New Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: SMWS 2.85 Vibrant and tongue-dancing (Glenlivet) 9 year old 61.4%

Let’s continue with our series of Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottlings and this time one young bottling from one quite famous Speyside distillery. As usual with SMWS bottlings, the name isn’t disclosed on the label but the SMWS distilleries code were long ago ‘deciphered’ and we know it’s a Glenlivet bottling.

This one was distilled on November 2003 and bottled after 9+ years after resting in an ex-bourbon barrel that produced 207 bottles. How does it fare?

SMWS 2.85 Vibrant and tongue-dancing (Glenlivet) 9 year old (61.4%, 207 bottles)

Nose: Bit restrained for a 61.4% monster, but initially there are heaps of green apples and after a while more notes shows up: heather honey, little vanilla from the barrel, smell of fields and flowers, coconuts and Ananas. Opened it up with water to reveal stronger fruity side – more tropical fruits (passion fruits) and more coconuts.

Palate: Oh boy, the ABV is showing up here. Lots of oak, green apples and pears, coconuts and lots of pepper and spices. With water it turns up the spicy knob, the oak is stronger but it’s also sweeter.

Finish: Medium long finish with oak wood, greenery, pepper, lingering sweet (again, sweeter with water added)

Conclusion: works well together for 9 yo cask, while reminds me the OB 12 yo but with more oomph and tropical edge.


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2 thoughts on “New Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: SMWS 2.85 Vibrant and tongue-dancing (Glenlivet) 9 year old 61.4%

    1. Yoav @ Whisky Gospel Post author

      It’s £20 over the standard OB 12 year old one. so not even double the price.

      As for the Oomph, since it’s cask strength I see 3 additional benefits here:

      1. I always prefer CS as it’s feels more natural to me (it doesn’t mean it’s better tho!)
      2. After adding water (if you add), you kinda get more then 1 bottle in that price so price difference is somewhat diminished.
      2. If you’re a whisky geek, it kind of unearth the roots of Glenlivet 12yo and shows you the rawer notes before they get aged and civilized in the 12yo bottle. I see this as a learning experience!


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