SMWS Outturn November 2023

SMWS Outturn November 2023 goes live on Friday 3rd November 2023

Fireside Favourites – 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 November 2023 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 October 2023 outturn).

Fireside Favourites November 2023 Outturn bottles:

27.114 Sticky Toffee Axel Grease

27.114 – Sticky Toffee Axel Grease Pudding

53.7% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX Hogshead ~ 30 yo ~ Campbeltown ~ £1,590.00

Like some steam-powered kitchen, puffs of funnel smoke swirled around grease-coated cogs and buckets of petrol marinade. We stoked the fire with more pencil boxes ready to cook the Madeira chicken terrine and sticky toffee pudding. Beef cheeks bubbled in a sweet bramble and sherry jus as parsnips were prepared with a glaze of heather honey and shisha tobacco. Adding a drop of water combined orange muscat wine with peat oil to accompany smoked sausages and guinea fowl served with toasted acorns and wild mushrooms…. read more

Whisky Advent Calendar SMWS

12 Drams of Christmas

00% ~ Variety of Cask Types ~ 30yo ~ Regions ~ £140.00

SAVOUR THE 12 DRAMS OF CHRISTMAS, This year we’re kicking things off on Wednesday, 13 December with The 12 Drams of Christmas, a stunning selection of 12 hand-picked single casks ready to take you to Christmas Eve. This year’s Christmas countdown has 50ml drams, a very special prize giveaway and the opportunity to purchase a full-size bottle if you fall in love with any of these delicious drams… read more

Scarlett Marzipan – Small Batch No. 22

50.0% ~ 1st & Refill American Oak & Spanish Oloroso Butts ~ 10yo ~ Blended Malt ~ £60.00

The blended malt is the rather tasty result of a combination of Speyside and Highland whiskies. Fully matured in sherry seasoned butts, a balance is struck between the use of refill and first-fill wood, and a fusion of Spanish and American oak influence. On the neat nose we described it as a Scottish-Spanish alliance. Chewy highland toffee, oatmeal porridge with dried fruit compote and apple crumble were met by churros and a glass of oak-aged rioja…. read more

RW7.1 – Rye Do Fools Fall In Love?

57.6% ~ Charred New Oak Barrel ~ 5yo ~ Michigan ~ £90.00

We fell head over heals for figs and sultanas in banana bread, topped with a thick layer of rich chocolate and shrouded in the fragrant smoke of pipe tobacco. As the relationship progressed we discovered thick-cut marmalade and manuka honey oozing over almonds and fennel seeds. Then with a few drops of water we found ourselves captivated by coriander seeds and lemon peel, complemented by brown sugar on pink grapefruit and the evocative aromas of linseed oil. Now fully smitten, the icing on the madeira cake came with tart fruits, citrus peel and lemon candy sweets…. read more

4.382 – Avast Ye Smoky Apricots

62.8% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 12yo ~ Highland ~ £76.90

We took to the seas in a freshly varnished boat, loading up our nostrils next to a slow cooker brimming with beef stifado. The palate was earthy sweet, with smoked apricots, elderflower cordial and fruitcake. Introducing water transformed the nose, now displaying malt extract, mead, tea tree and orange wine. The palate had become sweet and oily, warming too, with almonds and raw peat being dunked in coastal rock pools. At six years of age, we combined selected casks from the same distillery… read more

10.256 – Winter’s Green Lichen

58.0% ~ 2nd Fill Ex-PX Hogshead ~ 9yo ~ Islay ~ £79.20

We followed our noses to a large bowl of breakfast cereal, seasoned with sea salt and enveloped with a lichen-born smoke. The earthy and coastal nose was matched by the palate, full of burnt cherries, seaweed and wintergreen mint. Water introduced a sooty coal fire to both the nose and the palate, while the latter also enjoyed the introduction of clove, cinnamon and a retained fresh, minty finish… read more

