Tag Archives: SMWS

SMWS 25.61 Lemon and Vanilla Delicacy (Rosebank)

Today it’s a Rosebank under the limelight and the reason for it is an ABC whisky challenge at the regional whisky club and I was selected to toast a whisky starting with ‘R’.

Of course I could go the simple and safe (and boring) route with Royal Lochnagar or Royal Brackla but why not use this occasion to try something more interesting? After a short search in the boxes, I found this 20 Year Old Rosebank sample that was gathering dust for years since Johanne McInnes (@whiskylassie) sent it to me (Check her blog at the WhiskyLassie Blog!)

So Yay for an excuse to drink some Rosebank ūüôā

SMWS 25.61 Lemon and Vanilla Delicacy (20 Year Old Rosebank) (51.3%)

Nose: Lemon salad (is there such a thing? lots of different kinds of lemon here!), vanilla pods, dough, floral, honeycomb, a bit of limestone dust.
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Whisky Review of SMWS 127.40 Mango chicken vindaloo- Port Charlotte is a perfect storm dram!

As the storm is now in full force over my little country, and snow is covering some surprising places, it’s time to review a storm dram, a peated and sweet-fruity dram, something like a Port Charlotte from the SMWS – 127.40 Mango chicken vindaloo.

It’s no secret I’m a fan of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) and their bottlings, their venues are on my must visit places whenever I come over to UK/Scotland and I LOVE their peated bottlings. A previous SMWS Port Charlote bottling was one of my favorites of 2013 and I was waiting eagerly to lay my hands on another bottle. I tried in vain to get a bottle of this but had to settle for a bottle-share (although I did get another one later, but that’s a review¬†for another time).

And so, armed with a 100ml bottle of this Port Charlotte, aged 12 years from a¬†Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead that yielded only 159 bottles, I’m ready for mother nature this weekend.

SMWS 127.40 Mango chicken vindaloo (63%, 159 bottles)

Photo credit: benswhisky.co.uk

Photo credit: benswhisky.co.uk

Nose: Massive peat and fruity nose, chutney, pears, peaches and a bit of apricots, the peat is there in the background (quite a massive background!) supporting the front fruits. After a few minutes there are strong notes of malt and cereal. Added water and¬†all I can say is WOW. It opens up fantastically, retaining the palette of the notes but it’s now layered and sharpened. The fruits notes gets tropical with added tanned pineapples juice, there’s less peat, indeed chicken meat shows up and it’s lovely and deeper.

Palate: Sweet peat with ashes and a bit of soot, sweet stewed fruits, cereals, very thick and meaty. With water, less sweet and less peat, lighter and better. grilled chicken, tropical fruits and depth.

Finish: Very long with peat, ashes, lingering fruits sweetness.

Thoughts: Cold, rain, hail or snow, I’m ready! It’s a top dram, rounded and nicely balanced notes. Best to have it with a few drops of water, maybe melted snow will do? ūüôā

Duo of “youngish” SMWS Karuizawa Review – SMWS 132.4 Rich, brooding and suggestive & SMWS 132.6 Nite Nurse nipped by piranhas

In the last few years Japanese whisky gained recognition in the western hemisphere and demand is steadily rising. ¬†Another trend is the rising prices of whiskies from closed distilleries, fueled by collectors and investors. Now combine both trends and you get the “Karuizawa craze”.

Have you followed what’s happening with new (and old) Karuizawa bottlings? The barrels stock is rapidly dwindling and each new bottling is sought after by thousands of people. According to TWE, there were 6000 registrations to their recent lottery on the new Karuizawa/Hanyu bottles.

Karuizawa prices are on a steep rise. new¬†bottlings are priced at 450 quid and higher and auction prices are¬†in the¬†stratosphere level. ¬†Only a year ago, although it does feels like forever in current market condition,¬†there were six new Karuizawa bottlings from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. They seemed to be expensive and overpriced but in hindsight, it was el-cheapo comparing to what’s going on today.

I’ve already reviewed 132.2 here, so lets review¬†the rest of the even numbers in that series – 132.4 and 132.6.

SMWS 132.4 Rich, brooding and suggestive 17 year old (61.7%, 346 bottles)

SMWS-132.4-Rich, brooding and suggestive

Photo credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Intense (high ABV or not?), sweet and rich nose. Sherried with lots of forest berries glazed in dark sweet caramel.  Nutmeg and cinnamon, wood polish, sulphur. Continue reading

Whisky Review and Tasting Notes: SMWS 29.151 Polished Violines and Vintage Cars (Laphroaig) 24 year old 50.8%

It’s been a while since I reviewed a whisky from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, so why not do that and review a dram of my favorite distillery?

