SMWS Outturn January 2024

SMWS Outturn January 2024 goes live on Friday 5th January 2024

SMWS & Sherry: A Match Made In Heaven – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society releases (outturn) several single cask bottlings of Scotch, Whisk(e)y, Rum and Gin, to name a few, usually on the first Friday of every month.

See below the full list of bottles being released for the January 2024 outturn. If you are not a member, 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 December 2023 outturn).

SMWS & Sherry: A Match Made In Heaven January 2024 Outturn bottles:

1.286 – The Finesse and Energy of a Hummingbird

59.8% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Cosecha Wine Barrique ~ 10 yo ~ Speyside ~ £76.40

We stepped into a tropical greenhouse of palm trees, orchids, cacti and a pond with water lilies – while a hummingbird buzzed and darted among the foliage. On the palate, we found the intense yet delicate sweetness of cotton candy grapes served alongside a silky-smooth goat’s cheese with a lingering floral yet earthy taste. Water opened another avenue with sweet acacia honey, a lemon treacle tart and a seville orange, rum and ginger marmalade…. read more

4.383 – Smokescape

57.1% ~ 1st Fill STR Oloroso Barrique ~ 18yo ~ Highland ~ £136.40

Coming across a patch of muirburn, the Panellists extinguished the smouldering heather with runny honey, as ash rained down on salted caramel and lobster pots. This smokescape continued on to the palate, as we spread honey stirred with burnt twigs on toast with marmalade. Introducing water, our noses were served a charcuterie board of salami and venison sausage, paired with cranberry chutney and chunks of rye bread, while the palate enjoyed refreshing mint, tea tree and delicate tobacco… read more

5.112 – Sweet Serenity and Teasing Musk

58.5% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 19yo ~ Lowland ~ £125.00

The nose combined a sweet serenity (honey, fudge, honeycomb bars) with an aromatic rhapsody of hothouse flowers, eucalyptus, pine needles and tobacco, plus a sharper shaft of sherbet fountains, lemongrass and rhubarb. The palate was sweetly tropical, with soothing spice – playful, yet mature at the same time – butterscotch, stone fruits, sandalwood and a finish of gingerbread, dark chocolate and tobacco strands…. read more

24.170 – Sensuous Opulence

47.7% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 32yo ~ Speyside ~ £2,150.00

Atop sticky ginger cake, Turkish delight and Spanish rum mingle with treacle, jam and gooey apricot. Battenburg cake is introduced to the palate, upgraded with orange zest, custard, chocolate bitters and sultanas. Having introduced water, the nose offered salted caramel sauce, madeira cake and a wonderfully floral, elegant and fresh cherry. The palate, now a luxurious oily texture, was rich in singed toffee, liquorice root, brandy de Jerez and walnut…. read more

35.381 – Meticulously Mesmerising

56.3% ~ 2nd Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 31yo ~ Speyside ~ £450.00

The subtle scent of a nutty sponge cake moistened in a light lemony syrup, topped with pastry cream, walnuts and cinnamon combined with a glass of orange muscat, wafted through the air to mesmerising effect. The taste was that of a Waldorf salad made with rocket for a peppery bite and topped with toasted walnuts and juicy grapes enveloped in a creamy lemony dressing. Following reduction, we found Christmas spices, stem ginger, walnut cake and a sweet espresso on the nose… read more

36.205 – All the Fun of the Flicks

59.1% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX Barrique ~ 16yo ~ Speyside ~ £96.80

The nose brought sweet, dark enticements (Christmas cake, armagnac plum tart, salted caramel) and Hemingway’s old-style, wood-panelled tapas bars (smoke, black olives, almonds, membrillo). On the palate we found sherry splashed on a villainous undead pirate’s table and delicious sticky sweetness (dark chocolate, cherry cake, sultanas, creme brulee). The reduced nose supplied caramelised brown sugar, figs, treacle and gingerbread, while a leather-jacketed action hero sat down to charcuterie in the tapas bar… read more