12.80 – Heaven in a Leather Hammock

59.2% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX Butt ~ 34yo ~ Speyside ~ £895.00

Tied between two coconut palm trees, the hammock gently swayed in a breeze that mixed wafts of fragrant tobacco and polished tropical wood with soft leather. Falling into the comfort of rhubarb and custard, we drifted into a sweet dream lined with treacle and plums. Cranberries, strawberries and cherries fell like gifts from the gods into mounds of dried cinnamon and ginger. With a dash of heavenly water, waves of rum and raisin ice cream washed hazelnuts and dried petals beneath our swaying hammock… read more

12.81 – Embrace the Untamed Spirit

57.8% ~ 1st Fill Str Barrique Ex-Oloroso ~ 14yo ~ Speyside ~ £98.40

Transferred after 11 years from ex-bourbon wood into a first fill oloroso barrique, the nose evoked Spanish tapas bars – jamon Serrano and bread on polished wood, with complementary aromas of red wine, coffee beans and spiced ginger cake. The neat palate was an untamed sherry beast – cinnamon, ginger and clove, charred staves, cigars and liquorice root; sweet notes suggested hazelnut chocolate and sherry trifle made with blueberries. The reduced nose found pears poached in red wine, honey on pancakes and brogues warming before a log fire… read more

16.96 – Peat-Ploughing Lunacy

60.8% ~ Re-Charred Hogshead ~ 9yo ~ Highland ~ £60.00

We started by the sea, in a farmyard by the sea to be precise, crunching on smoked peanuts drizzled with chilli sauce as dried seaweed fluttered in the wind like the green locks of a mermaid. Green became the theme as on the palate came green peppercorns and olives. Then we heard the sound of tractors, ploughing through the peat to unearth cinnamon and aniseed balls. With water we washed the mud from our wellies and broke off chunks of sea salt chocolate, while from afar came the scent of green herbs, cloves and star anise… read more

18.59 – Snuggle Up

57.9% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 15yo ~ Speyside ~ £92.40

Keep cosy with rich dried fruits, peaches, patchouli and rose, marzipan, lebkuchen, amaretti biscuits, dark chocolate, antique leather books … and the list could go on. To taste, we enjoyed an Alpine coffee – strong coffee, hazelnut liqueur, kirsch (cherry brandy), whipped cream and a dusting of grated nutmeg and dark chocolate shavings. A few sips and we were ready, skis on, to shoot down the Streif or the Lauberhorn. After reduction, we discovered a cemetery, thankfully a fly cemetery (Scottish fruit slice), next to churros dipped in chocolate, before we all settled down to eat melt-in-the-mouth beef cheeks in red wine… read more

18.61 – Cocoa and Dunes

60.3% ~ 1st Fill Oloroso Hogshead & 1st Fill PX Hogshead ~ 15yo ~ Speyside ~ £95.00

Golden rays of sunshine melted creamy butter over charred oak driftwood as we relaxed by dunking chocolate bourbon biscuits in espresso martinis. Cocoa dust blew in the wind, sticking to the lavender honey on our slices of toasted granary bread. With a dash of water it was time to crack open some crisp white wine to accompany our Mediterranean seafood platter featuring lemongrass-fried prawns and fennel seeds. The perfect follow-up was sticky dessert wine joined by chocolate-coated peaches, marzipan and juicy clementine segments dipped in cinnamon… read more

23.81 – Fatberg Ahead!

