SMWS Canada Pt 3 – Tasting The Drams

So…we’ve had a bit of a chinwag about the SMWS.  You know their dirty secrets and you’re aware of their dirty people.

Now let’s talk a little about how it all works.  First things first.  You want to buy the malts…you gotta be a member.  No exceptions.  If you want to taste the whiskies before committing, well…that’s another story.  Check out the schedule for the First Friday tastings through Kensington Wine Market.  Once a month members can taste all of the whiskies in the new Outturn for $35.  Non-members can attend for $45.  Decent dramming (all at cask strength, remember!) for a fair price.

Now you’re probably wondering what ‘Outturn’ means.  This refers to both the release of a small handful of new whiskies and the number of bottles of each expression released.  Example…”this months ‘Outturn’ features seven new malts” or “the ‘Outturn’ on this new 123.07 is 779 bottles”.  Clear as mud?  Good.

And the ‘123.07’…easy.  The ‘123’ refers to a certain distillery, while the ’07’ refers to the number of casks the SMWS has bought from said distillery.  In this case, this would be the 7th cask that the Society has purchased from Glensomethingorother.

As mentioned earlier on, I can’t tell you what these bottlings are.  Instead…have some fun with it.  Go to the SWMS site and read the notes for each expression.  Follow the clues provided therein.  Let there be a little mystery.


Alright already.  Enough chit chat, right?  You wanna know what the whiskies are like, right?  Let’s dive in.  I’m thirsty!


     A4 – “Soft, Spicy, Rich and Intense”

     Outturn:  434 Bottles    

     22 y.o.    

     47% abv

Nose:  Rum-like.  Old and mature.  Latex.  Orange Rind.  Prune.  Fennel.  Hints of bourbon.  Green apple.  Little bit of anise.  Steak rub or BBQ sauce.

Palate:  Spicy and hot.  Licorice and cherry eucalyptus.  Apple finish…though somewhat medicinal.

Thoughts & Impressions:  An Armagnac.  Something a little different.  Not quite my thing, but Deah Lawd, is this unique!


     17.32 – “Boiled Sweets and Grapefruit Peel”

     Outturn:  214 Bottles    

     9 y.o.    

     56.2% abv


Nose:  Honey.  Heather.  Vanilla.  Malts and a touch of feints.  Dusty cask.  Lemon.  Very light really.

Palate:  Barley.  Some tartness.  Lemon.  White wine notes…Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps.

Thoughts & Impressions:  Young and just waiting to come into its own.  Don’t get me wrong…not bad now, but in a few years…would be great.


     123.07 – “Unusual and Highly Enjoyable”

     Outturn:  779 Bottles    

     10 y.o.    

     59.6% abv


Nose:  Malty.  Beef bouillion…OXO.  Thick veins of caramel.  Deep dark wine.  Brine.  Brown sugar.  Rye bread.

Palate:  Tannic wine notes and malt beef.  Fades to barleys.

Thoughts & Impressions:  First thoughts were this could only be one of two distilleries, but…nope…I was dead wrong.  Figured for sure a Mortlach or Springbank.


     37.50 – “Pizza in a Sweetie Shop”

     Outturn:  263 Bottles    

     12 y.o.    

     54.5% abv


Nose:  Sweet and floral.  Like a soapery (Ivory?).  Creamy and sugary.  Zesty.  Basil…oregano…Italian seasoning?  Very clean.

Palate:  Young, sharp and clean.  Zesty spices.

Thoughts & Impressions:  Now here we gots us sumpin’ alive and just…  Thought the name was a little quirky until getting nose deep.  It is pizza-ish!


     76.83 – “Cocktails After Rugby”

     Outturn:  605 Bottles    

     15 y.o.    

     57.1% abv 


Nose:  Feints and malt.  Mint.  Vanilla, cream and caramel.  Peanuts.  Ginger.

Palate:  Creamy.  Vanilla.  Caramel corn.  Kinda spicy.  Maybe a little orange.  Good balance for a flavor profile.

Thoughts & Impressions:  The nose…s’ok.  The palate…s’almost awesome.


     36.49 – “A Country Kitchen Garden”

     Outturn:  278 Bottles    

     21 y.o.    

     52.4% abv


Nose:  Fairly up-front and dusty grains.  Floral.  Mild spices.  Perhaps a hint of butter tart.  Lemon.  Light…very light.  Lowland-ish.

Palate:  Barleys and mild spiced bread.  Faint apple cinnamon.  Age is deceptive here.

Thoughts & Impressions:  Light and lovely aperitif dram.  But having said that…pretty sure this would be more than alright at pretty much any time o’ day.


     35.61 – “Just So-ooh Nice”

     Outturn:  213 Bottles    

     21 y.o.    

     60.4% abv


Nose:  Sugar cookies.  Rich, thick and creamy.  Spiced baking and treacle.  Cherry jujube.  Syrupy.  Pepper bite.  Waxy cherry note (Did this come from an ex-Maker’s Mark cask?)

Palate:  Bourbon.  Dolce de Lecce.  Syrupy, candy, waxy notes carry through to palate.

Thoughts & Impressions:  Best o’ the bunch.  Highly possible I have a little bit of a crush on this l’il sweetie.  Seconds?  Yes, please.


     127.20 – “Invigorating, Eye-Watering, Breath-Catching”

     Outturn:  202 Bottles    

     8 y.o.    

     64.2% abv 


Nose:  Farmy.  Peat and iodine.  Burnt out fires.  Creamy and buttery.  Smells like a wine influence.  Young and aggressive.  Fruits?  Bahahaha, don’t be ridiculous.  Well…maybe citrus.  Any other  notes?  Who knows.

Palate:  Unmistakable.  Deep peat and iodine.  Dry ashy smoke.  Banana?  Maybe.  Odd…peated banana.

Thoughts & Impressions:  Holy mule kick!  Ya likes ‘em young?  Ya likes ‘em peaty?  Ya likes this one!  Hard to imagine any other distillery producing a malt like this.


-Tasting notes and write-up:  Curt

– Images:  SMWS Canada

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s