As many of you will have seen, The SMWS are now doing even more out turns than ever, which is clearly great news! We were slightly concerned that the quality level may dip with all these new bottlings, but rest assured, the following couple of drams are right up there with the best we've tried so far.
93.33 - Pine Sap and Black Pepper- 16 Years old - 64.3 % vol - 177 bottles
Nose: Fresh cream, white chocolate mousse, a hint of something medicinal (slight iodine?) lots of wild mint finished off with a note of coal/oil. Given a few drops of water, this comes even more alive with crisp apple covered in buttery toffee. Perhaps I should have saved this for November's bonfire celebrations? Either way, it's a very desirable mix of aromas.
Palate: (without water) Lots of that buttery richness and one of the best mouth feels i've discovered in a while. The richness subsides and then you get sweet caramel, menthol warmness and some definite pine freshness. further down the palate hints of sweet milky coffee emerge, which are enhanced with the addition of water.
Finish: A lovely decay as the cream and oil subside, taking the coffee note to another level.
Overall: I was having a 'Duvet Day' when trying this excellent dram. (partly because it was so bloody cold outside) and will gladly pronounce this as a perfect accompaniment- call it a super- duper-duvet-dram if you like!
53.126 - Classy Peatiness - 18 years old - 56.7% vol - 282 bottles
Anything calling itself 'Classy Peatiness' is really going to arouse a modicum of interest. There are so many 'classy' peated whiskies available, so this will really have to raise its head above the mash tun if it's going to get noticed...
Nose: Well, it's there alright. Peat. Not lots of it, but a nice, spicy peppery OLD peat, not like the aromas you find in any of the recent younger, zingier peated bottlings. This is the sort of peat I think i've missed from a few drams, so it was good to have it back! Hints of older dried marzipan (not overly floral) a little winey something and a definite touch of air dried Parma ham.
Palate: Amazingly, as I type this, my cat Bobby (aka ' The Great Catsby') jumped up and took a keen interest in the glass, before walking across the keyboard and spelling
Thats's nearly 'Spaghetti' I think you'll agree. (perhaps he's secretly Italian and hungry?) Anyway, the peat doesn't stop at the nose. Unlike some of the more coal dust and tar bottling's from this distillery, lovely soft swathes of sweet peat drip across the tongue, leading into sharp sherbet, some fresh green apples and a hint of something more meaty, like that salted ham. Hang on... Ham, pepper, spaghetti, wine. This is very nearly a Milanese in a glass!!
Finish: A leisurely stroll for the peat as the finish develops, with a few coal dust notes becoming noticeable on the death.
Overall: Even without Bobby's chance intervention, this got me thinking and i've decided to pair it up with something Italian for dinner tonight. For those of you who love that classic older peat, you'll enjoy the smoothness this has, like a mid-afternoon saunter down a Tuscan piazza on the way to visit the Palazzo Vecchio perhaps??