59.7% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 15yo ~ Islay ~ £175.00

An immediately robust and distillate-forward example of this Islay make, one which gives the lie to the idea that it is a ‘gentle’ malt. The nose was brimming with wet gravel, plaster and fat slabs of halloumi grilling on a barbecue. We gathered impressions of mechanics’ overalls, tug boats, cheese curds and a farmyard, plus burning heather and old wooden malt bins. Reduction brought out wet grains and buttered toast, dried nettles, lemon thyme, cuttlefish and scallop ceviche with tangy citrus juices. The palate was wonderfully oily and satisfyingly rich, delivering big notes of hessian, freshly kilned malt, hay bales and kippers with barbecue sauce… read more

26.221 – Entranced and Enchanted

63.1% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 9yo ~ Highland ~ £65.50

The impression we had was like a fragrant perfume with the top notes being a sunny day by the beach. The middle notes were fresh green apples and the nearby machair, with base notes of honeycomb and vanilla – enchanting! This was sweet and creamy on the palate, with plenty of vanilla but also a citric saline note like that of the cocktail ‘salty dog’. Following reduction, we lit a beeswax candle as we brewed a lemon verbena and mint tea… read more

27.114 – Sticky Toffee Axle Grease Pudding

53.7% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX Hogshead ~ 30yo ~ Campbeltown ~ £1,590.00

Like some steam-powered kitchen, puffs of funnel smoke swirled around grease-coated cogs and buckets of petrol marinade. We stoked the fire with more pencil boxes ready to cook the madeira chicken terrine and sticky toffee pudding. Beef cheeks bubbled in a sweet bramble and sherry jus as parsnips were prepared with a glaze of heather honey and shisha tobacco. Adding a drop of water combined orange muscat wine with peat oil to accompany smoked sausages and guinea fowl served with toasted acorns and wild mushrooms. Enticing aromas from spicy Swedish meatballs combined with oily glazed ham as a toot from the horn declared we were coming into port… read more

35.385 – Hiding in the Undergrowth

59.8% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 11yo ~ Speyside ~ £68.40

An aromatic and gentle profile we felt, one which exhibited aromas of hedgerow, undergrowth and other natural, organic and nicely fresh things. We also noted juniper, hibiscus flower and citrus throat lozenges. Water brought flower nectars, aged dessert wines, honeyed granola and citrus curds. The mouth was gentle on arrival, all focused on flower honey, cough drops and lemon barley water with a hint of custard. A splash of water revealed a slightly peppery and more drying side… read more

36.211 – Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cask

54.7% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX Barrique ~ 16yo ~ Speyside ~ £96.80

Intense and full on, with big notes of dark chocolate, cherries and oak – we imagined eating a slice of black forest gateau in those typical cathedral-style warehouses of a sherry bodega. There was plenty of sherry goodness on the neat palate, with raisins, tobacco, toffee, caramel, old oak and old leather-bound cask ledgers. After reduction, a more savoury note appeared as we got peanuts, pickled ginger, shortcrust pastry and chutney. However, always in the background was that sweetness of caramel brownies. The taste resembled flavours of salted chocolate fudge cake and a bitter liqueur based on wormwood from Croatia called pelinkovac… read more

39.287 – Perfumed Pleasure

61.4% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 11yo ~ Speyside ~ £68.40

The nose gave us lightly perfumed Marseille soap, laundry and shaved wood; we also found honeycomb, hay, lemon meringues, jellybeans and apricot danish pastries. The complex palate combined cinder toffee and raspberry or cherry jam with lemon peel; then liquorice allsorts and pretzel sticks, before we chewed green twigs dipped in honey to finish. The reduced nose was sweet and perfumed – candy floss and marshmallows, rose Turkish delight, a milk chocolate-covered fudge bar and pine or cedar wood… read more

42.83 – Muscovado Pipe Tobacco

57.4% ~ 2nd Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 17yo ~ Highland ~ £115.00

Seductively sweet aromas of treacle oozing over the thick icing on a rich fruitcake blended into bramble liqueur before the smoke from Assam tea leaves on a bonfire wafted over cured Iberico ham. On the palate, brine and oil added a maritime element to lapsang souchong tea as we mixed muscovado sugar into tobacco leaves. A drop of water unveiled Jamaica cake on a bed of pipe tobacco with a scattering of apple blossom and a hint of peat. We then swirled cocoa nibs into tamarind sauce with a burnt stick as figs, caramel and smoked bacon merged with miso paste on the finish… read more

