17 November 2015

14/11/2015 Christmas outturn at the SMWS

Hard to believe it is that time again, but it is. The monster outturn for Christmas has landed.
Due to impending building works at the Society, there is no five-drams-and-a-plate-of-cheese formula today. Ah, well.
MS decided to bring his blind date to meet JS and I. She is both pleasant to be around and open-minded about ze W -- how can this go wrong, eh?

80.7 16yo d.1998 Indian Summer Sangria (54.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 2nd Fill Sauternes Hogshead, 162b): interestingly, the only other 80 released over the last four years was 80.6, which came out for the 2013 Christmas outturn. I remember liking that one a lot. Nose: sandalwood and cigar boxes, dry wood. It becomes pretty buttery too, with some added herbs (tarragon and marjoram). Mouth: custard-y, milky with a hefty dose of pepper. Finish: more custard, banana bread, chocolate coulis -- this is beautiful. 8/10

B3.2 3yo 2012/2015 Ooey-gooey cinnamon bun (55.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, New Charred Oak Barrel, 204b): MS is a reformed Bourbon enthusiast. He missed B3.1, a few months ago (has it really been a year?) and did not even spot this one today. Let us correct that. Nose: caramel, vanilla and coconut yoghurt. Mouth: buttery, with caramel and butterscotch, toffee, perhaps. Finish: short, rather simple, with lots of caramel and toffee. A nice drop, yet it lacks complexity, compared to the Scottishers. 7/10

I order the following two simultaneously, causing great confusion amongst the staff. 100.12 and 112.10 -- WOO, SIMILAR NUMBERS, INNIT!

100.12 10yo 2005/2015 Trip to a shopping mall (58.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 209b): nose: modern, with white wood, coconut shavings, green hazel tree. It smells a bit like walking through the make-up aisle at Harrod's. Mouth: hot, with tree bark, cinnamon sticks or cassia bark, black pepper and Cayenne pepper. Finish: hot at first, before a small explosion of red fruit steals the spotlight. Red cherries, currant, red fruit-soaked pralines. The nose was not particularly impressive, yet the finish nailed it. 8/10

112.10 14yo d.2000 A comforting hug in a mug (57.4%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 147b): nose: fruit pie, i.e. baked dough and baked fruit. Mouth: soft and velvety, it also unleashes paprika. Finish: fruit, fruit, fruit, some spices again and bakery. 8/10

41.68 11yo d.2003 Liquefied "Bounty bars" (61.6%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 215b): yet another 41; we need to try it, of course. Nose: balsa wood, sawdust, fresh flower stems, drying cut grass and even a little smoke. Mouth: hot and spicy, with gingery heat and wood tannins -- you will excuse the reference to another SMWS bottling (64.40). Finish: coconut and wood dust. This is ok, unspectacular. 6/10

7.125 11yo d.2003 Makes your heart sing (58.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 209b): nose: a bit nondescript, with dried banana skins and dried orange peels. The alcohol is pretty powerful. Mouth: mild, lukewarm custard, vanilla-flavoured soy milk -- this is a lot silkier than I expected. Finish: the heat is overpowering. It drowns the flavours somewhat. Once it cools off, it is all custard and vanilla yoghurt. 7/10

35.139 20yo d.1994 Punchy spice explosion (57.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill Toasted Oak Hogshead, 239b): nose: perfume, paint thinner, lemon-sprinkled banana. Mouth: light orange juice in texture (no pulp), it has quite a bit of spices. Finish: long and coating, with orange quarters. 7/10

This blind date thing is a dangerous game!
1.198 21yo d.1993 Night Nurse in carpenter's overalls (55.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 176b): MS wants to try this, as he is interested in 7.125 and these can only be bought as a pair. Nose: a slight alcohol burn in the right nostril. It seems relatively neutral and subtle, yet my co-tasters think it smells of cough syrup and dried fruits. I reckon they have been drinking. Mouth: cough syrup. Drying, sweetened liquid. Maple syrup (JS). Finish: mentholated, sweet, teeming with liquorice. Cough syrup for kids, this, not Actifed. 6/10

64.63 14yo 2001/2015 Rich and magisterial (55.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 14b): you read that right, this one is limited to 14 bottles. They are all behind the bar. It cannot be bought. Nose: beautiful wood and daffodils. Mouth: daffodils, coconut, vanilla -- that sort of shiznit. Finish: long, woody (sawdust) and custard-y. Lovely, wood-driven beauty. Another proof that 64 is a great distillery. 8/10

64.64 14yo 2001/2015 Mouth coating and moreish (57.6%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 231b): nose: similar to 64.63 in that it is wood-centred, yet the alcohol seems more aggressive. Mouth: milky and custard-y, with a bit of woody dryness. Finish: again, wood influence -- banana, coconut cream. very nice, though I prefer .63, today. 7/10

Moments of silliness
50.71 25yo 1990/2015 Alfresco brunch (58.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 165b): I convince MS to try this as a last dram -- though he objects he cannot afford to buy a bottle. Nose: flowery, with faint notes of bakery. Mouth: superbly balanced, with custard, flowers and sunny corn fields. Spices show up after a moment. Finish: long, full of custard-y bakery. Wonderful. 9/10

Good times, as usual. Quality throughout, though there seems to be a lack of stars, this year. Well, 50.71 is a bit of a star, of course.

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