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Outturn Find a keeper – Friday 1st February Issue 02 2019

CHRISTMAS PARCELS Bring happiness, joy and good cheer to the season with this collection of perfectly paired presents and stocking filler single casks.

FOR LOVERS OF WHISKY

Find yourself a keeper or two in this deliciously diverse selection of single cask bottlings.

FIND A KEEPER AT SMWS.COM.AU


CONTENTS Nostalgia or progress? Andrew Derbidge ............................ 3 Malt of the Month Cask No. 12.14 A deconstructed salad .................. 4 Welcome Distillery 137 Our first ever English single cask............................................. 8

A picnic at Laubaude Welcoming distillery A5 to the stable.......................................... 12 What is independence? Matt Bailey............................................ 14 Events Check out the latest listings ....... 15

OUR BOTTLINGS PEATED

YOUNG & SPRITELY Cask No 12.14 A deconstructed salad .............................................................

4

Cask No 29.252 Nostalgislay .................................................................................. 11

SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW Cask No 115.8 A strawberry chocolate kiss ................................................

6

Cask No 5.67 Bellissimo! ......................................................................................

6

7

2

Cask No 93.95 Tails of the sea .............................................................................

10

Cask No 66.125 Scattering the ashes .................................................................

10

SINGLE CASK SPIRITS

SPICY & DRY Cask No 96.22 Rocky road spice freakout ...................................................

OILY & COASTAL

LIGHTLY PEATED

SPICY & SWEET Cask No 1.207 Powerful, warming delight .................................................

Cask No 137.2 War seahorse ................................................................................ 8

7

Cask No R11.6 Just add sunshine ......................................................................

11

Cask No A5.1 Fruit shop raid..............................................................................

12

Cask No A5.1, A5.2, A5.3 Sweet seduction Armagnac bundle.................................

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NOSTALGIA OR PROGRESS? Dear Members, Those who follow our Facebook Group (not our Page but our Group) might have seen a series of posts I put up in December & January of some old bottlings from the Society’s early days in Australia. And also some old Bottling Lists (as Outturn used to be known). We also posted & discussed some rarely seen and long-forgotten old bottlings, such as the Society’s first bourbon release in 2006 and the stunning SMWS Trinidad rum that was released that same year. Such excursions to our past bring back great memories, but it’s more than just nostalgia. For whisky can be a time capsule, and revisiting old releases takes you back in time – sadly, to some eras and flavours that can’t be repeated. Whisky’s production has seen many developments and changes over the decades and, despite what the marketing and PR firms spin to us, you can taste those changes. The 1960’s and 70’s saw most distilleries decommission their malting floors as they started to bring malt in from commercial suppliers – with a resulting change in flavour. (Ardbeg being a good example). The 1970’s and 80’s saw many distilleries switch from direct firing to steam heating of their stills – again with changes to the character of the spirit. (There’s the wonderful story about Glenfarclas trialling this with just one of their three spirit stills in the 1980’s. After numerous test runs, they concluded that the new-make coming out of the converted still smelled and tasted nothing like regular Glenfarclas, and they spent thousands to remove the newly-installed steam pans and re-instate the direct gas fire!) Other distilleries went through changes of ownership that brought about changes in production that would forever affect the flavour of a distillery’s output. Glendronach is a great example – across three different owners from 1996 to 2008 (including eight years of closure from 1996-2003) the distillery saw its maltings decommissioned; its coal-fired stills converted to steam; and one owner filled almost exclusively into bourbon

casks for three straight years. Such changes, together with the years of dormancy, have impacted significantly on the availability and flavour profile of that distillery’s sherrydominant 12yo and 15yo releases. Sometimes the changes occur at a grassroots level – literally! Macallan made a lot of noise in the 1990’s/2000’s about its use of Golden Promise barley, and it’s true that some of the more memorable Macallans came from the Golden Promise era. However, barley strains fall out of favour as higher-yielding and better disease-resistant varieties come along, and Macallan’s flavour profile changed once GP was phased out. (Other factors also contributed to the change in Macallan’s flavour profile, but that’s a whole article in itself – which I’ve written about elsewhere. Drop me a line). All of the above are the primary reasons why many distilleries’ “core-range” or portfolio are such ever-changing affairs. You can’t put out a 15yo release if your distillery was closed or mothballed 15 years earlier! The Society is thus a great supplier of time capsules – not only providing bottlings of silent or closed distilleries (we’ve got a few of those in the wings for 2019), but also plenty of releases that are 20, 30, 35 years old that hark back to different times and different production eras. True, such bottlings are at the more expensive end of the spectrum, although that is the industry these days. Gone are the days when you could pick up a 50yo Macallan for $330. Now that is nostalgia.