44.167 – A Rum Drinker’s Dram

60.4% ~ Re-Fill Ex-Jamaican Rum Barrel ~ 10yo ~ Speyside ~ £66.20

The evocative funk of Jamaican rum delivered a highly spirited mix of pineapple, coconut and lemon in a cloud of hairspray and a handful of sugar cubes for good measure. The palate too carried the ethereal esters of melon and postage stamps with a sweet yet spicy backbone of chilli toffee, fudge and butterscotch. We added water to discover gooseberries and limes macerated with maraschino cherries and a spoonful of maple syrup and light engine oil. Now a barrage of tropical fruits, blood oranges and vanilla ice cream led us to a finish of strong black tea and liquorice… read more

48.163 – Going A Wafer A While

50.1% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 14yo ~ Speyside ~ £78.00

Nodding off in a comfy chair, dreams began to spiral with roasted peaches rolling round and round in a charred oak fruit bowl as juniper berries and coriander seeds began to rain down. Then a river of strawberry sauce flooded the dream, carrying with it charred marshmallows, brown sugar and fizzy sherbet. Water created a vision of summer meadows, resplendent with camomile flowers and elderflower trees. Clouds of vanilla cream rolled past, weighted heavily with sweet icing and burnt butter. The fondant phantasmagoria continued as pink wafer biscuits landed on to pillows of mashed banana and a velvet blanket of white chocolate.. read more

53.465 – A Bold Smoky Affogato

56.9% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX Hogshead ~ 15yo ~ Islay ~ £109.90

Boom! Oh, my goodness – what a punch of sherry-soaked smoke! Had someone lit a peat incense stick and then waved it about? These were just some of the comments nosing neat. A big, powerful beast on the palate, yet beautifully balanced. We got peppered mackerels in a smoky balsamic dressing and cardamom-spiced prawns. Water added mussels in white wine with chillies, heavily charred prawns, lobster tails and singed salty bacon. The taste was still full of smoky delight, with a decadent coffee dessert called affogato but this time not made with Italian liqueur but an Islay dram.. read more

53.470 – Santa’s Sooty Fireside Dram

56.3% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 13yo ~ Islay ~ £98.40

Sugar-coated fennel seeds mixed with heather honey and teriyaki sauce before soaking into green moss and first aid bandages. The moss began to smoulder when we placed it on to hot coals and charred crumpets, while adding sherry to steam fresh mussels and salmon. Reduction plunged us into rockpools where we paddled alongside lobsters and crabs as the sweet aromas of cinder toffee and barbecue smoke wafted past. Smoked oysters then arrived in a whirl of dark chocolate, wrapped in delightful textures and presented alongside cinnamon buns, coffee fudge and cola cube sweets.. read more

55.89 – Oak-Fired Fruit Cocktail

55.5% ~ 2nd Fill STR Barrique ~ 15yo ~ Highland ~ £91.40

The Panellists baked a buttered pineapple in an oak-fired pizza oven in the middle of a grassy meadow. On the palate, we found madeira cake being soaked in simple syrup, topped with a dollop of frozen peach daiquiri and chili-infused salted caramel sauce. With water, the nose and palate of the dram offered a bowl of muesli by the seaside, decorated with stone fruits, custard and the zest of a grapefruit, delivering a creamy mouthfeel. After 12 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, we transferred this to a shaved, toasted and re-charred second fill barrique for the remainder of its maturation.. read more

59.74 – For Fawke’s Sake

54.7% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead ~ 12yo ~ Highland ~ £69.00

