SMWS 1.192 – Syrup Sponge in a Lumberjack’s Pocket
This SMWS bottling is from a Genfarclas distillery cask. The whisky was aged for 22 years in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead cask. It was bottled in 2015 at 56% ABV.
I always enjoy the rich descriptions of the SMWS tasting notes. Here is what they had to say about SMWS 1.192.
“This dram smelled like a barista’s apron (coffee,brown sugar,chocolate) with further sweetness of honey, cinder toffee, dried dates, apricot jam and syrup-smothered pancakes, but always balanced by polished wood and a sawmill wrapped in Fablon. Waves of sweetness flooded the mouth-toffee,salted chocolate,honey,boiled sweets and lollipops and it had very attractive cigar box goodness. The reduced nose continued the wood and sweetness theme – syrup sponge pudding a lumberjack’s pocket. honey nut cornflakes (including the sunshine), butterscotch and maple syrup- completely sensual and elegant. The reduced palate was deliciously tasty and sophisticated- candy floss and passion -fruit.”
Not surprisingly, I find a different mix of elements in my tasting notes. There is a sweetness here, but more citrus based, I get scents of orange and apricot. There is also a light peat smoke element. As one who is fond of Glenfarclas whisky, I do find here is a real familiarity in the nose, just not as much of a sherry element.
The first sip is a strong reminder that this is bottled at cask strength. The aggressive burn of 56% ABV brings a sweet, hot, spicy first wave to the palate. Under that, as the burn subsides, I taste orange-chocolate, cinnamon, and light smoke. The mix of light peat, spice, and sweet fruit lingers, I suspect it is that combination that contributes to the “Syrup Sponge in a Lumberjack’s Pocket” descriptor. The finish is medium-to-long.
When I add water, I find even more familiarity with a Glenfarclas whisky profile. On the nose there is a bit more complexity, maybe adding a little vanilla. On the palate, less burn brings out more of the spicy elements, and adds butterscotch to the flavor mix. On the finish, I find elements of liquorice flavor added. Overall, this is a whisky that benefits from adding a little water, cutting the cask strength enhances the flavor profile while still delivering a strong whisky punch.
I read that there were only 264 bottles of this fun whisky. I will enjoy my good fortune of having acquired one.