The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s year of awards success has continued with our single grain Cask No. G6.9: Listening to the frog chorus winning the ‘Best in Show’ title of Taste Master, as well as a Master award, in the Luxury Masters competition for 2019.
The Taste Master award was the ultimate prize across all spirit categories in the competition, which also saw the SMWS pick up three Master and three Gold medals.
The Luxury Masters is a blind-tasting competition organised by The Spirits Business, with judges assessing only super-premium-plus spirits. Judges awarded eight Master medals, with a score of 90 per cent or more, three of which went to SMWS whiskies.
Cask No. G6.9: Listening to the frog chorus is a 38-year-old single grain whisky that spent 36 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead before we transferred it into a second-fill toasted oak hogshead. It impressed the judges with its “butterscotch, pear and gorse blossom” aroma and its “open, fresh pear” flavour.
“Listening to the frog chorus from the SMWS perfectly captured what our judges were looking for in a luxury spirit: exceptional balance, textural elegance and a full flavour that exceeded expectations,” said Amy Hopkins, editor of The Spirits Business and chair of judging panel. “The whisky was a deserving recipient of the Taste Master title in a competition that was full of excellent products. From gin and Irish whiskey to Scotch and rum, it’s clear producers are upping their games when it comes to high-end liquid.”
The Society’s Cask No. 96.31: Poised and balanced won a Master medal in the Single Malt – Super Premium round, praised by the judges for its “rich and refreshing” character, which was deemed “tropical and a bit tart”, reminiscent of an “apricot turnover”.
Cask No. 97.22: Emerald-masked triple thrill also won a Master medal, in the Single Malt – Ultra Premium category. Judges said: “The aroma of this whisky was just superb – it was like sticking your nose in a coconut. It took nicely to a little touch of water and really gave you something back.”
Cask Nos. 24.139: Beauty beyond skin deep, 53.308: Let the Tempest tout an’ blaw and 72.78: Double plus good rounded out the Society’s success with Gold medals for each.
“Apart from demonstrating the quality of bottlings that we offer our members, these awards are a huge endorsement of what the Society has been doing to actively manage the maturation of our whiskies,” said SMWS spirits director Kai Ivalo. “With Cask No. G6.9: Listening to the frog chorus, we took a 36-year-old single grain whisky and decided to move it into a second-fill toasted oak hogshead for a further two years – and the resulting whisky was then judged to be the single best bottling in the whole competition, across all of its categories.
“We also gave the whisky in Cask No. 96.31: Poised and balanced a period of additional maturation, transferring it after eight years in a bourbon hogshead into a first-fill Pedro Ximenez hogshead for three years. If anyone doubts how impressive an additionally matured dram can be, they should give this a try.
“We’re delighted by the accolades and members should look forward to these and many more outstanding whiskies coming their way soon, to share and savour.”
Taste Master ‘Best in Show’– Cask No. G6.9: Listening to the frog chorus
Scotch Whisky: Single Grain – Ultra Premium (£61+)
Master Medal – Cask No. G6.9: Listening to the frog chorus
Scotch Whisky: Single Malt – Super Premium (£51 – £99)
Master medal – Cask No. 96.31: Poised and balanced
Scotch Whisky: Single Malt – Ultra Premium (£100+):
Master medal – Cask No. 97.22: Emerald-masked triple thrill
Gold medal – Cask No. 24.139: Beauty beyond skin deep
Gold medal – Cask No. 53.308: Let the Tempest tout an’ blaw
Gold medal – Cask No. 72.78: Double plus good