Time flies. It seems like there is a new outturn every couple of weeks.
I am meeting up with MJ who experiences withdrawal symptoms. Quite understandable, seeing as we have not had a formal tasting since September!
120.7 14yo d.1999 Sweet, fragrant and satisfying (55.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill Bota Corta, 517b): upon greeting the staff at the bar, CD makes me order this one. He insists so much I think I will not like it (CD and I have wildly different tastes). Then I nose it and MJ decides to take the same. Nose: liquorice, syrup, apples and a touch of leather. Mouth: slightly drying, earthy, with prunes and dried orange peels. Finish: prunes in syrup, with earth in the far back. Moscovado sugar, caramel, ginger bread, and even, in the end, the dry bitterness of green tea. Not my favourite profile, yet I have to agree CD was right, this time. This is very well made. 8/10
5.42 13yo d.2000 Bathed in a baker's shop (59.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 274b): nose: alcohol! Turpentine, nail varnish. This is spirity, with a bit of vanilla. Mouth: warming, displaying acidic sweets and verbena. A few metallic notes too. Finish: interestingly, the verbena and sage notes soon make room for crushed biscuit (speculoos), then milk chocolate. Not too impressed. 6/10
B3.1 3yo 2011/2014 A little box of treasures (53.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, New Charred Oak, 238b): nose: : a new distillery and my first SMWS bourbon. Nose: ginger bread, cinnamon, herbs (ginseng, I believe). Mouth: easy and balanced, with more herbs and cinnamon. Finish: again, lots of herbs and lovely cinnamon. Simple and efficient. 7/10
24.127 23yo 1991/2014 Northern Lights (47.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 262b): this one comes as a pair with the new 25. Need to find out whether it is good enough to justify buying the pair. Nose: resin, tree sap and an extremely high amount of daffodils. Musk soon appears, as well as a few plums. Mouth: honey, honeysuckle. Not too much happening, I have to say. Finish: long, warming, oak-driven. Unremarkable. 6/10
MJ has had enough of the light and fruity and wants something peaty and fruity. Not one to shy away from a good challenge, I order this one for him.
118.3 22yo d.1991 Self-assured, buxom and rewarding (57.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 2nd Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 206b): nose: yep, peat, mud, farmyard and fields, as well as tons of fruit (mango, lychee, yellow plums). Mouth: velvety. The peat is kept under control and augmented with balsamic vinegar and papaya -- wow! Finish: spectacular. Muddy fields, with lashes of mango, melon and goodness. Adore it. 9/10
JS joins us here.
7.107 10yo d.2003 The good old days (60.6%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 211b): nose: vanilla, bananas and wood goodness. Mouth: stings a bit (60.6%, see), but mostly coconut, banana and wood influence. Finish: wood, sawdust, toasted coconut. Not particularly impressive, this, espcially compared to 7.108. It is good, but a bit bland. 6/10
35.105 17yo d.1996 Santa's Christmas Stocking (55.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill Designer Barrel, 205b): nose: pine wood, peach stone, buttercups. Mouth: fruity, peachy and flowery. Finish: pleasant, balanced, with a dose of milk chocolate. Very pleasant, this. 8/10
MJ asks me to order him something akin to Christmas cake. He gets 9.88, which I do not try.
Good times. The venue was a bit too busy. Good thing the regulars were there: we managed to squeeze into the sofas next to them.