SMWS 29.165 – Cigar-smoking, perfumed nurse
This is an offering from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society that comes from a Laphroaig distillery cask. This whisky was aged 20 years in an ex-bourbon barrel and is bottled at 57.4% ABV.
One of the entertaining aspects of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) offerings are the names, and tasting notes that they provide. Here is the SMWS tasting note:
“The nose wafted enticing tendrils of complex smoke, saddle soap, leather, straw, green olives, lemon bonbons, root beer, raspberry jam and a nurse in starched uniform giving out malt extract and vitamin c. The unreduced palate teased us with perfumed, fruity smoke, beach bonfire ash, sweet pears, walnuts and peppery, aniseed flavours. The reduced nose was wonderfully complex and balanced, with pot-pourri, wood shavings, antiseptic lotion, oil paint, vanilla slices and burnt heather, all woven around delightfully unobtrusive smoke. The palate was now fresh and tangy; pineapple, lemon, strawberry, mint and Edinburgh Rock candy, but also teasingly seductive, like a Sobranie-smoking, perfumed lady.”
I found the nose to reflect this whisky spending 20 years in an ex-bourbon cask. A mature balance of peat, smoke, and fruit. On the palate, the peat and smoke are immediately evident, with a spicy BBQ element and pepper on the tongue. There is some sweetness, but it is a subdued dry fruit contribution, nothing like the sherry casked whiskies. The finish is long and warm, certainly contributed partly by the alcohol volume. Peat, smoke, leather with a spicy pepper adding to the warmth of the finish.
It is a complex and fun whisky. There were just 214 bottles produced, and it is no longer available from SMWS. So it is a journey that will not be repeated once I find the bottom of this bottle.