It’s Bonfire Night and we found a delicate hint of smoke alongside an apple orchard as we placed the windfalls from a late harvest on wet grass in a wicker basket. We found warm spice on the palate, sweet and tart like a gooseberry coconut cake … but wait, there it was again, that wisp of teasing smoke. After the addition of water, we discovered freshly baked shortbread, honeyed sugar puffs, elderflower cordial and, yet again, aromatic smoke – this time lavender. To taste, we had cream crackers, jammy dodgers, cupcakes, ah and yes, you guessed it, lightly smoked salmon with a lemon and honey glaze… read more

60.33 – Malt Loaf and Vanilla Frosting

61.0% ~ 2nd Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 10yo ~ Highland ~ £64.20

Full of cakes, from Dundee to the Caribbean, with ginger and cherries joining malt loaf and vanilla frosting. Citrus was also present on the nose, as was panettone. To the palate, we found sticky butterscotch pudding spiked with rum punch, black grapes glazed with honey and crushed hazelnuts. Water introduced tinned pineapples, oak wood shavings and aromatic bitters to the nose, while the palate retained its core malt loaf flavour and gained that honey characteristic for additional mouthfeel… read more

68.115 – Let’s Head For The Lobby

57.8% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 14yo ~ Highland ~ £89.50

The Panel picked over effervescent orange juice, cherry wood dust, plumbers’ putty and dates crushed under rough granite slabs. The palate was full of popcorn, warm from the machine at the cinema, served in a red velvet sack and topped with clarified butter, Californian raisins, rapeseed oil, raspberry jam and vanilla frosting. Water did little to influence the nose, but added warm pancakes and honey to the palate, along with a finish of crushed dates and whipped cream… read more

73.158 – Spongy Vanilla Meringue Cake

58.2% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 11yo ~ Speyside ~ £68.40

Wrap up on the longest night of the year with this intense dram, full of sweet notes ranging from freshly made caffè d’orzo (Italian barley coffee) sweetened with caramel to fudge and heather honey, and then finally a lemon cake mix. On the palate we bit into a gala apple in a carpenter’s workshop before we had rum and brown sugar-broiled grapefruit. With water the sweet notes prevailed, with marshmallows, peanut butter crumble, chocolate-covered almonds and doughnuts with an apricot filling… read more

73.159 – Green Grow The Rushes O

56.3% ~ 2nd Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 12yo ~ Highland ~ £75.00

We initially found grassy notes as well as melon, kiwi, bananas, lime and fresh peppermint on pistachio cannoli. On the palate, we enjoyed a bowl of cream of green vegetable soup with kale, spinach, brussels sprouts and broccoli – all members of the brassica family, otherwise known by their informal name cruciferous. Following the addition of water, we walked through the reeds and rushes along the riverbank on a crisp spring morning before we stopped for elevenses of buttered toast with chilli jam and icing sugar, finishing with a shot of pear schnapps… read more

78.76 – Flames Dancing On Mango

58.8% ~ 2nd Fill Heavy Char Hogshead ~ 9yo ~ Highland ~ £64.00

Wafts of smoke and chimney soot danced to the spicy and vibrant rhythm that burnt pencils drummed out on a mango set ablaze by a blowtorch. Then prawns and bananas boogied their way over a flaming grill as maple syrup and heather honey drizzled on to a singed scone. With water, sliced apple and ham tangoed in the fragrant smoke alongside orange chutney with the zing of nutmeg and a little coconut charm. Mango and banana returned for an encore with gooseberries, lemon peel and coconut sponge dressed in an almond tutu.. read more

82.51 – Complementary Smoke and Toffee

61.8% ~ 2nd Fill Charred Wine Barrique ~ 12yo ~ Highland ~ £77.00

We dipped wholegrain toast in rapeseed oil and smothered it with plum preserve and lime zest. The nose did nothing to give away the complementary wrapper of clay and soot experienced by the palate! The taste was spicy too. Water introduced dark chocolate, and dandelion and burdock soda, to the nose but once again there was no hint of earthy soot. Robust on the palate, the smokiness was enhanced by toffee, butter, brunost and sloe berries… read more

