Whisky Review – SMWS 5.36 Rubbing White Tiger Balm on your forehead (Auchentoshan)

Another day, another dram and here’s yet another SMWS dram. As you know I have some affection to their products and I’m always glad to try another SMWS dram.

This time it’s a 14 yo old Auchentoshan that was aged in ex-sauternes cask that my whisky brother Tom was generous enough to send me a sample of.

This SMWS bottling had divided those who tasted it to 2 camps – the larger camp couldn’t stand it and the minority camp liked it a lot. So which camp did I find myself in?


SMWS 5.36 White Tiger Balm (59.8%, 14yo, 211 bottles)

SMWS-5.36-Tigerbalm_bottleNose: when poured into glass, big wave of that unmistakable muscle relaxation balm/paste with lots of menthol and eucalyptus. After a minute or two in the glass, it get fruity notes led by fresh ripe plums but still that sharp and hot balm dominates the nose. Later on some baked cookies dough come on which is offsetting the balm note. What can i say, a challenging dram this one! After I added a few drops of water, it’s still fresh and menthol but less sharp and balm-like with more fruity notes.

Palate: spicy, chocolate, the white tiger balm again full of menthol, turning into lots of sweet fruits juice and chili pepper heat.

Finish: medium length, chocolate and sweet menthol, fruits juice.

Conclusion: Very fresh, very unique and very challenging. it’s not one I’d buy a full bottle of, but glad I got to taste it – once you get over the sharp and strong balm notes, it’s a real nice whiskyyou can’t say SMWS whiskies are boring and I always find something new.


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