See below the full list of bottles being released for the SMWS April 2023 outturn. (Don’t worry you can join the SMWS here) but be quick several of the bottlings sell out as quickly as the day they are released.

(here is a quick link to last month’s SMWS Outturn: SMWS March 2022 outturn).

2023 FESTIVAL RARE RELEASES bottles below:


53.5% ~ 1st Fill & Refill Oloroso & Bourbon Hogsheads ~ 14yo ~ Highland ~ £92.00

A heady aroma came brimming with confectionery and baked pastry vibes. Some clear impressions of pomegranate molasses drizzled on lemon sponge cake were joined by coffee crème caramel and hints of aromatic VORS oloroso. This evolved nicely to cherries, marzipan and orange liqueurs. Water brought out notes of rum fudge, ginger cake, peppermint tea and a wonderfully deep leather and tobacco combo. The neat palate opened up with hot cross buns, a deep and satisfying spiciness, booze-soaked trifle and a smörgåsbord of fig jam, cinnamon pastries and a lovely, syrupy texture evoking runny honey and fruit compotes. With water it moved more towards dark chocolate, Turkish delight and candied walnuts, with a long, warming and citrus-tinged afterglowread more

CASK NO. DISTILLERY 53 RARE RELEASE – Honeysuckle Petrichor

56.8% ~ 1st Fill & Refill PX & Bourbon Hogsheads ~ 14yo ~ Islay ~ £98.00

Honeysuckle came glazed with a cocktail of rose water, bacon jam and barbecue sauce, plus a side dish of crab meat plucked from a vat of clarified butter. Need we say anything else? To the palate, this dram gifted smoked prune juice and cherry fondant served on driftwood. We also found crushed figs, apricot and brambles singed by a travelling firestarter intent on promoting the skills of cold smoking with peat. Introducing water elevated a smoked apple pie encased in a soft leather satchel, along with potted crab and rye bread. The palate offered a buffet of liquorice, smoked ginger and biltong, served on a bed of ash-dusted pebblesread more

CASK NO. DISTILLERY G16 RARE RELEASE – Dark ‘n’ Stormy Creme Brulee

50.0% ~ 1st Fill #4 Char & Toasted Heads ~ 6yo ~ Lowland ~ £55.00

A rich aroma of rum-soaked raisins, Turkish delight, cinnamon bagels and glacé cherries welcomed the Panel, bolstered by charred peaches, caramel popcorn and honey-roasted nuts. After the inviting nose, the taste neat came as quite a surprise – a spicy hit of chilli flakes followed by dry/bitter cask char. There was sweetness behind that attack, but it was difficult to get to the vanilla concentrate, fudge and toffee bonbons. Following reduction, we felt that someone had burned an exotic antique tea chest before rum-infused desserts took centre stage on the palate, including warm banana split in a rum sauce, a classic French rum baba … and how about a dark ’n’ stormy crème brûléeread more

CASK NO. DISTILLERY 93 RARE RELEASE – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Funnels

60.2% ~ 1st Fill Bourbon Barrels ~ 8yo ~ Campbeltown ~ £64.00

There was something fishy about these characters, as they arrived with heavy-hitting heather and honey, leaving a collision of teriyaki, peanuts and lapsang souchong tea in their wake. The rev of powerful engines blasted thick engine oil over prawns in butter while they made a quick getaway in the sweet medicinal aromas of a stolen tugboat ambulance. With a few drops of water the mobster lobster arrived, chewing on salted toffee and flexing his mussels with shallots in a cream sauce. A loaded banana went off, scattering oranges, melons and lemons. As clouds of smoke from smouldering thyme cleared, the lobster found himself trapped in trifle, facing a stretch of time in brine behind chocolate barsread more


53.1% ~ 1st Fill & Refill Oloroso, PX & Bourbon Hogsheads ~ 15yo ~ Speyside ~ £85.00

A dark and heady brew! “Luscious!” noted one Panellist. The nose bloomed with kirsch, damson jam, roasted figs in honey and prunes soaked in armagnac before delicate soot and camphor touches added firmness and depth. A little water revealed a superbly dank dunnage earthiness, lots of of sticky fruit cake, damp pipe tobacco in an old leather pouch and hints of cured meats, toasted nuts and winter mulling spices. The neat palate had the immediate thickness and presence of clotted cream, along with notes of blueberry ham, stroopwaffels, salted caramel ice cream and classical flavours of sultanas, ginger, liquorice and cola syrup. Water revealed darker tones of coffee grounds, toasted pecans, dried orange peel and herbal liqueursread more

108.69 – Sweet Limestone Pavement

59.1% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 12yo ~ Speyside ~ £69.00

Strawberry tarts and cold custard, dusted with cardamom and cinnamon, were presented on a white marble slab. The palate brought a savoury sweetness in the form of chamomile, along with a muddle of rhubarb and wild fennel. A gentle spice followed. Water brought out a sweet mineralic quality, like an icing sugar-dusted limestone pavement baking under the hot Burgau sun. Pears and apples emerged from a wildflower bouquet, with a nuttiness developing into cereal aromas. The sweetness of a Portuguese steak and nettle soup now greeted the palate, finishing with a plummy perfumeread more