Andrew Derbidge ~ Director, Cellarmaster & NSW Manager

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MALT OF THE MONTH

The opportunity to bottle single casks from this iconic Speyside distillery from an era of change and progress is hugely exciting. It presents an opportunity to explore a flavour and experience you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Truly like A deconstructed salad, Cask 12.14 showcases an era of this distillery which was right in the middle of Master Distiller Billy Walker’s period of innovation. Well known for their almost endless variety in spirit output, from unpeated offerings like this to wacky cask treatments and a healthy balance of age statements, the opportunity to taste a young and honest quality to the spirit is welcomed. Full of soft salad fruits on the palate, this is a remarkable cask to share with someone just getting into their Scotch whisky journey. REGION

Speyside

A DECONSTRUCTED SALAD

CASK TYPE

1st fill ex-bourbon barrel

AGE

8 years

DATE DISTILLED

29 September 2009

YOUNG & SPRITELY

OUTTURN

211 bottles

CASK NO. 12.14

ABV

61.4%

AUS ALLOCATION

48 bottles

REDUCED FROM $170

What’s this? Mustard? Mustard seed to be precise. Mingling with touches of chopped tarragon and olive oil. A ready-made salad dressing! Becomes steadily more savoury with notes of pumpernickel bread and sourdough starter. A little green matcha powder, some well-spiced carrot cake and twist of lemon. With water we find a captivating mix of camphor and rocky minerals. The arrival in the mouth is spice-studded and prickly. Many green notes such as cut grass, crushed dock leaf and chlorophyl - some chopped parsley and white pepper as well. A few winks of wax and soot in the background. Water brings clove oil, hessian and some cherry cola cubes.

$149.00

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5


A STRAWBERRY CHOCOLATE KISS

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

Refill ex-bourbon barrel

AGE

8 years

DATE DISTILLED

02 September 2009

SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW

OUTTURN

240 bottles

CASK NO. 115.8

ABV

59.9%

AUS ALLOCATION

42 bottles

$160.00

A sweet malty cereal note as well as tinned peaches in fruit juice and a moist lemon and coconut cake drizzled with warm lemon syrup made this a very moreish experience on the nose neat. On the palate, creamy warm melted white chocolate mixed with dark chocolate sauce over sweet raspberries - an absolute delight. When adding some water we got aromas of citrus five fruit blended juice and strawberry sauce with caramelised sugar and pink peppercorns. We finished by receiving a strawberry chocolate kiss (a light fluffy mallow covered in chocolate on a waffle base) – one more please!

REGION

Lowland

CASK TYPE

1st fill ex-bourbon barrel

BELLISSIMO!

AGE

15 years

DATE DISTILLED

16 January 2003

SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW

OUTTURN

180 bottles

CASK NO. 5.67

ABV

55.3%

AUS ALLOCATION

30 bottles

$229.00

On the nose neat it felt like a colourful plate of yellow, pink and orange macarons as well as cape gooseberries, fragrant purple roses and candy-floss flavoured sweets. On the palate neat we enjoyed Italian – Neapolitan (vanilla extract, cocoa powder and purred strawberry) oats with aged Mosto cotto (Italian grape must syrup) liberally poured over it. Water added the fragrant aroma of sweet pink grapefruit soap and honeysuckle honey from Sicily which was then spooned over stracciatella (chocolate chip) and sette veli gelato (different kind of chocolate, hazelnut praline and crunchy biscuit) – bellissimo!

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POWERFUL, WARMING DELIGHT

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

1st fill ex-Oloroso hogshead

AGE

13 years

DATE DISTILLED

10 May 2004

SPICY & SWEET

OUTTURN

265 bottles

CASK NO. 1.207

ABV

57.8%

AUS ALLOCATION

36 bottles

$230.00

3 5 T H SA RY VER ANNI LEASE RE SPE FINI CIAL SH

ROCKY ROAD SPICE FREAKOUT

A powerful aroma was flowing out of the glass; poached pears in spiced red wine, arugula, pear & blue cheese salad with a warm balsamic hazelnut vinaigrette and Chinese plum sauce. On the palate neat as powerful as on the nose, like a wooden box containing different oriental Indian curry spices next to pan-cooked apricots in vanilla and cardamom. With water like a dark wheat beer with the scent of banana, clove, caramel and honey biscuit – add some salted peanut butter cookies, very moreish indeed! After twelve years in an ex-bourbon hogshead we transferred this whisky into a 1st fill Oloroso hogshead.

