SMWS ambassador Andrew Park settles in for summer with his pick of flavoursome drams from our June Outturn

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The June Outturn is bursting with options from the 21 new single cask bottlings on offer, with something for everyone – including some great possibilities for Father’s Day on Sunday, 18 June. Here’s what’s getting my taste buds going:

63.37: Coconut-cherry-chocolate-chip ice cream

When nosing the whisky, the elements of the 60% abv tickle the nose playfully. I found this dram very light and easy drinking, reminding me of powdered candy and orange sherbet, providing a tingling sensation on the tongue. My colleague calls this dram a “good swimmer”, it’s one that you can add a lot of water to and the flavour doesn’t dissipate, the water exposes the soft vanilla from the refill ex-bourbon barrel with tropical fruits and hints of dark cherry. I would recommend (dare I say it?) cold water to make it last longer in these long, warm summer nights.

Flavour Profile: Young & Spritely
Age: 9 years
Cask: Refill ex-bourbon
Region: Speyside Spey
Alcohol: 60%
Bottle Price: £49.00

54.49: First day of cricket season

This 10-year-old Speyside has a nice weight to it, with the ex-bourbon cask lending its flavours towards the darker, spicier oak elements than your typical vanillas. There are plenty of toasted nuts and cardamom spice with the nose. The astringent tang that coats the mouth is like eating freshly washed rhubarb and dipping it in sugar. Water sweetens the dram significantly, bringing the right balance of umami and chocolate-coated toffee. Imagine sitting on the sidelines drinking iced tea while your team bat for six!

Flavour Profile: Light & Delicate
Age: 11 years
Cask: Refill ex-bourbon
Region: Speyside Spey
Alcohol: 54.5%
Bottle Price: £53.00

9.120: Stout, sweet and spirited

The first thing you notice with this dram is its golden elixir colour that sparkles out of the glass.  When first nosing the dram, you get many varied smells ranging from hay bales, spray from a waterfall over wet stones, to fresh pineapple glazed over a barbeque. My advice is to let the 20 years of maturation open and explore its surroundings for 10 minutes before going back to it. When coming to taste it has a lovely smooth top note that coats the tongue with salted caramel and coconut yoghurt, behind that is a lovely kick from the alcohol that leaves you feeling at ease. Water produces some more greenery as in a spring forest eating lemon curd sandwiches in a waxed Barbour jacket.

Flavour Profile: Spicy & Dry
Age: 20 years
Cask: Virgin oak hogshead
Region: Speyside Spey
Alcohol: 57.7%
Bottle Price: £80.00

30.97: Dancing on a volcano

This dram is for the sherry lovers and the more adventurous whisky drinkers. The nose is full of fire and brimstone, so be careful about getting too close as it will burn the hairs on your nose! When you get close enough you are rewarded with an amazing aroma of glazed cherries, burnt walnut loaf and caramelised brown sugar. I personally like the flavours and numbing effect on the gums from the 64.7% abv and the sweetness from the sherry butt. Water cools the volcano down to a pleasant simmer. I find it ideal with Chinese chicken drumsticks and glazed pork belly roasted on the barbeque. This is the ideal dram for sitting outside when the sun goes down, enjoying the gentle heat from the coals and good conversation with friends and family.

Flavour Profile: Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits
Age: 9 years
Cask: First-fill sherry butt Spanish oak
Region: Speyside Spey
Alcohol: 64.7%
Bottle Price: £53.30

29.218: Charred fruit on an open fire

This dram is beautifully light in colour and rasping on the nose. Its subtle and inoffensive peat smoke is welcoming, much like walking down the beach passing a bonfire eating a soft ice cream.  I’m not usually a peaty man but the flavours are divine and slow sipping, reminding me of smoked almonds and hickory smoked salmon and BBQ sauce. With water it brings a refreshing cleanness of sea air, dining in a secluded fishing village with the locals smoking mackerel in the background, eating bacon wrapped hake with burnt butter and capers.

Flavour Profile: Peated
Age: 18 years
Cask: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead
Region: Islay
Alcohol: 58.1%
Bottle Price: £124.00

Remember you can read the full June Outturn online by clicking here