Spring is in the air, even here in Edinburgh, where we’ve been treated to a few days of sunshine and blue skies. And there’s nothing quite like a spring Outturn to accompany the good weather.
It was a challenge to pick my three favourite whiskies from the March Outturn, ‘Spring Zing’, as it’s packed full of tasty new releases…as cask number 44.72: Slightly wicked sweet treats, sums up nicely.
Our preview tasting took place at The Vaults with Society Ambassador and Bar Supervisor Ryan McCafferty leading the SMWS team through the new releases.
Phoebe’s top picks – March Outturn
36.95 The Joy of Jelly Spicy & Sweet
This 15 year old whisky from a second fill ex-sherry butt was immediately added to my wish list. Intense and powerful on the nose, I was treated to spicy heat combined with sweet but sharp fruity notes – like a sugary rhubarb crumble, straight from the oven and piping hot. On the palate the sweetness increased, the sharp nose had been replaced with jelly babies dusted in icing sugar. With water it became sweeter and a little creamy, like a boozy trifle or a Victoria sponge. This dram would make an ideal replacement for a dessert, or an accompaniment to one!
42.18 Purple relaxation Lightly Peated
On the nose, it was clear why the panel had named it Purple relaxation. On the nose, this lightly peated nine year old from a second fill ex-sherry butt evoked delicate lavender infused smoke, which wafted out of the glass like a softly scented candle. On the palate, the soft smoke had turned thicker and meatier. Water brought out its sweeter side – heaps of brown sugar, honey and herbal tea. A whisky to unwind with.
95.20 Glazed cocktail sausages Spicy & Sweet
This dram was the perfect balance between sweet and savoury. As the name suggests, it’s meaty but sweet – on the nose it was creamy and rich, like custard poured over poached pears. On the palate the sweetness was matched with glazed meat; rashers of maple cured bacon sandwiched between white buttered bread and lashings of brown sauce. With water it became much sweeter turning to sticky toffee pudding.
Whittling the 13 new releases down to just three seemed a little unfair. As there was no one favourite for at our tasting Ryan has chosen his top three whiskies from the new Outturn too.
Ryan’s top picks – March Outturn
9.104 Lychee martini Old & Dignified
I really like the subtle complexity between sweet, savoury and dry notes. And yet it still manages to be very smooth. This would be my first dram to enjoy as the sun begins to set on a sunny spring day.
5.49 Lady of the night Juicy, Oak & Vanilla
There’s just so much going on with this one! Really enjoy the balanced mix of sweetness from the bourbon cask with the spicy notes and tannins from the sauternes cask. This would be really good enjoyed with a Pate, chutney and crackers.
41.70 C’est magnifique! Old & Dignified
Again the complexity! The extra maturation has given this older whisky an extra kick with some spice. It misleads with a subtle sweet nose before giving a huge mouthful of flavour. I would drink this when I had time to really sit and appreciate all its flavours.
The Outturn is officially released on Friday 4th March so be sure to try these three. Why not leave your own reviews of the new Outturn? You can do so by visiting our whisky page.
I’ll be back next month with a heads up on what tempting treats April brings us. Until then, savour the start of the new season and embrace spring whiskies.
All of the bottlings released in the March Outturn are available for members and non-members to buy.