85.88 – Full Fruit Fantasy

59.5% ~ 2nd Fill Ex-Oloroso Hogshead ~ 13yo ~ Speyside ~ £80.50

The nose combined nut brittle, raspberry brownie and cherry cola with salted pretzels, black tea, pine cones, leather and cigarettes trampled on wooden floorboards. The palate, followed red liquorice, bakewell tart, pomegranate and cherry menthol cough drops with a cockle-warming finish of sweet chilli and pickled ginger. The reduced nose produced abundant orchard fruits, cherry coulis on vanilla cheesecake, tawny port and sangria with lots of orange. The palate had pleasant, sweet, spicy and tart flavours – cherry jam, orange peel, unripe persimmon, cracked pepper… read more

93.205 – Pebbles, Flowers and Pickles

60.0% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 9yo ~ Campbeltown ~ £65.50

At first nosing we detected many fresh aromas such as wet linens, rope, swimming pools and jasmine flowers. This then became a little fatter, with lightly chalky and medicinal notes alongside a touch of tea tree oil. Reduction brought a nicely dry waxiness and a firm coastal impression, with beach pebbles and white coastal flowers. The palate showed this distillery’s typical sharpness and slight funkiness. We found olive oil cut with lemon juice, the salinity of a margarita rim and a tang of grapefruit… read more

95.89 – Just Right For A Balmy Night

55.9% ~ 1st Fill Ex-PX Barrique ~ 14yo ~ Speyside ~ £85.80

The nose suggested sweet treats – toffee apple, dried fruits, sweet sherry, bourbon, pumpkin pie and bramble jelly; plus hints of menthol, leather and spiced nuts. Our palates enjoyed golden syrup, fruit cake, rhubarb rock, ripe figs, root beer and vanilla, with a drying finish of cask char, potpourri, perfumed wood and pecans. In reduction, the nose delivered polished wood, candied orange peel, mirabelle schnapps and dark Danish liqueur chocolates with marzipan and plum… read more

115.28 – Weird and Wonderful

63.2% ~ 2nd Fill Ex-PX Hogshead ~ 8yo ~ Speyside ~ £66.00

Re-racked at three years from a bourbon hoggie into the PX hogshead previously inhabited by 1.206; the result is unusual, to say the least – nosing of leather shoes, tea chests and sherry-soaked wood, earl grey tea and potpourri, jamón serrano, dark chocolate, gingerbread and date molasses. In the mouth, we identified Spanish Christmas biscuits (polvorónes), treacle scones, cinder toffee and green ginger wine, dried pears and chocolate-dipped dates; woody tannins balanced by intense sweetness… read more

122.57 – Short Circuit

62.7% ~ Re-Fill Ex Rum Barrel ~ 9yo ~ Highland ~ £59.00

A fab nose full of bike chain grease, peat smoke and mechanical oils. WD40 sprayed on bacon frazzles, hot electrical circuit boards and a soldering iron dipped in a jar of pickle juice! Rather bonkers but extremely charismatic and fun. With reduction we got sooty vibes with camphor, putty and pure seawater. Also some hints of kelp and cloves. The palate opened with chilli-infused cocoa, hot smoke BBQ embers, pickled gherkin and smouldering rosemary wood. Water really brought the funkier components front and centre. Mechanical tool box rags, boiler roof gunge, puffer smoke, anchovy fillets in olive oil and old metal kerosine cans… read more

140.16 – Chocolate Rain On A Cherry Tree

63.4% ~ #3 Char New Oak Barrique ~ 3yo ~ Texas ~ £85.00

As we toasted marshmallows on cinnamon sticks, hot chocolate raindrops began to fall from the sky and splitter-splatter on juicy red berries and luscious cherries around us. The fluffy cumulus turned to heavy cumulonimbus, before a downpour of dark chocolate separated cherries and bananas from their branches and caused them to cascade on to mint leaves and cinder toffee on the ground. All this rain diluted the dram, releasing a gush of fresh oak, toasted coconut and rum-flavoured cream cakes. The sun re-emerged as the rain eased to white chocolate-coated raisins… read more

