SMWS 77.24 “Mouth-Numbing Handbags” Review

SMWS 77.24 “Mouth-Numbing Handbags”012

57.2% abv

Score:  92/100


Man, these guys (and gals) have fun with their naming conventions, don’t they?  ‘Mouth-numbing handbags’.  WTF?!  Gotta love the SMWS for this bit of tomfoolery that adds a smile to our sipping.

Another obscure as shit distillery from the Northern Highlands.  Well…obscure under it’s own name, that is.  This distillery (which may or may not be Glen Ord, if we’re keeping with the SMWS tradition of ‘sworn to secrecy’ releases under numbered, not named, distilleries) is more known for being bottled as The Singleton.  That malt, as you may be aware, is a rather generic entry in the Diageo stables.

With a production capacity as high as the distillery boasts (and still expanding!), and knowing the limited range of OBs they release, I can only assume that most of the distillate ends up blended away under the Johnnie Walker brand.  Sad, really, but let’s remember that for all the bottles of shameful Red Label that hit the shelves, there are also great bottles of Black, Blue and Green.  Well…perhaps not Green anymore.


That’s where the indies, such as the SMWS, come to the save the day for us malt enthusiasts.  By releasing odd casks like this 77.24 we get to see another side of the distilleries.  This is the kind of stuff that makes single malt whisky as much fun as it is.  In this case I’ll move forward with the hopes that there just may be more impressive whisky in the warehouses of Glen Ord that isn’t destined for mediocrity!  This is a hell of a cask, served up at just the right age:  A solid 23 years.  Good on the SMWS for scooping this one.

‘Nough said.

Nose:  Quite some pepper and spice.  Polished wood.  Caramel apple.  Think there’s a touch of smoke there too.  Ruby grapefruit with sugar.  Some peach and some of the most perfectly ‘in-check’ vanilla I’ve yet encountered.  Poached apple with mild x-mas spice.

Palate:  Smoke and peppery spice…maybe chili.  Citric tang.  Fruit salad.  Old cask notes and toasted oak.  Leaves behind an old school, almost kerosene-like, smoky candlewax and oak.  Close to an aged Talisker, to be honest.  A beautiful whisky.

Thoughts:  Glad to have tried it, but one of those bittersweet drams that leave you wanting more, all the while knowing that you can’t have it.  Better to have loved and lost, as they say.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

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