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

1st fill PX hogshead

AGE

9 years

DATE DISTILLED

30 October 2008

SPICY & DRY

OUTTURN

278 bottles

CASK NO. 96.22

ABV

59.1%

AUS ALLOCATION

18 bottles

$167.00

IAL SPECISH FIN

The Panel noted oak polish, leather slippers, old cigar humidors and wood spices at first. Followed swiftly by many herbal qualities such as marjoram, thyme and cough syrup. Then rye bread and blood oranges as well. Reduction brought honeysuckle, gorse, strawberry laces, hessian and charred wood. The palate was equally robust with sawdust, strap leather, biltong and sweet, overripe stone fruits. With water this morphed into brandy snaps, milk chocolate and marshmallows, with rum and raisin, soot and hint of roasted butternut squash. Previously in a bourbon hogshead for 7 years.

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WELCOME DISTILLERY 137 The Society continues to grow – to welcome back casks from old codes we’ve not seen in years, and to add new single malt codes to our library of distilleries who love to supply and experiment with non-core range offerings. Thus, we officially welcome code 137 to the list and Cask 137.2 War seahorse.

This is not only the first English single malt we’ve ever bottled, this distillery is the first dedicated English distillery for single malt whisky in 100 years at the time of the building’s completion in 2006. They released their own single malt as a three year old back in 2009 and have consistently released their English spirit to widespread acclaim around the world. However, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first ever cask strength, single cask, English whisky from this distillery to be released in Australia. It is also worth remarking that it is one of the oldest as well, at eight years of age and peated. We hope you enjoy a peated whisky unlike any other on earth, and raise a glass with us for yet another Society milestone! Sláinte!

WAR SEAHORSE PEATED CASK NO. 137.2

$225.00

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REGION

England

CASK TYPE

Refill ex-bourbon barrel

AGE

8 years

DATE DISTILLED

04 February 2010

OUTTURN

240 bottles

ABV

62.3%

AUS ALLOCATION

30 bottles

This powerhouse of a dram opens with lemons charring on the BBQ. Beyond there is smoked and peppered mackerel and hot smoked salmon. Enough to induce hunger! There’s also a cognitively jarring briny and ozonerich quality about it. A whole shellfish platter has been placed before you. Notes of of chopped dill, polished metal and some exotic fruits hiding underneath. Water reveals camphor and hessian with notes of chalk and smoked whelks. The palate unfolds with a mighty, crashing wave of peat on a shore of sandalwood, wet rocks, mineralencrusted creel nets and then hay, smoked earth and silage. With water the farmy aspects are heightened with notes of dried herbs and some smoked butter. Stonking stuff!


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REGION

Campbeltown

TAILS OF THE SEA

CASK TYPE

Refill ex-bourbon barrel

AGE

15 Years

DATE DISTILLED

06 May 2002

OILY & COASTAL

OUTTURN

234 bottles

CASK NO. 93.95

ABV

56.6%

AUS ALLOCATION

36 bottles

$249.00

Straight away we were swept to a busy fishing harbour packed with fishing nets, lobster shells and tar-covered ropes. Puffs of smoke popped out of ship’s funnels and carried the light oily smell of engine rooms. Amongst the salt and tar and creosote soaked wood came delicately floral hues of heather and lavender with soft blackberry fruit. The irresistible fat from smoked duck brought a rich and viscous texture to the palate that touched on aniseed and herbal cough syrup with the sweetness of crayfish tails. Cutting through the oils came a hint of menthol and Jaffa cakes that became reminiscent of old fashioned cocktails with a dash of cocktail bitters. Wonderfully creamy notes evolved on the finish as brandy butter melted over seaweed with smoked muscles in a cream sauce and layer of smoke from burnt porridge.

SCATTERING THE ASHES LIGHTLY PEATED CASK NO. 66.125

$185.00

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE

Refill ex-bourbon hogshead

AGE

12 Years

DATE DISTILLED

06 March 2006

OUTTURN

294 bottles

ABV

57.9%

AUS ALLOCATION

36 bottles

A great whack of farmyard, yeast and sourdough starter takes some time to dissipate before subtler notes of wood embers, coal dust and distant peat smoke slowly emerge. We find it clean and slightly salty with scatterings of ash and embrocation. Water uncovers toasted cereals, mineral properties, BBQ char and an empty horse stable. The palate is immediately sprightly with notes of smoked grist, fresh barley, cured meats, Calpol and frying pancetta. Some slightly burning notes and a hint of salted dark chocolate as well. Reduction gave us salted liquorice, cow sheds, olive oil, lapsang souchong, wood ash and a sense of burning pine wood. 10


