Speyside region – 59.7%ABV – 750ml bottle – Exclusive Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America
I am a proud new member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America (from here on out to be referred to as SMWSA). I’ve got a few friends who’ve been members for a while now and I was going back and forth; should I join? shouldn’t I join?, etc…
For those of you unfamiliar with the society, the SMWSA is the American arm of the parent society based in Leith, Scotland. Every month they offer up new exclusive whiskies to their members. Whiskies you can find NOWHERE else and they are all Single Cask, Cask Strength expressions. Their whiskies come from over 125 different distilleries (Most are Scottish distilleries but they now include Japanese expressions such as Yamazaki, Nikka and Hakushu).
Back to my becoming a member — again, I was really hemming and hawing over whether or not to join the society. YES I would have access to these great whiskies but hey, there’s a membership fee involved… It wasn’t until I started talking to, and began reading reviews from, my fellow whisky blogger Jason of Guid Scotch Drink that I decided to bite the bullet and join. This is perhaps the tastiest bullet I’ve ever bitten.
The first bottle I got from the SMWSA was a 13yr Macallan which was matured in a first fill sherry butt (tee-hee… when will I get past the whole ‘laughing at the word “butt”‘ thing? Never, me thinks). This is high octane killer whisky!
After a good 10 minutes, this beauty (and, it IS a beauty) opens up like a lotus flower. Indian food galore! Mango chutney, heavy on the ginger. A hint of green mint sauce with a nice amount of spice.
Then some nice balsamic vinaigrette notes with a side of green plastic toy soldiers. Banana nut bread, banana peel. Bananarama.
Tremendous mouth feel – chewy but, oh so drying and in a really good way (sherry wine tannins, hard at work).
In sum – Quite brilliant, really. There is so much going on here to occupy my brain and senses but, at the same time, I could find myself easily sipping on this one without even thinking about it. Scary that a whisky at 59.7% ABV could be an everyday drinker for me! This whisky made the top place in the SMWSA’s “President’s Choice” list of the April outturn and I can see why. Fabulous.