We might finally be close to catching up on our Scotch Malt Whisky Society homework! Our last Outturn sample pack included the following:
- Cask No. 9.62 aka “Mouth-wateringly sharp and sweet”.
- Cask No. 27.97 aka “Glazed cashews and lemon lollies”.
- Cask No. 29.104 aka “Not for wee boys”.
- Cask No. 42.10 aka “Straighforward, sweet, and spicy”.
- Cask No. G2.2 aka “A vaudeville act”.
This time around, Limpd picked three, and I picked two.
Let’s get down to business…
- Appearance: Pale gold color.
- Aroma: Good bit of sweetness once you let it sit and open up. Toffee, vanilla, powdered sugar donut, and a dollop of whipped cream. There’s also some fresh cut grass and rosemary in the distance. Water tones down the sweetness and amplifies the earthy/herbal notes.
- Taste: Slightly oily mouthfeel. I can definitely see what they mean by “sharp”! This reminds me of some of the younger Islay whiskies that I have had, but without the smokiness. There’s a good bit of fire at the onset, i.e. jalapeno pepper and cinnamon like spice. Toffee and vanilla sweetness shows up towards the finish, but the heat never subsides. Long, peppery finish. Water definitely tones down the heat and lets more of the sweetness, particularly the vanilla, come to the forefront.
- Age: 8 Years
- Cask: First-fill barrel
- ABV: 62.1%
Conclusion: Per whiskyportal.com, this cask is from the Glen Grant Distillery in the Speyside region of Scotland. While I have definitely learned to enjoy the more subtle whiskies over the past couple of years, I still prefer a whisky that packs a wallop of flavor and intensity. Cask No. 9.62 definitely does that! When you try it with water and then without, this whisky exudes an almost Jekyll and Hyde persona. Straight up = Mr. Hyde, while with water = Dr. Jekyll. This whisky is equally delicious either way!
- Appearance: Pale bronze.
- Aroma: This one has a Cyrano de Bergerac sized nose! Smells like holiday fruit cake with a hint of hickory smoked barbecue sauce in a glass. Cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, rum soaked raisins, and a BBQ sauce smokiness in the background. Dig a little deeper and some medicinal notes come through too, i.e. bandaids, iodine, and rubber gloves. Water kind of kills the nose for me. The smoky sweetness mellows a whole lot and leaves behind some salted caramel notes.
- Taste: A bit lighter mouthfeel when compared to the Cask No. 9.62. At full strength, I found this to be surprisingly mellow, with a nice combination of light peat smoke, cinnamon heat, and vanilla creaminess. There’s not a lot of flavor transition with this whisky. It all stays together from beginning to end. Soothing and lingering finish with a smoky cinnamon aftertaste. While the water may have muted the nose, I think it improved the taste somewhat by bringing out some of the salty characteristics.
- Age: 20 Years
- Cask: Refill Sherry butt
- ABV: 58.2%
Conclusion: Per whiskyportal.com, this cask is from the Laphroiag Distillery on the Inner Hebridean island of Islay. While I most definitely enjoyed this whisky, I tend to prefer the younger Islay whiskies. Cask No. 29.104 was very good, but if I was forced to make a choice, I would go with the younger and more intense Laphroiags, i.e. the Cask Strength 10, Quarter Cask, and limited edition Cairdeas expressions.
Thanks again to Gabby Shayne (click here to meet The Whisky Sisters) of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America for sending us these samples.