Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Two SMWS Samples - Glenkinchie & Caol Ila

Here's a couple of samples I found when I was sorting through the back of the drinks cupboard the other day. One is a 19 year old from Glenkinchie and the other a 15 year old from Caol Ila, both independent (ish*) bottlings from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

22.27 'Turkish Delights' 52%

Gold in colour, berries and stewed fruit on the nose; cherry crumble and a touch of banana. As it opened up the bourbon (refil hogshead) cask took over and I got more toffee and vanilla. It was soft on the palate even at cask strength, I certainly don't think it needed water. Good whisky although I would have expected more complexity at 19 years, I suppose with it being a lowland big brash flavours aren't to be expected. I am happy to report that I couldn't pick much Turkish Delight up on the nose or the palate - can't say I'm a fan!

53.112 'Sluggable - gluggable' 54.8%

Pale gold. There's ashy smoke on the nose, it's dry and woody but not much more. On the palate the peat influences take a bit of a back seat; there's a touch of honey but mostly savoury, almost meaty  notes. Water brought out more 'Caol Ila like' lemon, along with a minerally, chalky flavour. Not really my cup of tea but an interesting dram nevertheless.

Back in March it was a superb 14 year old sherry-cask unpeated Caol Ila (released in 2011) that I was drinking to celebrate my second daughter being born. It seemed appropriate for an Isla.

* I'm not sure if being part of the same company as Glenmorangie and Ardbeg still means SMWS bottlings are 'independent' but they're certainly something other than official distillery releases.

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