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APRIL 2018

M A LT O F T H E M O N T H : S W E E T A N D S A LT Y, SMOKE AND ASH CASK No. 4.230

It'll be a blast: Fr iday 6th A pril


CELLARMASTER'S NOTE Dear Members, Last month I had the joy and privilege of attending DramFest, a wee little whisky festival in Christchurch, New Zealand. It’s been seven years since the big earthquake devastated the city, and whilst Christchurch has done admirably in getting on with the re-building phase, it’s a sobering and poignant sight to still see so many abandoned, damaged buildings, or vacant blocks where buildings once stood. As a structural engineer, I couldn’t help but note the structural bracing and strengthening that’s gone into the remaining and new buildings to safeguard against future shakes.

In the whisky world, safeguarding and futureproofing is also very much front and centre. It’s an industry that’s seen more than its fair share of peaks and troughs, and it would be fair to say that some of that volatility was neither well predicted nor well handled in the past. Ultimately, the category is growing and is busting into new markets, and the producers appreciate that a rather long-term crystal ball needs to be employed – after all, most Scotch whisky will need to mature for eight to ten years to hit its straps. There’s nothing worse than finding your product is suddenly popular,

but not having enough of it to sell because you were quiet 10 years earlier. (Talk to any local Australian distiller about this problem right now!). As such, many Scottish distilleries have upped production in the last few years. In some cases, this meant simply carrying out additional mashes and operating around the clock or switching from five day to seven day production. Other distilleries were already at full production levels with their current equipment, and have had to expand their kit: New mashtuns with greater capacity or faster mash cycles; additional washbacks to brew the beer (usually the slowest part of the production run); and – in some cases – that most hallowed expansion, the addition of new stills! Ardbeg is the latest distillery that has elected to go down this path. As big a brand as Ardbeg is, it’s actually a relatively small distillery, with only two stills in place. Ardbeg recently announced plans to increase production by doubling the number of stills and the new gear is expected to be commissioned in early 2019. Clynelish, Teaninich, Glendullan, and Mortlach have all undergone similar expansions. Let us keep up our passion and consumption to ensure that the distilleries’ investments today are rewarded tomorrow! And, if you happen to find yourself in Christchurch on business or pleasure – be sure to stop in at The Last Word. It’s the Society’s Partner Bar in Christchurch and is a wonderful venue for a dram. And their peated Kilchoman ice cream dessert is worth crossing the Tasman for! Slainté

Director, Cellarmaster & NSW Manager


WELCOME G15 TO T H E S M WS

A NEW CODE FOR THE SOCIETY EMERGES AND IS RELEASED THIS MONTH!

G

15.1 'Lead us to temptation' is a nine year old single cask, single malt, grain whisky made from 100% malted barley. What?! You read that right. G15 is a unique whisky, produced in a distillery unlike any other in Scotland. The distillery is equipped with multiple still types and produces both malt and grain whisky on the one site, although one particular pair of stills is responsible for G15. Despite using malted barley in this pair of stills, the Scotch Whisky Association took exception to the distillery producing the spirit in column stills using continuous distillation, rather than the traditional batch process with copper pot stills. After a protracted legal battle, in which the SWA emerged victorious, the barley malt spirit produced from these column stills must be classified as Grain Whisky. G15.1 is the result of distillation in a continuous Coffey still, but instead of running a grain distillate the stills are fed with 100% malted barley wort. These particular stills are quite short in height compared to most Coffey stills, and they’re mostly used to produce peated spirit for their in-house blending needs. In this case, the wort going through these stills is unpeated, which is rare in and of itself, resulting in a sweet and juicy grain whisky which delighted the Tasting Panel with its notes of mirabelle plums, fresh strawberries and sweet cherries on the nose, along with cream-covered banoffee pie; richer notes of caramel, ground coffee and the sweet nuttiness of hazelnut spread. A truly fascinating piece of innovation again from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and one that we hope you enjoy!