REGION

Islay

CASK TYPE

Refill ex-bourbon hogshead

NOSTALGISLAY

AGE

19 years

DATE DISTILLED

11 November 1998

PEATED

OUTTURN

226 bottles

CASK NO. 29.252

ABV

60.0%

$370.00

AUS ALLOCATION

18 bottles

ANN 35TH IV RELEERSARY

ASE

A spellbinding and classical nose of lime juice, passionfruit sours, cherry tunes, menthol, eucalyptus resin, cinnamon balls, aniseed bark and an antique writing desk complete with ink well. Water adds extra layers of complexity with notes of coal dust, copper coins, sourdough starter, lemon rind, spearmint, smouldering herbs on a BBQ and a face-in-kiln-style peat smoke with a mezcal-esque briny twist in the middle. The delivery in the mouth is undulating and exquisite. Tropical fruit chutney with coal tar soap, peat embers, blue cheese, salted cod, key lime pie and smoked grains. With reduction; Lapsang Souchong, clove rock, barley sugar, cured meat, pickled damsons and charred sugarcane. Quite a ride!

JUST ADD SUNSHINE

REGION

Jamaica

CASK TYPE

Refill ex-bourbon barrel

AGE

7 years

RUM

DATE DISTILLED

01 May 2010

CASK NO. R11.6

OUTTURN

274 bottles

$195.00

ABV

66.2%

AUS ALLOCATION

18 bottles

A vibrant tangerine tinge immediately caught our attention before the ensuing arrangement of aromas reached our nose. With equal vibrancy we discovered an abundance of toffee and caramel with the peppermint spice of rye whiskey and the petrolic freshness of fine German Riesling. Lychee and papaya lead a tropical charge into aromatic rice and lime couscous with crispy jerk chicken. The palate presented masses of molasses and treacle tart with a darker edge reminiscent of liquorice, singed blackcurrants and banana skins on a barbeque. Cinnamon and nutmeg on pecan pie joined a sweet glue note that continued into the long finish of juicy raisons and Cognac. 11


A PICNIC AT LAUBADE Armagnac. The whisky-drinker’s French cousin. The mystical single-distilled grape. The refined and intriguing tipple. There’s a lot to be said about the wonders of Armagnac but in the meantime, we’d like to formally welcome distillery ‘A5’ to the stable. Kicking off with a rather special offering through cask A5.1 Fruit shop raid distilled back in 1989, this distillery has to be one of the prettiest distilleries ever seen. Our spirits director and team visited Laubade distillery and have picked out some truly astonishingly delicious casks to start the relationship.

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FRUIT SHOP RAID

REGION

Bas Armagnac

CASK TYPE

Armagnac barrel

GRAPE VARIETY

Colombard

ARMAGNAC

AGE

29 Years

CASK NO. A5.1

OUTTURN

600 bottles

ABV

61.3%

AUS ALLOCATION

24 bottles

$399.00

Bursting through Lucozade colours of the fruit shop, you’re mugged by soft warm spice and oak. Layers of warm Muscovado sugar mingle with caramel, cinnamon and angelica. Scraps of over ripe quince hang around for good measure. The mouthfeel is warm and inviting, the ripeness of the fruit sitting very comfortably with warm light, yet quite fresh tannins that give a somewhat misleading impression of youth. The giveaway for the age is the sheer depth of complexity and flavour, leaving an incredibly long soft oak finish.

SWEET SEDUCTION BUNDLE $749.00

SAV $100E

Only 6 available

Laubade is a fascinating distillery that does things a bit differently, including constantly planting new oak trees for their cooperage to use in 250 years from now, and an on-site shepherd who looks after 700-odd ewes who fertilise the soil for optimal grape growing. A true ewe-to-bottle production. Treat yourself to A5.1, or even the first three complete cask set this February with A5.2 and A5.3 all in a sweet little bundle!