157.1 – Toasty, Roasty and Oaky

60.8% ~ 1st Fill Ex Oloroso Butt ~ 8yo ~ France ~ £95.00

We unwrapped a stick of cinnamon chewing gum and poured root beer into a glass, filling the room with myriad aromas such as liquorice root, nutmeg, acacia, anise, clove, molasses, eucalyptus and, of course, cinnamon. On the neat palate, we sipped a cup of oolong tea with that typical brown sugar sweetness, as well as toasty, roasty and oaky flavours, with a finish of melon jam with vanilla and lime. When we carefully added water, the nose turned into chocolate-and-yoghurt-coated raisins, candied orange slices and freeze-dried strawberries… read more

GN1.13 – Greek Yoghurt With Granola and Berries

49.0% ~ 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 2yo ~ Glasgow ~ £55.00

On the neat nose we discovered vanilla ice cream, tinned fruit cocktail and fresh spearmint, as well as hints of sawdust in a carpenter’s workshop. There was truly a spicy kick with plenty of chilli and pepper notes at first, before sweeter flavours arrived in the form of nutmeg and cinnamon as well as a gooseberry panna cotta in the finish. Following reduction, we found more typical juniper notes next to the scent of lavender and white roses… read more

B5.12 – Cupcake Scented Candle Wax

62.9% ~ New Charred Oak Barrel ~ 7yo ~ Tennessee ~ £74.00

A warm and friendly aroma reminded us of vanilla fudge, plus a strawberry tall cake where the layers are made with a chiffon cake recipe and a dash of bitter orange-flavoured cognac liqueur, simply delicious. There was plenty of spice on the palate neat, with jalapenos and cinnamon-spiced cranberry jelly shots. In the medium-length finish a touch of tannic dryness accompanied the sweetness and spice very well. Following reduction, we found ourselves in an antique library where we lit a vanilla cupcake-scented candle… read more

GN7.1 – Pine Forest In The Snow

50.2% ~ 2nd Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 1yo ~ England ~ £55.00

After a brief mineral or petrolic note at the start, the nose developed a fresher experience, like running through a pine forest. After that, we detected cinnamon, pepper and cloves, powder puff and talc. Those spice notes sweetened on the palate, resembling old-school Scottish mixed aromatic hard candy, with ginger, cinnamon and clove. The freshness also remained – but this time evoking sherbet lemons, rosemary and apple, with an effervescent finish, reminiscent of bellini cocktails or tequila slammers… read more

R11.20 – Sensory Adventure

66.1% ~ Re-Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 10yo ~ Jamaica ~ £80.00

We imagined stepping into a Victorian sugar mill where the sugar cane was being crushed by rollers powered by steam engines. The noise coming from the pistons, pressure gauges, cogs, levers and belt drives, as well as the intoxicating scent of steam, sugar and oil, made this a sensory adventure. So did the taste, like licking sugar cane juice off sandpaper, plus petrolic cough sweets, black pepper and tarragon – are you up for it? You could dowse the fyah with some water. The aroma now turned to exotic fruits including mango, papaya, kiwi and physalis… read more

R13.6 – Cocoa Tornado

61.7% ~ Re-Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel ~ 25yo ~ Trinidad ~ £345.00

As dark clouds of menacing chocolate loomed overhead, in the darkness we lit paraffin lamps that cast flickering shadows among the heavy oak trees that stood over us. Velvety raspberry stout began to rain down from above then, in an instant, a tremendous bolt of lighting split the gloom and scorched its way through bramble and chocolate ganache. The first few drops of water turned into chocolate truffle hail stones that crashed into tiramisu, casting puffs of cocoa powder into the air… read more