F L AV O U R P R O F I L E S EVERY SOCIETY WHISKY FALLS INTO ONE OF OUR TWELVE FLAVOUR PROFILES. LET FLAVOUR BE YOUR GUIDE!

H E AV I LY P E AT E D

YO U N G & S P R I T E LY S W E E T, FRUITY & M E L LOW

P E AT E D

L I G H T LY P E AT E D

O I LY & C O A S TA L

THE 12 FLAVOUR PROFILES

SPICY & SWEET

SPICY & DRY

D E E P, R I C H & DRIED FRUITS

J U I C Y OA K & VA N I L L A LIGHT & D E L I C AT E

OLD & DIGNIFIED

Society bottlings are grouped together into 12 flavour profiles that tell you something about their character. The nature of single cask whiskies means that it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes a dram special, so each flavour profile is a broad classification which makes it simpler for you to navigate our whisky listings.


F L AV O U R L O V E R S REJOICE! April Outturn brings a bundle of joy. From the first release in Australia of a rarity from The Vaults Collection to a sweet and smoky paradise in our Malt of the Month, there’s something for everyone to savour. ALL NEW RELEASES WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE FROM FRIDAY 6TH APRIL AT MIDDAY AEST.

S W E E T, F R U I T Y & M E L L O W

CASK No. G15.1 L E A D U S T O T E M P TAT I O N TASTING NOTES: With a gentle introduction and mild manner we became acquainted with juicy mirabelle plums, fresh strawberries and sweet cherries. Cream covered banoffee pie guided the way towards richer notes of caramel, ground coffee and the sweet nuttiness of hazelnut spread. On encountering the palate we were delighted to find pink wafer biscuits, baked apple rings and dark chocolate with chilli but also fragrant violets and spicy ginger cake. A unity with water enhanced the floral feel with a definite deliverance of lavender and soft pear. The finish was sweet and juicy with the tingle of salted popcorn and the spicy prickle of Szechuan peppers.

9 YEARS 2 N D

24 JANUARY 2008

F I L L

B A R R E L

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 2 4 B O T T L E S

58.6%

HIGHLAND SOUTHERN

1 of 268 bottles PRICE: $165


M A LT O F T H E M O N T H L I G H T LY P E A T E D

CASK No. 4.230 S W E E T A N D S A LT Y, SMOKE AND ASH The weather from this part of Scotland doesn't venture far from 'cold and miserable', but their Lightly Peated whisky evokes a warmth within to keep us going. This remarkable 12 year old cask has held it's head high maintaining a whopping 65.2% after the angels took their share, while our tasting panel found notes of honeycomb, toffee and golden syrup sweetness; then deeper notes of charred wood, glazed ribs on a barbeque and salty ship’s timbers. The palate was rich, deep and pretty big – warming and mouth-coating with treacle toffee.

TASTING NOTES: The nose delivered a mellifluous flood of honeycomb, toffee and golden syrup sweetness; then deeper notes of charred wood, glazed ribs on a barbeque and salty ship’s timbers. The palate was rich, deep and pretty big – warming and mouth-coating with treacle toffee, tarry ropes, smoky bacon crisps, bonfire embers and liquorice paper roll-ups. The reduced nose had charred heather stems (moor-burn by the sea), burnt toffee, and well-fired white bread crusts, salted caramel and balsamic oysters. With water (and it takes plenty), the palate found the peat smoke, charred staves and cigar ash elbowing the butterscotch sweetness slightly into the background. 12 YEARS R E F I L L

3 1 M AY 2 0 0 4

S H E R R Y

65.2%

P U N C H E O N

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 4 8 B O T T L E S

HIGHLAND ISLAND

1 of 588 bottles PRICE: $195

R E D U C E D F R O M $ 2 2 5 . 4 8 B OT T L E S AVA I L A B L E .


