In September, I tasted some of the brandnew arrivals of the SMWS – the ones that I knew would sell out in no time (Ardbeg, Bowmore, Port Charlotte, Mortlach –> see article ‚SMWS Fall Releases I.‘ here on www.slowdrink.de). Today I am going to continue my review of the fall releases focussing on the older bottlings of Balmenach, Glenturret, Glenrothes and Glen Albyn. Here we go:
Comment: Very fruity (green apples, pineapple, lemon zest) and mature in the nose, kept at bay by some spice (white pepper) and wonderful white oak influences (vanilla, caramel, wood, charcoal). On the palate it bursts even more with fruits (local and tropical) and displays a honey-infused sweetness, herbs and roses in addition – this has really been stored in a good Bourbon cask (refill?). No water needed, but this is a swimmer indeed.
Comment: Highly unusual, not to say weird in the nose, but not at all unpleasant. Cheese roll with pickle, berry liqueur, Amarena cherry sauce from Italy (Maraschino and Morello), heather, dandelions, moss, creme brulee, honey, white dessert wine (Riesling Auslese or Passito), wet socks after a walk in the woods. The palate is a tightly-knit mix of the notes above, concentrating on moss, berries and wine, but also wonderfully mineral. Awesome, seems older than 22 years. What a cristalline fruitiness that resembles dextrose! No water, please! The finish juggles with all these aromas at great length. This ranks among the best Glenturrets I had. It has a unique character, perfect maturity and a satisfying taste that makes you beg for another glass. STUNNER!
Comment: Sweet and christmas-cakey (or the German ‚Christstollen mit Marzipan‘). Tea, peat and Sherry, lots of raisins (too dominating), plums, maraschino cherries, orange zest, rubber, sugared nuts and marzipan complete the nose – this is perfect for the advent or X-mas coffee table. Later some tobacco and figs emerge from the glass. The sweetness in the mouth is overwhelming and a bit monodimensional (raisins again), but we have a long finish on the same notes and noble rot on dark grapes. Unfortunately, the palate couldn’t hold the promises of the nose. Not bad, but you have to like the rubber-raisiny Sherry profile mainly on primary notes, which can be really persistent.
Comment: Herbal at first, licorice and honey, loads of flowers, lemons, orange peel, plums, kraut salad with black cumin, Sushi roll in Nori, whiffs of peat, old gardening earth, Chinese roasted duck and kola nut. A little water helps opening the complex elixir. Slightly dry arrival on the palate, rather light, oak, flowers, gentle peat, honey and herbs lead into an earthy finish with echoes of the nose and some ginger. The nose was better than the rest. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable dram in the classic light but complex style without lots of ‚in-your-face‘ wood influence.