It’s back to whisky and a return to Greville street for five from the SMWS’s latest outturn.
Clynelish 2011 7yo SMWS 26.128 A salty chalk-mallow [240 bts] 60.4% WB85
- N,T&F: What a lovely starter. Light sugary & vanilla-sweet, nicely weighted and grain-like in a way. Refer to SMWS’s notes for this one, they are really good. Look out for instance, the boot polish and jelly! Drinkable from the off yet swims with competence, drop after drop easing & releasing more and more.
- C:, A splendidly youthful 7yo that has the propensity to go with the flow.
Scores 88 points
Cameronbridge 1989 29yo SMWS G4.18 The Paradise Patisserie [241 bts] 54.7% WB82.50
- N: Firm Auchentoshan vibes with waxy/jellied [quince, and papaya – SMWS] fruits. We’re so far in a pleasing happy place.
- T: Peppery compared to the Clynelish. Feels like this one needs a little water straight away which isn’t unusual at these strengths. Becomes rather simple with dilution however and still remains quite fresh-peppery-hot. Soon the water with time tempers things, but its now simple and paper-y thin in flavour. Always some heat on the turn regardless.
- F: Short.
- C: Nice beginnings but I won’t remember this one.
Scores 81 points
Glen Moray 1995 23yo SMWS 35.233 Banana Daiquiri [191 bts] 53% WB0
- N: We’re onto another level after the young yet excellent Clynelish, yet at an age where a trade-off can occur with more wood & possible depth but with a potential loss of vibrancy and colour. The jury is out.
- T: Well you wouldn’t want too much more cask time. There’s a little putty and a little heat, more so with water [as Phil had indicated]. It pays off to drown this one, easily done and most effective with water in the mouth. Rather simple oaky barley water ensues. Careful management certainly pays off, eking out the nicely weighted oaked barley juice.
- F: Drowned or neat there’s far less heat, though at the death it’s always mustard-y and earthy after a long barley sugar period. Plenty of foostiness at the tail which is only a little puttied.
- C: Decent enough but another example that age is not always better.
Scores 84 points
Let’s move to another similarly aged Speysider.
Glenlossie 1997 21yo SMWS 46.79 Chocolate, cream & malted Bali [231 bts] 55.6% WB87
Colour is apricot-orange gold, almost exactly the same colour as the orange-y bar mat [see pic].
- N: I’m liking the slightly butyric fruity apricots, papaya, a little mango, passion fruits,….
- T: A relaxed old timer with a super-calm honeyed & golden syrup [SMWS] arrival. Fruity hessian notes continue to grow & delight alongside a toasted sweet oaked note that comes from sufficiently long ageing in a medium charred bourbon refill cask surely – checking [SMWS],…. yep a second fill hoggie..
- F: Deliciously soft [Oatly] milky porridge mash, a few sunflower seeds [nope, pine nuts – thanks again SMWS], slightly butyric yet also spot on fruits and more syrup=honey. Good long finish.
- C: Sure there’s plenty of oak, but this one makes for a delicious tree climb with plenty of fruit picking to be done once you’re up there.
Scores 89 points
Aultmore 2002 16yo SMWS 73.111 A Fruity Perfumery [210 bts] 56% WB0
- N: On the cleaner end of the spectrum, this needs some opening time.
- T: The age is bordering on ideal where the benefits of age aren’t gained at the expense of vibrancy & youthfulness. A vibrant colourful yet gentle/picturesque fairground ride ensues, sip after lovely sip.
- F: All present & correct with a comforting hum.
- C: Good solid dram that will please many.
Scores 88 points