SPICY & SWEET

CASK No. 2.99 J OY F U L R A M B L I N G TASTING NOTES: As soon as the bottle was opened it was like Springtime had entered the room. Birds began singing and the air filled with the fragrance of rose gardens, fruit blossom and freshly cut grass. The smell of peaches and lychees combined with the aromas of fresh herbs and the revitalising tang of menthol and camphor. A spicy element was present like fruit chutney, hot cross buns and cigar tobacco. A sprinkling of water unveiled new pastures of coconut, chocolate and nutmeg. The palate assumed a fizzy and lively demeanour with the fruity sweetness of apricots, poached pears and yellow plums. The finish however was rich in oak timber and the pleasant presence of wood spice. 10 YEARS

29 SEPTEMBER 2006

R E F I L L

58.8%

SPEYSIDE SPEY

1 of 207 bottles

B A R R E L

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 3 0 B O T T L E S

PRICE: $199

Y O U N G & S P R I T E LY

CASK No. 73.78 Z I N G Y, E F F E R V E S C E N T AND INTRIGUING TASTING NOTES: The nose – zingy, effervescent and intriguing – had melon, grape and raspberry prosecco, plus occasional touches of polished wood. The palate offered lively bramble, blackcurrant and salted pineapple, then toffee apple, cinnamon Danish and Walnut Whip sweetness, all finely balanced by cask-derived flavours of liquorice, nutmeg and clove. The reduced nose combined runny honey and chocolate mint cracknel with toasted coconut and a jenga tower of fresh staves. Eminently drinkable, the palate now gave us lip-smacking ice-lolly and raisiny sweetness over a pleasantly tingling, spicy, oaky under-structure. A lively, clean, spicy fruit symphony. Drinking Tip: A summery, uplifting dram.

14 YEARS

24 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 1

R E F I L L

B U T T

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 3 6 B O T T L E S

5 7. 6 %

SPEYSIDE DEVERON

1 of 528 bottles PRICE: $195


S W E E T, F R U I T Y & M E L L O W

CASK No. 25.70 IN A PERFUMED GARDEN The SMWS tasting panel already nose and select the most rigorously selected casks exclusively for the discerning palates of our members, but every so often a cask passes under the nose that is truly exceptional, and as such deserves a proper fanfare.

Cask 25.70 'In a perfumed garden' is one of only 170 bottles from a single cask of whisky from a distillery that closed in 1993. And what’s more, this is our last ever cask from this distillery. It was matured in a refill barrel before being transferred for further maturation to a second-fill Sauternes hogshead for 18 months. Finally, it was moved back to a second-fill bourbon barrel where it rested for a further year before being released under the Society’s Sweet, Fruity & Mellow flavour profile. Charles MacLean added his thoughts saying: This is an exceptional example of this closed distillery’s remaining stock, which is rare and diminishing with every passing day. Its freshness and vibrant character shine through in a classic example of what was considered the Lowland region’s leading distillery. You’ll never see its like again."


A true piece of distilling history in a bottle, exclusively for SMWS members.

TASTING NOTES: The nose (true to the distillery name) took us to a perfumed garden on a sunny day – herbs, roses, blossoms – delicate and gentle – someone was handing out fruit jelly sweets and someone somewhere was smoking a cigar. The palate also evoked gardens – sophisticated afternoon tea-parties, with Lady Grey tea, oranges, walnuts, cinnamon toast, tropical fruits and milk chocolate on offer. With water, the nose turned more masculine again – fresh tobacco leaf, dry oak, eucalyptus, tangy citrus and Ruffle bars (dark chocolate, coconut and raspberry). On the reduced palate medicinal notes, oak and spice underpinned the pomegranate, physalis, cranberry and Torrontés wine.