There’s not much to add here, only that I’m a bit sorry I didn’t grab a bottle of it back then.

SMWS 29.151 Polished Violines and Vintage Cars (Laphroaig) 24 year old (50.8%, 311 bottles)

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New Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: SMWS 73.61 A work of art (Aultmore) 24 year old 57.2%

Lets roll with another SMWS bottling – 73.61 A work of art, tasted along with the Glen Moray I reviewed yesterday. I’ve tasted other Aultmores in the past, but this is my first Aultmore review on the blog (another one crossed off!).

It was distilled on May 1989 and bottled after 24 years after resting in refill ex-sherry butt that produced 521 bottles.

SMWS 73.61 A work of art (Aultmore) 24 year old (57.2%, 521 bottles)

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New Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: SMWS 35.103 The Great Easter Bake Off (Glen Moray) 29 year old 58.8%

Another Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling review today and it’s my first Glen Moray distillery whisky I taste and review.

This one was distilled on December 1983 and bottled after 29 years after resting in a refill ex-sherry butt that produced 236 bottles. How does it fare?

SMWS 35.103 The Great Easter Bake Off (Glen Moray) 29 year old (58.8%, 236 bottles)

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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)

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New Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: SMWS 93.43 Two-faced Duality (Glen Scotia) 11 year old 58.4%


Time for the last review from the Cask Strength night I had last month Рanother SMWS expression that will serve as a bridge to a mini series of SMWS bottlings reviews.

Today, from Campbeltown, a 11 year old Glen Scotia bottle owned by Shai Gilboa, good friend who also wrote on the blog a guest column on Whisky Live Tel-Aviv. The last Glen Scotia I had (from Wemyss Malts) was a big hit for me (review here) after my first try was a failure. Third time still a charm?

SMWS 93.43 Two-faced Duality (Glen Scotia) 11 year old 58.4%

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Whisky Review & Tasting notes – Indie Glenfarclas: SMWS 1.156 & TWE Ballindaloch 2001

Indie Glenfarclas bottlings are rare, so rare that you will not find an IB bottling with Glenfarclas name on it


However, it’s not the entire truth – there are¬†some indie Glenfarclas bottlings available, just not under the Glenfarclas name. Usually it will be using the “Ballindaloch” name (soon to be a real distillery) as Glenfarclas resides in¬†the Ballindaloch area in Speyside, or in the case of SMWS bottlings, it will be using the distillery code 1 and SMWS will never tell us it’s a Glenfarclas (at least not officially).

Two weeks ago in a local event we managed to taste two indie Glenfarclas: SMWS 1.156 New York Cheesecake which is a 11 year old whisky from ex-bourbon cask and a TWE hand-fill from the cask TWE Ballindaloch 2001 vintage filled on 27.4.14 (12 year old).

During the tasting, a theory was brought up that those indie casks are available (even if rarely) only when the cask profile doesn’t fit the Glenfarclas style. Interesting theory,¬†ah? Let’s dive into the tasting notes and check it.

SMWS 1.156 New York Cheesecake (63.2%, 219 bottles)

SAMSUNGNose: Kicking, fresh and spirity with lots of fields and hey notes, vanilla, coconut and green fruits. Adding few drops of water reveals some lemony syrup, peels of citrus while turning it even more more spirity.

Palate: coconut, vanilla, bit of sweet lemonade, green apples. With water the lemon turns into pickled lemon and some oak is showing up.

Finish: lingering sweetness, lemon, coconut, some oak bittersweet. slightly bitter almonds, but less so with water.

Ballindaloch 2001, 12 yo (59.2%, filled on 27.4.14)

SAMSUNGNose: Fruity and floral, elder flowers, vanilla, dried banana slices.

Palate: Oh my this is pretty much undrinkable neat as it’s too harsh and fierce so water must be added. After it was tamed with water it felt sweet, floral, bit of oak and some raisins.

Finish: Short medium, oak, and some lingering sweetness



Conclusion: Well, those were two totally different¬†casks and they both completely deviates from the known and familiar Glenfarclas taste profile so it does fits the theory even if it’s not a 100% proof. Out of those two, I preferred the SMWS 1.156. Despite the fact it’s ex-bourbon cask it provided the better¬†whisky experience.

Whisky Review – SMWS 121.64 Maggie Thatcher at the funfair (Arran)

How many times can I repeat that I love SMWS whiskies? The act gets boring after a while, even if their whiskies doesn’t. This time – an Arran bottling 14yo old (again, sample provided by my buddy Tom of Toms Whiskies Reviews) So far I had very good experience with Arran whiskies but seems like this one will be the first tasting notes from Arram on the blog (gotta have more ah?)

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