The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Tasting Panel may be somewhat mysterious in terms of exactly who gets to sample and select the whiskies deemed spectacular enough to make it into a Society bottling.
But whoever the refined noses belong to, they’ve come up trumps for Society members again, with all five bottlings entered in this year’s International Spirits Challenge (ISC) winning awards, including a gold medal for Cask No. 37.116: Intense as a passionate kiss.
The Tasting Panel hand picks around 20 individual casks of malt whisky every month from a range of styles, distilleries and ages unavailable anywhere else. The ISC awards demonstrate both that diversity and consistent quality, with the gold medal-winning bottling achieved by a 14-year-old Speyside bottling from our Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits flavour profile. The whisky spent 12 years in an ex-bourbon cask before we transferred it to a new oak heavy toast medium char (HTMC) hogshead for a further two years.
Four other Society bottlings picked up silver medals. Cask Nos 29.258: Remembrance of fruits past and 52.22: Dusky and deep had also both undergone a period of additional maturation in oloroso hogsheads.
The 25-year-old Speysider Cask No. 9.152: Mindful savouring and Cask No. 93.97: Full metal hospital from Campbeltown rounded out the Society’s awards. Cask No. 9.152 is a classic refill ex-bourbon hogshead, with the silver medal for first-fill ex-bourbon Cask No. 93.97 added to the gold it already won for the Campbeltown category in the most recent Independent Bottlers’ Challenge.
The award-winning Society bottlings passed a scrupulous blind tasting by a world-renowned expert panel of specialist judges to beat strong competition and win the prestigious ISC accolades.
SMWS spirits director Kai Ivalo said: “We won a gold medal in last year’s ISC with a 26-year-old Islay whisky, Cask No. 3.305: Scents of perfection, which had also undergone a period of additional maturation in a Pedro Ximenez hogshead.
“This year’s gold medal has gone to a younger expression which has also been additionally matured, so this is another fantastic seal of approval for our approach to additional maturation and the incredible variety of whiskies we’re able to offer our members.
“It also demonstrates that the noses on our Tasting Panel are among the most discerning in the whisky world, selecting whiskies that unite our members around the world in their shared passion for our unique single cask, single malts.”
For full results, visit the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) website at www.internationalspiritschallenge.com