53.4%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 251b): nose: some bandages, overheated warehouses (Amrut!) Mouth: hot and honeyed. Finish: the weakest link. Not good. Akin to swallowing dried flowers.
29.120 13yo 1998 Satisfyingly Smoky And Sweet (54.7%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 258b): JS wants to try this, but I end up finishing it, unsurprisingly. Nose: smoke, innit. Mouth: surprisingly smooth. Heather, honey with tons more smoke. Finish: fire, coal, smoke. A good Laphroaig.
5.35 12yo 1999 Laundry In The Bakery (54.7%, SMWS Society Cask, Second-fill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 195b): nose: quite a bit of alcohol in there. PS gets some gelatine and gummy bears. Fruit drops indeed. Mouth: hints of cassis (the blackcurrant liqueur), untoasted, doughey bread (still PS speaking). Finish: blackcurrant indeed with an undecipherable bitterness. Lemony washing powder and some herbs. A nice Lowlander, also rather unusual.
Jokes start fusing, at this point.
'I live in Beckenham.
-Where Davenid is from?
-You know, Davenid Beckenham...'
48.31 23yo 1989/2012 Honey And Flowers On A Knicker Drawer (53.1%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 262b): nose: a weird mix of chocolate, caramel and wine. Not too seducing. Mouth: mild and delicate with a rather oily texture. Finish: honey, flowers. Quite nice, but the nose is not all that. 6/10
I go for another shot of G2.2 before being kicked out. :-)
Excellent one. Hopefully, we keep being invited to these: it is a wonderful opportunity to try everything (or nearly) from the new outturn without having to buy full glasses of each bottling. Also gives a chance to get first dibs on limited bottlings.
The venue is perhaps a little less convenient (fewer tables and seats and it feels a bit awkward to move about at times), but more comfortable in case one wants to carry on at the bar afterwards or buy bottles. The food (bites provided by the Bleeding Heart) was also very nice.
J 'Will we bump into you again, like _every time_ we come here?
P -Well, stop stalking me!
me -I have a thing for pony tails...
P -Shuffle on!'