It’s a bumper weekend ahead for Lovers of fine drams and special offers!
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is celebrating the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival which is in full swing as I write / blog.
You can get into the festival spirit by attending one of their Speyside or Islay themed tastings or events at their UK Members’ Rooms and partners bars. But, they also have some great online offers to take advantage of as well!
This year SMWS have three promotional memberships on offer:-
Offer starts: NOW
Offer ends: 31st May at 12am
Terms and conditions apply: No code is required.
Plus, you can get involved in the friendly debate of which is best? Speyside Vs. Islay – VOTE NOW and show your superfan region allegiance.
In addition, the SMWS May Outturn marks the Feis Ile Festival with a flurry of new releases. All in all there are 21 casks to explore – including six drams to celebrate the festival and all with celebratory labels. Two of the drams are from Speyside and four from Islay.
I have been lucky enough to receive four samples of the six released. So what did I think? Here are my tasting notes …
A journey into joy – CASK No. 3.307 (20 Years Old: 55.9%)
An Islay dram – refill butt, ex-oloroso.
Colour: Deep sherry colour and a liquid that really ‘wets’ the glass.
Nose: Fruits, apples, caramel, a breath of wood and nutty aromas.
Palate: Syrupy, stewed fruits, orange and vanilla.
Finish: Smooth, long, spicy finish with apple, tofee and peat n’ smoke which becomes more intense as you dram.
Overall: A punchy dram with a beginning and middle that is all sorts of fruit and sweetness with a finale that introduces some peat and smoke. Divine!
Graceful gravitas – CASK No. 9.143 (21 Years Old: 60.6%)
A Speyside dram – refill hogshead, ex-bourbon.
Colour: Pale sherry.
Nose: Sweet, luscious tropical fruits, sultanas, chocolate , mint and a hint of orange.
Palate: Tropical fruits, sultanas, chocolate, mint and a herbal cocktail lurking in the back!
Finish: Toffee and spicy comes through with a lovely, caramel chocolate finish. Hints of tobacco.
Overall: Even though this is a 60.6% dram it is is very smooth and hides it’s strenghth well. Tropical fruitiness is lovely and the substantial chocolate hit made me want to go and ransack the pantry!
Andalusian gazpacho – CASK No. 107.13 (9 Years Old 65%)
A Speyside dram – refill butt, ex-oloroso.
Colour: Rich sherried colour.
Nose: White oak, luscious stewed fruits, prunes and vanilla fudge.
Palate: Gorgeous Christmas cake mixture with all the spices and fruits. “Jingle Bells!”
Finish: Dry finish with pronounced oak but lovingly accompanied by rich, fruity sweetness and peppery spice.
Overall: A cut above the norm. this dram, sweet spices and Christmas cake fruitiness combine to create a morish dram that demands to be to savoured!
Indulgence by the sea – CASK No. 10.141 (12 Years Old 59.5%)
An Islay dram – refill barrel, ex-bourbon.
Colour: Pale straw colour.
Nose: Oak, red apple, shades of salt and a little caramel.
Palate: Slightly oily on the palate. Mightily sweet with even a little sherbet. Sweet spiciness follows close behind.
Finish: A fiesty, peppery finish (almost savoury!) coupled with a satisfying sweetness. There’s also a little dry tanin.
Overall: A fruity, salty, seaside extravaganza beckons … and why not? A full-bodied dram to have before, during and after your fish n’ chips!
Also available – but not tasted by moi …
Sweet smoky succulent sensation – CASK No. 10.146 (9 Years Old)
Description: “Scotch pancake with smoked bacon and maple syrup, followed by slow roasted BBQ pork belly with crispy crackling over hickory-smoked wood chips.”
A perfect moment – CASK No. 29.241 (20 Years Old)
Description: “A harmonious fusion of king prawns, lobster, smoked duck with walnut bread, parsnips roasted in honey and herbs. Previously in an ex-bourbon cask.”