Christmas has arrived early this year, with a new release from our experimental series of blended malts, the classic sherried Big Swirl

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It’s almost Christmas, the perfect time of year for a classic sherried dram – and right on time, the Society has released Big Swirl, a new bottling from our experimental series of blended malts.

At 10-years old, this rich, sherried beauty is a blend of Speyside malts – some matured full-term in Spanish oak sherry hogsheads and others originally in first-fill bourbon barrels – before being further matured in American oak sherry casks for over two years. We’ve bottled it at a ready-to-go strength of 50% abv, and as with our single malts it’s neither chill-filtered nor coloured.

As one of our blended malt releases, Big Swirl hasn’t been assigned a specific flavour profile by the Tasting Panel, but if it were to have one, it would be Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits. The Panel found Big Swirl to be a dark, fruit-forward dram with a touch of spice mix adding to its balance and complexity. The full Tasting Notes read as:

A classical sherry profile that bursts initially with red berry compote, wine gums, freshly brewed coffee, polished hardwoods, exotic spice mix, toasted nuts, brown toast spread with treacle and walnut wine. A splash of water brings wet leaves, strawberry tobacco, muscovado sugar, rhum agricole, sesame oil, black cumin seeds, lemon peel, toasted wood, rye bread and bitter chocolate.

In the mouth it’s a big swirl of dried dark fruits, menthol tobacco, strawberry wine, red liquorice, damp earth, roasted chestnuts, milk chocolate, buttermints and fig rolls. Some reduction unleashes old herbal liqueurs, mulled plum wine, coffee and walnut cake, cola cubes, cherry syrup and the lingering warmth of fruity red chilli. 

SMWS spirits manager Euan Campbell in search of the perfect cask.

SMWS spirits manager Euan Campbell oversaw Big Swirl’s creation. This is how he describes how he developed its flavour profile:

“A sherried whisky from our Deep Rich & Dried Fruits is one of our most popular flavour profiles, and Big Swirl is an evolution of the heavily sherried style we were pursuing with our Exotic Cargo releases. But instead of using 100 per cent Spanish oak, this is mix of Spanish oak and American oak cask. I love the balance that’s given it – it’s less spicy, a little sweeter but no less rich, a real sherry crowd-pleaser. 

I also now have our own version of a sherry solera long-term blending system on the go that I’ll use to provide the ingredients for future sherry releases, so the good news is that there’s much more sherry goodness to come from the Society. We’re not aiming for a hugely consistent style in each batch, it will be more like variations on a theme – a bit like Bob Dylan performing his back catalogue, where he never plays the same song in exactly the same way twice.” 

Grab your own bottle of Big Swirl now – visit