Take a deep breath.
26.106 29yo 1984/2014 Say it with flowers (58%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Sherry Butt, 586b) (JS): nose: gunpowder, spent wick, then tons of wax. Waxy peaches and plums, juicy apricots. Mouth: faint burnt wood... and more hot wax (for the record collectors). Finish: slightly bitter, now, mouldy and waxy cheese rind (we have a discussion about blue cheese, after JK reckons this tastes of blue cheese), alongside ash. Ha! Morbier it is, then! Ashy cheese! 7/10
100.11 15yo 1998/2014 Picnic party dram (56.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 152b) (me): always exciting to try a rarely-seen distillery. SMWS released one in October, which we did not try. Nose: wood dust, then compote, pine needle, caramel apple, butter. Mouth: silky, warming, creamy, with a note of moccha-flavoured chocolate. Finish: light, but stubborn coffee, which is not really for me. 6/10
26.107 10yo 2004/2014 Zippy and attractive (57%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 233b) (JK): 26es seem to come out in pairs, do they not? We talk about it with the staff. CD claims that, when it is the case, the young one is always better. Will it be the case today as well? Nose: citrusy (lemon, pomelo, clementines). Mouth: fantastically balanced, between citrus, pepper and milk. Finish: a cascade of citrus, making it very lively. Very good indeed and better than the older one. 8/10
Enter food: fish and chips for the ladies, lamburgherini for myself.
52.20 13yo 2001/2014 All-day American breakfast in the garden (64.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 209b) (me): almost forgot that this one caught my attention upon checking the email. This is the first SMWS 52 I have ever seen. Nose: honeysuckle, apricot juice, ginger, coconut. This is both fruity and flowery. Wow! Mouth: perfume, boat rope (yes, that is strange), fruit, gunmetal. Finish: warm and spicy, with one of those wonderful fleeting kicks of passion fruit, before it settles in with ground pepper. Amazing. 9/10
37.59 22yo 1992/2014 Cupcakes in a Thai restaurant (51%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 236b) (JK): nose: orange skins, peaches, candle wax, yes! Lots of oranges. Mouth: incompatible with the nose, this. Bitter -- like raw orange peels, actually. Finish: sumac, bitterness. There is fruit in there too, yet the bitterness is unexpectedly powerful. JK finds a combination of creamy vanilla and spices, which does not convince her. 7/10
95.18 20yo 1994/2014 A bed in a cornfield (55.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 150b) (JS): third 95 since June -- amusing, considering we had never seen a 95 prior. Nose: juicy peach, ripe apricot, bakes beans (!) and nuts/peach stone. Mouth: almond milk, spiked with some nut liqueur. Finish: liqueur praline, warm mangoes -- fruity day, innit? 7/10
30.82 24yo 1990/2014 For a moment of intensity (47.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Sherry Butt, 97b) (JK): on her quest to find a caramel-tainted dram... Nose: coffee and cured meat. Mouth: obvious sherry influence; coq-au-vin, barbecue sauce. Finish: a slap of sherry (sherry lady), dessert wine. Slightly drying, but rather good. It gets more winey overtime. 6/10
59.52 30yo d.1983 Tasty melange of exotic fruits (45.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 100b) (me): nose: forsythia and other yellow flowers, as well as yellow fruit. Mouth: mellow and pleasant, with almond milk. Finish: mellow as a pillow, with caramel and cake. With water, smoke comes out a bit, which is unexpected. 7/10
41.60 25yo d.1988 Fun to chase (49.6%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 275b) (JS): nose: butter, ghee, hawthorn, Mr. Kipling's Frosty Fancies, buttercups. Mouth: lots of plant-stem juices; this is quite green -- leaves, juicy grass. Finish: white chocolate, plant bitterness, almond skins, peanut liqueur. Decent. .61 is better. 6/10
G7.7 30yo 1984/2014 Old Codger with a Jammy Dodger (59.4%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 311b) (me): nose: herbs (tarragon, sage, thyme), bakery scents (apricot waffle). Mouth: blackcurrant, apricot, bakery -- more of the same, then. This is stripping, though. Finish: long and beautiful, full of metallic and fruity tones -- tinned pineapple, cloves, tarragon, verbena. JK calls it head-clearing. 8/10
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A rather ambitious session. Cannot say the outturn is particularly interesting, yet there is something for everyone in there. With 44 bottlings, one would expect there to be, of course.
Good times, anyway. It was empty when I walked in, packed throughout the evening. Glad to see the tensions I could feel behind the bar last week have completely disappeared, today.