The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has gained a well-deserved good reputation as an independent bottler. Here are their new releases in a quick review:
Ardmore 66.34: Nutty Sherry quite dominating in the foreground and loads of spice and leather (Gerbleder), traces of coffee, grapes, raisins. Becomes big in mouth, long finish with some peat showing, nice bit not yet complex enough. 85 points.
Springbank 27.97: Salty spice and air-dried jamon meet rubber-like Sherry aromas. Condensed milk, big toffee and vanilla, small strawberries. Unusual for sure, esp. in taste, where the Sherry aromas seem a bit off due to fungi. 77 points.
Bowmore 3.187: Very balanced and medium-smoky with that lovely maritime freshness, no overwhelming aromas anywhere. Ferns, green tea, camphor, bandages, peat, clean and mineral overall, lemon drops on oysters and so much more. It tastes milder than expected, no edges in this one, although a spiciness and a green theme rule the dram. Could leave a bigger impression. 88 points.
Laphroaig 29.115: Unusually big on toffee, behind that the typical Laphroaig features. On the palate, a certain soapiness develops , which puts me off, personally, plus that unusual toffee and some green herbs. Late soot and peat reveal this one as a Laphroaig, but altogether, it is a weird one – which surprises me after so many great releases before. 80 points.
Glenfarclas 1.164: Powerful, mainly on vanilla, fruit and dough with a hint of aniseed. Without water the spicy ethanol comes on a tad too strong and sharp. This also seems true for the taste, so let’s add water: still some heat going on, so more water: now, we’re talking, a nice old Bourbon Cask dram on the spicy side. 84 points.
Tormore 105.17: Unusually sweet with quite some sherry influence. Ginger bread with chocolate wrap and red jam-filling, all that Christmas cake jazz … . Maraschino cherries come on strong in the taste. Well-balanced and in a quite sherried style that still is inobtrusive somehow. 88 points.
Glen Elgin 85.23: I like this one right away, great freshness, fudge, coffee, asparagus, cannes apricots, ginger bread (Magenbrot). Unusually nice and quite mature for its age. A well-balanced palate that needs a little water, then it is really a treat. Nice surprise. 89+ points.
Mortlach 76.85: Spicy, some acidity, softly smoky, pears, gooseberries, green grapes, lemon zest, coffee cream. No water necessary, a wonderful Mortlach. 88 points.
Glen Scotia 93.52: Fresh, maritime, herbal and metallic, somehow Bowmore-esque. Good balance and powerful yet not being rough despite its age. Mango and peaches join in, really a complex dram, some peat and earth as well, and salt, of course, as a good Campbeltown whisky should have. Also mossy elements. 88 points.
Rosebank 25.60: A textbook Rosebank, incense, vanilla, caramel, apricots and grass, very much to my liking. The palate shows some cassis and wine gums along the already mentioned aromas. 89+ points.
Clynelish 26.85: It is almost boring to see the consistency of Clynelish at work, this is classic with the aromas of candle wax, apples, soft peat smoke and an Atlantic depression rolling in, plus some diesel minerality. Nothing more or less. 89 points.