36.216 – The Height of Scottish Summer

52.9% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX Hogshead ~ 16yo ~ Speyside ~ £96.80

We detected plenty of sweet notes, toffee, caramel, molasses, toasted almonds and rum-soaked raisins that were drying on a well-used oak whisky barrel stave. The taste transported us into the height of summer as we drank red wine from Sicily called Nero d’Avola, with those typical notes of cherries, vanilla and spices. After reduction the smell of serrano ham, lemon and green olive meatballs in a tomato and sherry sauce made us all feel very hungry… read more

39.290 – Delish!

57.0% ~ Two 1st Fill Oloroso Hogsheads ~ 17yo ~ Speyside ~ £115.00

We Panellists donned our aprons before cooking up a beef and red wine stew, which we served with sautéed apple slices in a pan with plenty of demerara sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. On the palate, we bit into ginger and mace-scented orange bread and took a spoonful of our olive oil ice cream. After a drop of water, luscious scents filled the air as we made sticky toffee pudding, chocolate brownies and treacle scones, while tasting churros waffles with a fudgy chocolate sauce… read more

48.165 – Warm Reekin’ Rich

59.2% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 9yo ~ Speyside ~ £60.00

No hints of haggis, but warm yourself and toast Scotland’s national poet with bouillon stock, freshly baked pastries, dried heather flowers and honey ice cream. After that there were lovely waxy tones and touches of sun cream. With water things turned fruitier, with dried mango, fruit teas and lemon tart all noted. The palate initially was nicely herbal with a big hit of waxiness and spice. Further notes included exotic fruit teas, bergamot, winter spices and lemon jelly… read more

53.471 – Bacon Baked in Treacle Fruitcake

58.5% ~ Refill Oloroso Hogshead & 1st Fill PX Hogshead ~ 15yo ~ Islay ~ £109.90

Using burnt twigs we stirred coal tar and beech wood-smoked nectarines into a medicinal potion of chamomile and syrup. Then to the mix came figs infused with hickory smoke, sweet mustard and orange segments, before in went barbecued brisket to simmer. A dash of water caused the flames from burning heather to tickle the rind of bacon dipped in treacle as the skin of juicy pineapples bubbled and popped. Our attention now turned to sticky ginger cake and walnuts in brioche buns, fresh from the oven and finished with bramble jam, coffee beans and sprigs of thyme… read more

73.153 – Contrapuntal Impasto

57.1% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 10yo ~ Speyside ~ £64.20

With pear drops, pineapple, lemon, lime and bourbon-based cocktails, the nose was a fresh and bright canvas, across which were smeared bold impasto strokes of set honey. The palate was innocent, sweet and fruity – toffee, fudge and bonbons, with oranges and bananas, and a finish of almonds and mouth-coating butter cream. Adding water shifted the nose into a balanced counterpoint between a sweet side (marshmallow, chocolate, sweet toasted coconut and ice cream) and a citric (lemon sorbet, limoncello)… read more

78.77 – A Cinematic Rabbit Hole

56.9% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 9yo ~ Highland ~ £72.00

After five years in ex-bourbon wood this served further time in a high-security Spanish oak oloroso hoggie and got well and truly sherry-maxed. The result is a powerful dram that took some of us down a cinematic rabbit hole: a Hollywood crime scene, with a filling station forecourt, and bad guys dressed in leather lighting cigars and throwing firecrackers. When the thing blew they made their getaway in an old V8 Chevy, burning rubber down the coastal highway… read more

