We’re in for a treat this month as the May Outturn showcases all 12 flavour profiles!
I’ve been particularly won over by some of the peaty offerings this month. When I first started drinking whisky it was peated whisky that I was drawn to most. In fact 29.104: Not for wee boys was one of my first SMWS purchases. Over time though I’ve broadened my horizons by making the most of the Society’s flavour profiles. This month, however, the Outturn has reaffirmed my love for peated whiskies.
3.260: Delicate perfumed sweetness
15 years, Lightly peated
The nose presents a wonderful clean smoke which has a sweet perfumed lavender note through it. Preserved lemons and a hint of Turkish delight sit alongside fresh and crisp beach-side aromas of shellfish and seaweed. To taste, all the sweetness from the nose comes in to play – it’s like a sweetie bag crammed full of parma violets, Love Hearts, sherbet lemons and gummy bears. A dry, salty smoke balances out the finish. Delicate but stunning!
66.83: A memory of summer
14 years, Peated
On the nose, this is incredibly medicinal – woolen bandages and antiseptic wipes. To taste it’s a well-made Margarita – lots of sea salt and fresh lime. With water, a seaside town comes into sight – freshly laid towels on a sandy beach and distant BBQ smoke. Water brings a little more sweetness to taste, followed by a burst of white pepper.
10.93: Sweet but dangerous
9 years, Peated
Another beachy, medicinal dram but with a rich sweetness lurking deep within. On the nose, it’s a beach bonfire offset by hot liquorice tea and sticky glazed ribs, straight off the BBQ. The sweetness turns to chewy toffee and milk chocolate, combined with a big bold hit of smoke. Becomes more herbal with water.
29.180: An apothecary shop on the shore
16 years, Heavily peated
Now if you’re looking for peat – and I mean a lot of peat – then look no further. On the nose it’s rashers of bacon crisping up under the grill; roast lamb with heaps of rosemary; and a biscuit tin full of spicy ginger-snaps. Dark chilli chocolate, BBQ sauce and more of those rich meaty flavours come through on the palate. There’s nothing clean about this smoke – it’s sooty and ashy – a real beast!
73.75: Raspberry atholl brose
17 years, Sweet, fruity & mellow
On the nose this is fresh, zesty and soft – sherbet lemons, old-fashioned ice-cream wafers, hay-bales and honey-dew melon. With time, oak shavings and cloudy lemonade appear. To taste it’s melted vanilla ice-cream; a freshly baked lemon curd tart served alongside a warming cup of Ovaltine. It reminds me of a heavily oaked Chardonnay – the way it coats the mouth with rich okay notes. Water adds an unexpected weight and viscosity. An easy going dram to be enjoyed in good company.
26.117: Silky smooth sundowner
14 years, Light & delicate
Nosing this whisky transports me to my hometown of Poole on the south coast of England – on the nose it’s a generous portion of fish and chips served up in sheets of newspaper pages, sightly dampened by lashings of vinegar. To taste it’s battered haddock with freshly squeezed lemon; lightly salted crisps and buttery popcorn. With water it turns to croissants and choux pastry.
30.91: Deliciously dark and sweet
18 years, Deep, rich & dried fruits
This whisky is now firmly right at the top of my wish list. On the nose it’s salted caramel, toffee apples, treacle tarts and pecan pie – all the things I love most in life! It’s a very indulgent Bloody Mary – lots of Tabasco sauce and earthy spice. To taste it’s dry with bitter dark chocolate; treacle toffees; brandy-soaked raisins; dried dates and figs atop a rich ginger cake. With water it turns to fresh tobacco; an Easter Simnel cake with custard and caramelised orange on millionaire shortbread. A magnificent whisky!
All of the bottlings released in the May Outturn are available for members and non-members to buy. The May Outturn goes on-sale Friday 6 May, available online and at the SMWS venues. Learn more about the SMWS flavour profiles here.