26 YEARS

1 4 N OV E M B E R 1 9 9 0

R E F I L L

B A R R E L

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 1 2 B O T T L E S

58.3%

LOWLAND

1 of 170 bottles PRICE: $1485*

*BALLOT SYSTEM – REGISTER YOUR INTEREST! ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE. How to buy: Due to the extremely limited availability of Cask 25.70, we invite interested members to enter the ballot by emailing their name and membership number to ballot2570@smws.com.au Closing date for entries: Friday 13th April midday AEST.


Y O U N G & S P R I T E LY

CASK No. 60.26 MOJITOS AND MUSCLE RUB TASTING NOTES: An intriguingly fruity nose embraced the lime and mint of a refreshing Mojito with dried pineapple, sweet orange and fragrant lychee. It became more floral and spicy as a dusting of talcum powder mixed with the invigorating fumes of tiger balm. Sticky sweetness was abundant with vanilla syrup, boiled sweets and wine gums. The palate was full of life with the effervescence of sparkling orange juice and the teasing tingle of English mustard. A lemon and lime skin tang followed and combined with slightly under ripe mango and green bell pepper to further its juicy appeal. Finishing sweet and with fine oak sawdust it was evident this was a very moreish dram indeed. This is the first cask from distillery 60 the Australian branch has ever seen, and the first one bottled in over 16 years!

8 YEARS 2 N D

0 1 J U LY 2 0 0 8

F I L L

61.0%

HIGHLAND SOUTHERN

1 of 132 bottles

B A R R E L

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 3 6 B O T T L E S

PRICE: $154

P E AT E D

CASK No. 29.224 WE ARRIVED! TASTING NOTES: Whoever said ‘to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive’? Nosing this one neat we had gladly arrived – sea salt, seaweed, sweet shrimp scampi cooked in melted butter with garlic and sliced bell pepper over a driftwood/peat barbeque. To taste we added a glass of Manzanilla Sherry and some lemon juice to the Angel hair pasta. Water brought out the hors d’oeuvres, creamy potted lobster mousse as well as crispy seaweed thin crackers. And for that final splash we added smoked mussels to the pan and enjoyed a delightful barbeque on the beach watching the sunset. Are you there yet?

18 YEARS R E F I L L

1 3 M AY 1 9 9 8

H O G S H E A D

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 4 2 B O T T L E S

55.3%

I S L AY

1 of 227 bottles PRICE: $299


P E AT E D

CASK No. 53.241 DENSE SMOKE OVER A TA R R Y D E C K TASTING NOTES: As the heather burnt and gorse bushes sizzled and cracked in the heat, huge plumes of dense and earthy smoke surged into the sky above the salty rocks of the coastline. Watching from the safety of our fishing trawler, fine ash rained down around us and settled on the tarry deck and what had now become trays of smoked mackerel. The skipper, dressed in his old sealskin waterproofs, began making not only Bloody Marys abundant in Worcestershire sauce and spicy Tabasco but also Margaritas with smoked tequila and plenty of fresh lime. We opened a packet of balsamic vinegar crisps and tucked into barbequed pork ribs as we watched the flickering flames reflect of the nearby rock pools. 6 YEARS

27 APRIL 2011

R E F I L L

60.3%

I S L AY

1 of 318 bottles

H O G S H E A D

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 3 0 B O T T L E S

PRICE: $169

D E E P, R I C H & D R I E D F R U I T S

CASK No. 39.151 A B LU E L A DY A N D A SERAPH’S SMILE TASTING NOTES: The nose is smooth and indulgent – like being served Blue Lady tea* and After Eight mints on a polished mansion house table. With time fruits open up – tangerine, kumquat, peach schnapps, prunes and figs. The palate is mouth-filling, velvety, smile-inducing and sweet as a Seraph’s smile – maple syrup, moist brown sugar and rum and raisin fudge; then come hints of ginger, nutmeg and oak and some green apple and sherbet. The reduced nose offers cinnamon swirls, marshmallows, sun-ripened sultanas and toffee pennies. The palate combines thick honey and fudge sweetness with melon, mango and sherbet dib-dabs; cinnamon and leather to finish. Previously matured in an ex-Oloroso butt. * black tea flavoured with citrus and exotic flowers 19 YEARS 1 S T