FRUIT SHOP RAID ARMAGNAC CASK No. A5.1

MUSK COATED CANDYFLOSS ARMAGNAC CASK No. A5.2

FULLY LOADED SWEET TROLLEY ARMAGNAC CASK No. A5.3 13


WHAT IS INDEPENDENCE? I was reading a fascinating discussion on Facebook just the other day about what essentially defines an “Independent Bottler”. The question was posed by Society member and host Alex Moores: “if an independent bottler that owns a distillery bottles that distillery’s spirit under their [independent bottling] label, is it an independent bottling?” Depending on time of day of when you read that, it might twist your brain a bit. The Society doesn’t own any distilleries, but the question about what makes an independent bottler actually ‘independent’ is an interesting one. I posed that it was more to do with creative output and difference in offering when compared to the core range, than ownership of the brand. Some agreed, some will disagree with that, but that’s essentially one of the parts of the Society that I love most: a chance to throw your preconceptions of ‘distillery character’ out the window and taste a unique offering that is not, and will likely never be, a part of that distillery’s core range. Then again, why would you want it to be similar? The fun is in the journey after all, not the destination. A prime example of this can be found in not just every Outturn we release, but just about every cask. Use Cask 1.207 ‘Powerful and warming delight’ in this month’s Outturn as an example. When I buy a bottle of that for myself, I know that I’m tasting something unlike anything else, and in this case from a distillery that is famed for its sherry casks. This one is from an ex-bourbon cask 14

that was finished in an ex-Pedro Ximinez sherry hogshead. I’m looking for something unique, panel-approved, and above my expectations. That’s certainly something I would enjoy. As a brief snapshot of our own history, which not everyone might know, the Society was independently owned by individuals from 1983-2005, then enjoyed 10 year’s arms’ length ownership by Glenmorangie PLC before returning to totally independent ownership again four years ago. So what makes an independent release, independent? I think we’ve hit the nail on the head at the Society. We’re an independent bottler, we are creatively independent, but more than anything, we’re an independent and global whisky club that exists to serve and delight our members every month and at every opportunity in person. Speaking of which, have you seen all the exciting Society experiences up on the website now happening? More and more being added as well, so keep your eyes peeled as we showcase some absolutely ripper casks at these events that often won’t even make an Outturn. And lastly, remember to stay in touch, we’re here to help! Cheers,

Matt Bailey ~ SMWS National Ambassador Twitter: @smws_matt Email: bailey@smws.com.au


EVENTS SYDNEY SMWS BOILERMAKERS AT WAYWARD BREWING CO. An evening of cracking craft beers, Society malts and tasty fare at Wayward Brewing Co.

WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY, 6.30 FOR 7.00PM Location: Wayward Brewing Company, 1 Gehrig Ln, Camperdown NSW 2050 Host: Matt Bailey, National Ambassador

MELBOURNE

WHISKY DINNER AT P.J.’S A Member favourite at P.J. O’Brien’s Irish pub for some delicious food and divine drams.

THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY, 6.00 FOR 6.30PM Location: P.J. O’Brien’s, Southgate Shopping Precinct, Southbank

ADELAIDE

WHISKY KISSES A fun evening of Society bottlings and craic at Hains & Co.

THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY, 6.00 FOR 6.30PM Location: Hains & Co., 23 Gilbert Pl, Adelaide Host: Matt Bailey, National Ambassador

CANBERRA

WHISKY MASTERCLASS WITH A TWIST Enjoy a Society single cask masterclass with a twist. Curious? Come along and find out.

THURSDAY 7 MARCH, 6.00 FOR 6.30PM Location: Hippo Co, 1/17 Garema Pl, Canberra Host: Matt Bailey, National Ambassador

Host: Owen Smythe, VIC Manager

WOLLONGONG

WHISKY BOAT CRUISE

SMWS X BULLI BREWING BOILERMAKERS

Sail down the Yarra in a luxury cruise boat enjoying some single cask whiskies and canapes.

SATURDAY 9 MARCH, 4.00PM SHARP Location: Melbourne City Marina, 85 Newquay Promenade, Docklands Host: Owen Smythe, VIC Manager

PERTH

SOCIETY SUMMER BARBEQUE A Society Summer barbeque in the gardens of our Partner Bar, Bar Lafayette. Select your own summer dramming and dishes!

An afternoon of cracking craft beers from Wollongong’s newest brewer, Society malts and delicious tapas.

SATURDAY 23 MARCH, 2.30PM TIL 5.00PM Location: Bull & Bear Restaurant, 2A Victoria St, Wollongong Host: Fred Apolloni, Wollongong Manager

BRISBANE Details of the next Brisbane shindig will be posted online shortly – please check our website for details.

SATURDAY 9 FEBRUARY, 2:30PM TIL LATE Location: Bar Lafayette, Brookfield Place, 125 St George’s Tce, Lower George’s Lane, Perth Hosts: Matt Bailey, National Ambassador & Jason Davies, WA Manager

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK IN FOR ANY OF THESE EVENTS, PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE OR CONTACT OUR OFFICE.

SMWS.COM.AU/EVENTS 15


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Outturn February 2019  

Outturn February 2019