FESTIVAL SEASON...WITH A DIFFERENCE
It’s a case of déjà vu as May’s whisky festival season stays virtual this year. Moa Nilsson takes a look at what’s in store online for whisky lovers missing out on travelling to Speyside, the Highlands, Campbeltown and Islay, as well as what the SMWS has lined up to make the most of the month and beyond.
FIND YOUR WHISKY RHYTHM WITH VIC GALLOWAY
BBC Radio DJ and SMWS member Vic Galloway introduces your senses to the art of music and whisky pairing, matching our flavour profiles to different genres.
I love my music, both playing and listening, and my tastes are as varied in that world as they are in my whisky universe, says SMWS spirits manager Euan Campbell. This Outturn should have something for everyone, whatever their musical or malt tastes.
Cask No. 18.34
GIVE US AN INCH
PROFILE Juicy, Oak & Vanilla REGION Speyside AGE 10 Years ABV 58.1% CASK TYPE 2nd fill HTMC hogshead
A playful initial nose that showed trail mix, toasted seeds, dried fruits, heather honey and roasty old-school shilling ales. The blow-torched surface of a creme brûlée, chopped hazelnuts, marzipan and honey-soaked straw with some salted caramels. Reduction made it drier, sootier and earthier. More clay, smashed hot pottery, canvas, baking parchment, sunflower oil and chopped fennel. A scatter of stewed sultanas and linseed oil. The neat palate was classically sweet, rich and unctuous with gooey vanilla cake, tropical cheesecake, nutmeg, honeycomb, rice pudding, Danish pastries and custard tart with a cherry on top. Water brought out some nippy notes of liquorice, charred wood, zest orange scones, sweet cream cheese, lemon icing and pineapple chunks. Matured for eight years in a bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a heavy toast, medium char second fill hogshead. *Available now as part of our pair and case offers. Individual bottle sales coming soon.
Cask No. 128.15
AS MAD AS A BOX OF FROGS
PROFILE Sweet, Fruity & Mellow REGION Wales AGE 10 Years ABV 58.2% CASK TYPE Charred refill barrel
The scent of pomegranate and red apple fragrance oil was followed by the floral combination of roses and freesia. On the palate, we were ‘mangoed’ before other fruits like melon, pears and bananas appeared. But it did not stop there, ‘as mad as a box of frogs’, it just kept on going – teasing and pleasing with strawberry laces, gummi bears and vanilla cream. A drop of water and orange jelly with cardamom and mint-infused pineapple was all washed down with a passion fruit mango bubble tea. After eight years in an ex-bourbon barrel, we transferred this whisky into a heavy char, 24-month air seasoned refill barrel.
Cask No. G7.17
A GRAIN OF WOOD
PROFILE Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits REGION Lowland AGE 29 Years ABV 54.6% CASK TYPE New oak barrell HTMC
A seductive plunge into Dundee cake, a clay vat of ancient navy rum, sticky raisins, and vanilla pods in custard. Hints of fresh paint, treacle toffee, armagnac and prunes soaked in brandy. Water brought maple candies, butterscotch, a hint of bergamot and bags of apple strudel, creme anglaise, foam banana, cherry jam and toasted pineapple chunks. The palate was initially deep and riddled with dark notes of chewing tobacco, air dried banana chips and sticky toffee pudding. Then light notes of polished hardwoods, orange bitters and cinnamon sticks. Reduction brought out lemon sweets, cloves, rum ice cream, candied citrus peel, demerara sugar and warm gingerbread with salted caramel. Matured in a bourbon barrel for 25 years before being transferred to a 24 month, air seasoned new oak barrel with a #4 level char and toasted heads.
Cask No. 108.33
PROFILE Lightly Peated REGION Speyside AGE 11 Years ABV 61.6% CASK TYPE 2nd fill ex- bourbon barrel
The Panel discovered some kind of smoked custard with bobbing chunks of wood char, light peat smoke, fresh linens dried near a kiln and citrus rinds. An elegantly infused smokiness with sweet natural vanilla tones, cloves, earthy potting sheds and a naturally vivacious maltiness.
Reduction elevated the smokiness and added thick notes of whipped cream, meringue, mango pudding and interesting notes of crispy duck with hoisin sauce. The mouth displayed an immediate and terrific interplay of natural barley sweetness and wood spice from the cask. All knitted together with that same lean, meaty smokiness. Dried oregano, smoked tea, five spice and Chinese beef. Reduction brought out hot wasabi, farmyard, hints of Pina Colada, smoked mint and a mouth coating, meaty fatness.
WELCOME BACK TO THE MEMBERS' ROOMS
We’re delighted that The Vaults is already back open and welcoming members, with Greville Street, Bath Street and Queen Street following suit on the 18th May. Whether you’re looking to catch up on drams you have missed, reconnect with other members or get into the Whisky Festival spirit – we can’t wait to see you again.
All our locations are following the latest Covid guidelines with social distancing in place, so reservations are advised.
Next Outturn Preview
SHAKE UP YOUR SUMMER
Next month we’re mixing up our whisky experience as we serve a collection of casks which will take your cocktail-making to the next level.