Don’t worry…there’s still plenty of time to secure your own essential Society supplies for the festive season. Here’s SMWS spirits manager Euan Campbell with his picks from the December Outturn

Still waiting to get your gift box nicely wrapped up and placed under the tree, or looking for the perfect bottle to pop into a Christmas stocking? For anyone who deserves a particularly special treat this year, we’ve got some fantastic options.

One of my top choices would be Cask No. 38.23: Kissing a pear, a 26-year-old Sweet, Fruity & Mellow bottling from the same lost distillery as our recent highly popular bottling 38.22: Love letters on linen paper.

Again, this bottling comes from a stock of single malt from the distillery that had previously been married in refill ex-bourbon barrels, so it’s not from a single cask – but when it tastes this good, that seems irrelevant. This is delicate, refined, delicious and with an exquisite and harmonious finish.

38.23

Cask No. 35.223: A Theta state of mind fits perfectly in our Old & Dignified flavour profile, having spent 29 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead before we transferred it to a first-fill Sauternes barrique for a further two years of maturation. The result is a properly meditative dram to linger over and let the complex flavours wash over you – you won’t be disappointed.

29.256

You already know that the Society is the place to encounter whiskies you simply won’t find anywhere else, and there are a couple of outstanding examples of those in this Outturn. Our Cask No. 29.256: Firemen in fishnets is a real rarity from this Islay distillery, a Heavily Peated 7-year-old bottling that I can only describe as a big smoky stoater*. And for something entirely different, how about Cask No. G6.8: Soothing the mind? It comes from a closed grain distillery, and after 35 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead we transferred it into a first-fill oloroso hogshead. Most people don’t put grain whisky into top quality wood, but we thought this was something pretty special and we’ve created a single grain bottling unlike anything you’ve probably ever tasted.

As for my recommendation for a stocking filler – I don’t think you can go wrong with Cask No. 71.59: Is this a lemon I see before me… At 62% abv it’s a high strength dram but it’s also very fruity and the cask has given it a nice texture, so it’s sweet, accessible – and very well priced. Maybe the perfect bottling to introduce someone to the pleasures of the Society’s world of single cask, single malts.

Hope Santa’s good to you and your whisky-loving friends and family,

Cheers,

Euan

*exceptional in quality


Go to www.smws.com/whisky/latest-outturn for all our latest whiskies.