84.26 – Uptown Funk You Sup

57.0% ~ Refill Bourbon Hogshead ~ 10yo ~ Speyside ~ £49.00

Nettles, grass, green fruit chews, Cointreau, Grenadine and buttered oatcakes all greeted the Panel at first nosing. Also making an appearance were plum jam, lemon curd and barley water. Reduction revealed funky manuka honey, Lambic ale, spiced porridge, freshly kilned malt, chestnuts and trail mix. To taste we found lavender creams, rosewater, matcha, wet earth, bubblegum and rosemary tea. With water there were mentions of mints hidden in a pencil case, buttered toast, burnt cereals… read more

85.81 – Ceilidh Dancing in the Bakehouse

56.6% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 16yo ~ Speyside ~ £96.80

We transferred this into a first fill Spanish oak oloroso hogshead to enhance its 13 years in ex-bourbon wood. The initial nose was a cascade of sultanas, cherries and brown sugar going into a cake mix (and then the cake!), plus brand new brogues with leather laces. We tasted a fabulous melange of deep flavours – muscovado in porridge, cherries in dark chocolate, spiced gingerbread, dried dates and malt extract. The reduced nose found Madeira molasses cake, honey nut cornflakes, cherry cola and Moffat toffees… read more

94.46 – Scotch Bonnet-Flavoured Toothpaste

61.9% ~ HMTC New Oak Barrel ~ 12yo ~ Highland ~ £75.00

This sample led to a variety of connotations listed as follows. Cold venison with red berries, candied blood orange peel, figs and dates, next to a leather armchair and wood fire while shampooing a carpet. There was plenty of heat. Does a toothpaste flavoured with Scotch bonnet exist? It was certainly hot and clean enough. Rinsing our mouths with water and the scent turned into marmalade on buttery toast, a traditional game pie with smoked bacon and, since we needed to mend a bike puncture during our cross-country adventures… read more

95.67 – A Mexican Pear Belle Helene

56.6% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX American Oak Hogshead ~ 16yo ~ Speyside ~ £96.80

We were presented with a mug of steaming, spicy Aztec hot chocolate made with real chocolate, spiced with cinnamon, vanilla and, to add a little kick, some chilli pepper. On the palate we all felt the heat, but we stayed in the kitchen. Warm, thick and super chocolatey with those chillies firing on all cylinders. After reduction, a lot calmer on the nose with aromas of ginger cake, nutmeg and candied walnuts. To taste, the classic French recipe featuring a poached pear served with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce, but Aztec style… read more

95.71 – Serrano-Wrapped Plums

57.0% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 14yo ~ Speyside ~ £85.80

So, “oloroso”, literally fragrant in Spanish, like a spiced winter sangria of red wine mixed with apples, oranges, cinnamon and cloves. The taste was sweet and spicy; a gingerbread caramel mousse, or buñuelos de calabaza – pumpkin fritters, dipped into a spicy chocolate a la taza, Spanish hot chocolate. After reduction the aroma was fresher, like a ginger wine or “sobretabla”, the youngest wine in the first row of a solera system in the production of sherry… read more

113.69 – Tweed-Clad Picnic Hamper

56.7% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 11yo ~ Speyside ~ £63.60

We first discovered peach melba in an apple and pear orchard surrounded by lavender, before gorse flowers, peppercorns and coconut rained on to a hay meadow. A gentle mace joined tinned peaches and condensed milk on the palate, along with warm bread and treacle. The introduction of water brought wild strawberries and oranges on soda bread, salted butter and tweed-covered picnic hampers full of cashew nuts, blackcurrants, vanilla pods and sesame seeds… read more

155.6 – Rumbustious Rumifications

64.3% ~ 1st Full Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 3yo ~ Israel ~ £77.00

High-flying esters created a cloud of ripe banana and pear aromas that combined with spiced apple chutney and honey-roasted cashews. The palate, however, was rich and sticky. Peat and oloroso sherry intertwined around complex cocktails of minty mojitos and super cuba libres with an enthusiastic serving of rum. Water accentuated the rum components, but now with polished leather, hickory smoke and charred pine trees. The flavours had taken a tropical turn, welcoming an influx of soft nectarine, mango… read more