Want to try a unique whisky? Perhaps single cask and at cask strength? Maybe from a distillery that you rarely, if ever, see in a bottle other than in a blend? If any of these seems appealing, you should check out the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America. The Society bottlings do not give you the distillery name on the labels, instead you will find the distinctive numbering system. A quick google search will reveal the distillery codes so that you know where the whisky is coming from. Although the SMWSA was nice enough to provide us with samples to review, we have been purchasing bottles from them for several years and always enjoy attending the SMWSA Extravaganza every year.
In an attempt to follow some semblance of order we will take a look at each of the four bottlings in numerical order:
Cask No. 3.182
A curious cherry-chocolate-peat here, with a little salted wood in tow. The 18 carat liquid tastes of yummy dust and vegetation, thick water and creosote, and certainly a little sugar. The peat overall is light and mid-level, breathy malts are present. While the dram does not take flight, it proffers a good start and an interesting body.
Cask No. 7.69
A light yellow in hue with a nose of malty beer, light medicinal grains, and a dash of orange bitters. The sip is slightly warm, spiced, and light green with scattered grains. The sticky, slightly vegetative finish is pleasant though the character of this drink is slightly elusive.
Cask No. 24.122
The thin, straw yellow liquor has a bright nose, spring vegetation, caramel and grass, perhaps some varnish and chocolate. And there is a bit of malty heat in the nose. Spicy grain and malt on the tongue, and a little dark chocolate, too. Lingering notes of simple and clean grains and spirit. There are some bright moments in this and a bit of staying power, though a touch thin overall.
Cask No. 30.68
Slight auburn and orange. Clear wood notes and brown sugars rise out of the glass. Further sniffing finds fresh water, punch, and a tandem touch of tobacco and wine. Fun nose. The palate is thick, a little spicy, and warm. Dark citrus and burning wood. The tobacco takes on a sweet, peppered, doughy aspect. A darkly warm citrus lingers. Enjoyable. Water develops the sugars but adds some unnecessary medicinal woody notes.