Enthusiastic tweeting on Thursday encouraged hoarders and some of the bottles have already sold out online by Saturday. Argh. Luckily, everything is still behind the bar to try.
50.65 25yo 1990/2015 Tutti Frutti (52.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 87b): nose: the wood influence is immediately obvious, with vanilla and cedar-wood scents rather prominent. Cologne soon follows, as well as refreshing fruit juice (grapes?) Mouth: sharp, though it comes with hints of custard to ease it in. Finish: the alcohol is pretty loud before it makes way for warm pastry and weak coffee. This is the one that flew off the shelf, which seems weird, because I find it very average. Still decent, I suppose. 6/10
7.114 25yo d.1989 Ode to Grown up George (56.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 2nd Fill Port Barrique, 253b): interestingly, this is a Port finish only. It spent its first twenty years in an ex-Bourbon hoggie. Nose: vanilla again, cedar bark and herbs. Probably oregano, bay leaves, maybe rosemary. Mouth: custard with herbs. Finish: more herbs and a metallic note, as well as cedar wood. Another one that was promising on paper and simply does not deliver. It is far from bad, but the string of recent 7 at the Society were much better. 6/10
76.123 27yo d.1987 Warm, joyous and gratifying (52.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 214b): nose: herbs here too (oregano, sage) and oranges or satsumas. Citrus peel, warm, melting chocolate. The fruit becomes more and more assertive. Mouth: the bitterness of orange peel, coupled with the fruitiness of freshly squeezed orange juice. Finish: strange finish! Lots of fruity tones again, a touch of bitterness (orange peel) and an unexpected earthy note -- cold tea, perhaps? Lots of herbs again, then exotic fruits show up. The odd tea note in the end is disconcerting. Still 7/10, maybe even 8/10
44.64 24yo d.1990 You can fly (52%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 288b): nose: fruits (melon, apricot) and band-aid glue. A weird-and-a-half combination. Mouth: nice balance, with citrus juice, a sprinkle of black pepper and Cécémel. Finish: cocoa, ivy, green-tea bitterness, hot custard. 7/10
129.7 4yo An artist in an antique boat (64.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, First-Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 272b): nose: farmyard. Mouth: warm and agreeable, earthy. Finish: mud and charcoal. It feels young and simple (it is), yet remains a decent dram. 7/10
35.135 29yo d.1983 The Great Easter Bake Off (58.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 236b): nose: fruit stones and a medicine cabinet, cork. We are far away from the glorious old ones that came out a few years ago. Mouth: warm marmalade, rhubarb compote. Finish: rum-spiked custard, rhubarb compote, apricot compote. Pleasant. 7/10
Disappointing outturn, which is good news for the finances. Good afternoon nonetheless, spent chatting with the regulars and staff, moaning that KJ left her job without even saying good bye and nibbling. The cheeses were particularly good, this month.
Also worth noting that SMWS has a selection of whisky-flavoured ice cream that we ended up enjoying more than the drams themselves. Strong and flavourful, varied and original -- delicious! Bonus: they come with catchy names, which makes for endless fun. How can you beat a youthful waitress nonchalantly offering this Old Man a snowball? :-)