Tuesday, 19 April 2016

My First SMWS Tasting Part 2

for part 1 please click here

After the official tasting flight with the 5 aforementioned whiskies the night wasn't over yet. First we had the chance to sample some other expressions from the current SMWS outturn for 5 Swiss Francs a dram. I thought that this is a great deal because in a bar you would pay much more for single cask whiskies of this quality.
The first expression that I tried was the 35.140 called "Kreatives Füllhorn" or "Cornucopia of incredible creativity". This malt was distilled at the Glen Moray distillery in 1994 and was matured in a first fill toasted oak hogshead for 20 years until it was bottled at 55.5% ABV in 2015. Olaf explained to me that this toasted oak hogshead is the same type of cask that is used to mature the Glenmorangie Astar (Glen Moray belonged to the same concern as Glenmorangie until 2008). This whisky was absoultely incredible. On the nose I got cinamon and gingerbread aswell as some nice caramel notes and it also had a stunning mouthfeel. I think out of all the whiskies that I tried that night this was my favourite.
The next whisky that I tried came with a warning from Olaf. He told us that the name "Zorn der Götter" which means as "wrath of the gods" (In UK this expression is called "gritty-turned-pretty") doesn't lie and that everyone should try this at his own risk. This whisky from the Ardmore distillery was matured in a refill Gorda for 17 years, from 1998 until 2016 and was bottled at 57.5% ABV. I found this one absolutely incredible but I totally understand why a lot of people, including Olaf, don't like that one. It was a dirty sherried whisky with a lot of meaty and sulphury flavours and it got also some medicinal and ashy notes to it. I would recommend this to everyone who likes that style of whisky which is sometimes associated with sherried Ben Nevis or Mortlachs but someone who isn't into that style might pass on this one.

After we had finished our second additional dram we left the location because one guy of our group invited us to our home for a cigar and some more whisky. So we took the train to our home town which is a 30 minutes ride away from Zurich. When we got there you could tell right away that Hans-Jörg was an SMWS member for quite a while now as the most part of his whisky cabinet consisted of SMWS bottlings. He is a fan of peated aswell as sherried whiskies and he gave us three whiskies to sample. There I finally had the time to take some pictures so this blog article finally gets a little bit of colour.

The first one was 54.27 "Ya beauty" which is a 12 years old Aberlour that was distilled in 1996 and matured in a first fill sherry butt. This one is a typical heavily sherried Speysider and comes at a strength of 61.1% ABV.

Next up was a single malt from the Bowmore distillery; SMWS 3.169 "Pagoda reek drifitng over Loch Indaal". This whisky from the isle of Islay was distilled in 1994 and was matured for 16 years in a refill sherry butt. It was bottled in 2010 at 56.6% ABV. I really enjoyed this one because it is a sherried, medium peaty whisky like a lot of the Bowmore official bottlings but in my opinion those often lack a little bit of power because they are mostly bottled at 40% or 43%.

The last dram that we sampled was 44.34 which had the intriguing nickname "A meal in a glass". This whisky was distilled in 1999 at the Craigellachie distillery and was matured in a refill butt for 8 years until 2007. With 61.1% ABV and at this quite young age this one was very vibrant and powerfull but it has got quite an oily texture.

This was a good finish to a fantastic evening and I hope to go to another tasting of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society as soon as possible. If you are interested please go to the official SMWS website to check out if there is a branch in your country.

Slàinte mhath, U

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