Hard to Put Down

Taste Review #31 – SMWS 41.101

This whisky was tasted in mid September whilst I was quickly passing through Glasgow. I only managed two nips at the Bon Accord bar in North Street. I’ve never tasted any SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society) produce before, and with a choice of SMWS available, this was my chance.

The SMWS label their bottles by a code number for the distillery followed by the series number.

The bottle and Dram

Region

Speyside

Age

28 y.o

Strength

49.5% a.b.v

Colour

Mahogany

Nose

Dark fruit, prunes, tobacco, black currant

Palate

Dark Cherry, blackcurrant, caramelised sugar and a small hint of oak.

Finish

Long, pleasing and complex when all of the above components fade with a spicy explosion.

Conclusion

Yes, well, what can I say? Firstly, for those of you who hadn’t taken the time to Google the SMWS distillery codes, I can tell you that this was the produce of the Dailuaine distillery which sits in that wee pocket of three distilleries which I thoroughly approve of. The only real official bottling of Dailuaine at present is the 16 year old Flora and Fauna bottling, which I also like.

This whisky spent 27 years in a bourbon cask, followed by a further year in a first fill Pedro Ximenez cask.

This one was a flavour punch in the chops, and hard to pin down any one flavour. On initial smell, I was reminded of cheese until I realised it was actually tobacco and prunes. At cask strength, it was a bit strong, so had to be tamed with a wee splash of water which did the trick and became much more drinkable.

I would strongly recommend this if you like your whiskies with strong and upfront flavours. Availability is the key here and you’d probably only find this at auction, or from the SMWS. I paid £28 for this dram which given its rarity and the fact it was a 35ml serving wasn’t bad value. Expect to pay around £180 for this at auction. As there was only 258 bottles made, this is on Unicorn Whisky territory, so if you want to try it, buy one if you see it.

Slainte Mhath!


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photo credits

photo – authors own