When in Edinburgh, visiting the Queen Street venue goes without saying. Only JS and I, this time, which is just as well, because the place is packed to a point we have a hard time finding seats for two. Besides, there is live music. A guy and a guitar, playing folk-ish songs and Christmas sing-alongs. One of the good things about the SMWS is there is no music or television, so this comes as a cold shower. It is way too loud too, which sort of kills any social interaction while he plays.
96.7 7yo 2006/2013 For a sweet tooth (56.3%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 187b) (me): first SMWS GlenDronach for me. They have been offering a long string of firsts, this year, which is very exciting indeed. Nose: young spirit (well, it is 7, is it not?) Lots of feints, then coffee, burnt cake and feet. Mh. Mouth: mellow and spongy. Finish: caramel custard first, then lots of red pepper lasting for a very long while. This one is pungent and anaesthetising. Slightly more pleasant and fruity with water, but it is probably too young to be good.
125.71 6yo 2007/2013 Chocolate Coke Float (58.7%, SMWS Society Cask, New French Oak Hogshead, 265b) (JS): nose: chocolate milk with herbs and a hint of vanilla in the back. Mouth: pretty indistinct. Finish: some nectarines, unripe pear and lots of drying alcohol. Almonds too. Unconvincing.
The live music ends, phew. The staff thinks it is time to switch on the iPod -- WTF!!??!?!
I want to have an older bottlings, now. Five of them behind the bar, including the two Glen Albyn I tried last time. They have 80.3 and another I am interested in. After sniffing both, I go with this.
91.17 9yo 1992 A game of two halves (60%, SMWS Society Cask, 197b) (me): a lesser-seen distillery. Nose: pine dust and lots of alcohol. Maybe I should have gone for 80.3 after all... Cedar wood, cypress. It makes me think of Indochinese cuisine, for some reason -- Cambodian, Thai, Viet Namese. Mouth: mellow, with vanilla-tainted pine-wood juice. Finish: round, with enough pine dust to give it movement. More of a curiosity, this.
Disappointing experience, innit.