The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was recognised for diversity, value and delectable whiskies in the Scotch Whisky Masters competition for 2018

The Scotch Whisky Masters 2018 is a fiercely fought competition to assess drams spanning all regions, varieties, ages and prices on the quality of the liquid alone. A group of judges gathered at Boisdale in Canary Wharf, London, to take part in a blind tasting that resulted in 19 coveted Master medals being awarded.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Exotic Cargo picked up one of those Master medals, in the Blended Malt – Aged up to 12 Years category. Follow up blended malt Exotic Cargo Batch #2 was awarded Gold.

“This is a big showy whisky, but it doesn’t go down the expected easy route of massive berry sweetness and sugars,” said judge Matt McKay, co-founder of thedramble.com, about Exotic Cargo Batch #1. “There’s a depth to it – tobacco, molasses, with wonderful spice – which mean it has so much more to offer.”

The Society’s success continued in the Single Malt: Campbeltown – Single Cask category, with Gold for Cask No. 93.81: Maple peat-smoked bacon doughnut.

In the Single Malt: Highlands & Islands – Single Cask category, the Society was awarded Gold for Cask No. 125.74: Caribbean semi-freddo and silver for Cask No. 4.238: Surrender your soul, with the bottlings praised for their “interesting, weird and wonderful flavours”.

The Masters standard resumed in the Islay Single Cask flight with “fresh and zesty” Cask No. 3.305: The scents of perfection from the SMWS. The Society also bagged a Gold for Cask No. 29.232: Seaside sweet shop on fire and a Silver for Cask No. 53.242: Honey and vanilla smoke in the round.

“This was a small category but the whiskies had a lot of variation in style and character,” said judge Billy Abbott, content and training manager, The Whisky Exchange. “They went from the new school, with lots of cask manipulation, to the old school tropical fruit flavours that are coming back.”

In the Single Malt: Lowland – Single Cask category, the Society’s Cask No. 50.96: A day trip to heaven won Gold, and in the Single Malt: Speyside – Single Cask category, three Society’s bottlings picked up Gold, with 76.137: Complete nirvana, 115.6: Clootie dumpling in a sauna and 2.105: Deep as the Kraken’s trench.

“Once again, The Scotch Whisky Masters demonstrated the vast diversity of styles and flavours available in the category,” said Melita Kiely, deputy editor of The Spirits Business. “But it was also evident that price and age are not necessarily synonymous with ‘better quality’, and it was great to see this reiterated throughout the competition with some delectable, but affordable, whiskies.”

THE FULL LIST OF SMWS AWARDS

Exotic Cargo Batch #1 – Blended Malt Aged up to 12 Years – Master

Exotic Cargo Batch #2 – Blended Malt Aged up to 12 Years – Gold

93.81: Maple peat-smoked bacon doughnut – Single Malt: Campbeltown – Single Cask – Gold

125.74: Caribbean semi-freddo – Single Malt: Highlands & Islands – Single Cask – Gold

4.238: Surrender your soul – Single Malt: Highlands & Islands – Single Cask – Silver

3.305: The scents of perfection – Single Malt: Islay – Single Cask – Master

53.242: Honey and vanilla smoke – Single Malt: Islay – Single Cask – Silver

29.232: Seaside sweet shop on fire – Single Malt: Islay – Single Cask – Gold

50.96: A day trip to heaven – Single Malt: Lowland – Single Cask – Gold

76.137: Complete nirvana – Single Malt: Speyside – Single Cask – Gold

115.6: Clootie dumpling in a sauna – Single Malt: Speyside – Single Cask – Gold

2.105: Deep as the Kraken’s trench – Single Malt: Speyside – Single Cask – Gold

For all the results from The Scotch Whisky Masters, visit www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2018/06/the-scotch-whisky-masters-2018-results/