Sunday, 25 November 2012

Whisky Discovery #265-6

It's not often I get the chance to spend time at the SMWS London HQ, but a business meeting early one Wednesday allowed me to pop to catch up with Joe McGirr, grab a spot of lunch and enjoy a couple of drams while doing so.
The glowing fireplace was a welcome sight
The London HQ is a fabulous venue within 'welly throwing' distance of Farringdon Station, which is on the mainline to home in Bedfordshire, so really quite easy for me to get to. It's just a question of time. I really would like to be more involved with the SMWS but work commitments preclude that at present. 

The fireplace was a welcome site, glowing on a chilly November afternoon and with free wi-fi it allowed me to keep in touch with the office and catch up with some work. The members lounge is situated over The Bleeding Heart Restaurant  and a handy arrangement allows one to order food from their menu and have it brought up to the lounge. 

However before lunch arrived I sneaked in an aperitif:

Whisky Discovery #265

SMWS 30.74 'Sweet, fruity and rich 11 Years Old (60.3% abv)
Single Cask Speyside Spey Malt Whisky
Circa £44.00 70cl

The label read: We found plentiful fruit on the nose (sherry-soaked raisins in fruit cake, strawberry jam, dried cherries, bananas, toffee apples) candy floss, crème brûlée, nut brittle, syrup-drenched pancakes, honey, sawdust, crushed pepper and Muscat wine. The delightful palate had plum jam on scones, almond cake, treacle, peaches, apricots, syrupy figs, Peshwari naan bread, sherbet, Armagnac and a faint whisper of struck match. The reduced nose seemed slightly woodier, with balsamico, macadamias, Fruit and Nut chocolate and Turkish Delight. The palate now offered buttered fruit loaf, raspberry tart and date slice; sweet, fruity and rich. This Rothes distillery is named after the town.

This 11 Year Old form The Glenrothes was distilled on 27th March 2001 and matured in a Refill Port Pipe, yielding  767 bottles at 60.3% abv

So What Did I Think?

The bottle notes were spot on, a real fruity dram with plum jam and fruit cake - I had very little to add to my notes agreeing with the tasting panel notes almost in their entirety

After lunch I thought it would be only fitting to have a digestif before heading back home so chose one from Islay, I needed some peat.

Whisky Discovery #266

SMWS 3.188 'The Camping Trip' 14 Years Old (58.8% abv)
Single Cask Islay Malt Whisky
Circa £61.10 70cl

The label read: Remember the last time you were camping? The smell of the dew touched grass in the morning a distant memory as the sweat, deep heat and old tent pierce your nostrils. An oily smoked fish caught earlier in the day mixes with the aroma of roasting marshmallows and ash. The barbecued green peppers, mushrooms and lemon dressing on the palate make way for heat and lavender. When the water is added, the campfire smoke intensifies, the petrol used to light the fire maybe wasn’t such a good idea as it catches the nose, but that won’t retract from the comforting beach aromas and the budget chocolate bar you’ve been sitting on all day.

This 14 Year Old Bowmore was distilled on 25th September 1997 and matured in a Refill Sherry butt, yielding  616 bottles at 58.8% abv

So What Did I Think?

Again the bottle notes were pretty darn close to what I was thinking. One thing that I wanted to add was that  I was really enjoying a Swan Vesta's matchbox note, as though I was sniffing the gritty strike pad after it had been used a few times - just glorious.

One of the reasons for popping into the SMWS members lounge was to pick up a bottle of Longmorn that I had tasted at the recent Whisky Exchange Whisky Show. I had my heart set on 7.78, but was given a bottle of 7.79 accidentally. I was going to change it to what I had originally came for but after a small nip of each I decided to keep the 7.79 and took that home with me.

I also took home a few cask samples to review, you'll be hearing about them very soon.

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