27 OCTOBER 1997

F I L L

B U T T

A U S A L L O C AT I O N : 2 4 B O T T L E S

58.4%

SPEYSIDE

1 of 592 bottles PRICE: $265


AMBASSADOR’S ADDRESS

T H E T I M E S T H E Y A R E A- C H A N G I N ' January is often a slow month (well, normally, but this year wasn't!) and hot Feb and muggy March have had their run, and as we hit April the weather starts cooling, the whisky tastes heavenly, and we relish in sharing these experiences with you, with your friends and colleagues, and with the community of whisky and more importantly 'flavour lovers' out there. You're going to start seeing some changes coming through over the next few months that I'm working on, as we always look to improve your Society experience. You'll hopefully start seeing changes at our events, our Outturns, and your overall experience with how you connect with us. As always, we love feedback, we love your photos from where and when you're enjoying Society whisky (or other Society spirits!) whether that be at one of our events, or from the comfort of your own home, it's all part of the tapestry of flavour we know and love.

Of course, as you may have spotted in last month's Outturn, The Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship is back for its biennial outing in what is shaping up the biggest one yet. It's not a serious whisky-geek affair at all, and I have to stress that, but someone will win on the night and take home a grand prize and the honour of having the best nose and palate in the country! I strongly encourage you to book in while we have the early-bird ticket offer @smws_matt

online, and you can read all about the rules, format, FAQ, prizes and ticketing options on www.amwtc-smws.com. PS: book a group of 4 or a full table of 10, bring some friends along for this huge night out. Previous winners of the Champs have often been relative beginners to the whisky game! You never know your luck sometimes.

Lastly, have a good flip through this month's selection picked out by Andrew. Some real winners here, including the first the first The Vaults Collection release in Australia. The idea behind these is that, every so often, the SMWS tasting panel might happen across a cask that is rather special, beyond already their scrupulous selections, that just deserves a bit more fanfare. Cask number 25.70 is very likely the last ever cask we'll see out of this now-defunct distillery. A true piece of distilling history, presented as a single cask, in your hands. And two more releases from The Vaults Collection are on their way in the not too distant future! Also of note is cask G15.1, the first cask from distillery G15, which while legally a grain whisky, is 100% malted barley but through a squat 'coffey' style still. Slainté,

bailey@smws.com.au MATT BAILEY, SMWS NATIONAL AMBASSADOR


ARCHIE ROSE DISTILLERY AND SMWS POP-UP BAR

Partner Bars. We love them, you love them, and they give members a chance to taste drams before they buy, to experience great service of whisky, and also to get a nice little discount through their Society membership. In fact, we love the team at Archie Rose in Sydney so much, that we're having a 3-night only SMWS pop-up bar upstairs in the Mezzanine, from the 3rd to the 5th of May! Over the course of three nights upstairs, we're bringing the Edinburgh Vaults to you with a full Society pop-up bar for you to enjoy and imbibe. Each night we'll also be rolling out a super-rare cask from a bygone era, a whole host of incoming goodies, a signature cocktail in collaboration with Archie Rose, and more to be announced soon.


H AV E Y O U B O O K E D I N Y E T ? THE CHAMPS ARE BACK! Drink whisky, win big. July 28th will see a fun night of whisky, nosing, tasting, and an exciting after-party with Society bar, live music, cocktail bar and more, all included in the ticket. Someone will take home the trophy, first prize, and honour in 2018!

Early bird tickets are still available for a limited time: www.amwtc-smws.com BOOK NOW

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Society whiskies are offered and sold through The Wine Empire Pty Ltd, Liquor Licence LIQP770010175.

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Outturn April 2018  

Outturn April 2018  

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