For those of you who dont know the SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society), they are an independent (originally just whisky) bottler that operates with a membership. Usually, only members and especially appointed bars & restaurants have access to these single cask – single malt whisky bottles.
Being a partner bar for the SMWS here in denmark, Highlanders has an ever changing selection of around 20 different bottles.
Unique bottles of whisky…
As a single cask of whisky from any given distillery may be very different from the usual bottlings offered by that distillery, giving you the name of the distillery would not always do justice for the unique qualities found in each whisky cask – so the bottles are all numbered.
The numbering system leaves you to focus on the wonderfully poetic descriptions from the SMWS tasting panel.
Here is a selection of the recently added whisky bottles:
11.33 Mouth-watering Melon Medley – 8 yo – 61,0 %
This was like a melon medley salad using Cantaloupe, Galia, honeydew and watermelon mixed with papaya and mango, chopped fresh mint and a refreshing, citrusy, tangy ginger syrup dressing drizzled on top – a mouth-watering proposition and wait until you’ve tasted it! How about nibbling on a strawberry, lime and black pepper ice lolly or having a spoonful of chilled Bloody Mary soup? Water added the creaminess of rose and lemon fondant fancies, macarons and mini chocolate eclairs and on the palate, a passion fruit Pavlova using mango, pineapple and strawberries dusted with icing sugar and a few mint leaves.
64.90 Love at first sniff – 26 yo – 54,1 %
The nose was ‘love at first sniff’ – spun sugar, golden meringues and manuka, dried mango and marmalade; toasted coconut, hazelnut and shea butter, polished antique furniture and lastly, rose-petals and nasturtiums. The silky smooth palate was ‘comfort in a glass’ –ginger fudge, brandy snaps, strawberry jam, acacia honey, salted caramel, sandalwood and chocolate florentines. The reduced nose had orange oil, sichuan pepper, marzipan, scented candles and aromatherapy sessions. The palate – well, we had so many words (amazing, heavenly, integrated) but agreed that none did it justice. After 26 years in ex-bourbon wood this was transferred to a virgin oak hogshead.
35.173 Falling in love in an instant – 14 yo – 57,9 %
Fresh, lively, sweet, charming, attractive and very engaging,’ might even be love at first nose’. Aromas of custard caramel doughnuts, vanilla Chantilly cream, honey poached peaches and fresh strawberries with mint ice cream – we really wanted to get to know this one. Beautiful mouthfeel; like a tropical fruit medley underneath the palm trees at sunset with sweet crunchy honeycomb covered in slightly bitter dark chocolate melting in your mouth. Let’s discover this further with a drop of water; even sweeter, even smoother, even more succulent – if that is at all possible! – and a teasing little spice tingled our taste buds.
31.34 Muted Hebridean smoke – 28 yo – 48,3 %
The nose was immediately promising – gentle smoke drifting over Hebridean beaches, apricot jam, blossom honey, whin-scented soap, menthol tobacco and a comforting leather sofa. The sweet, viscous palate had toffee, sweet coconut and mussels, with fantastically muted smoke (wood smoke and aromatic cigars) – the finish and odd mixture of sherry vinegar and lemon zest. On the reduced nose – jam sponge, splashes of citrus and enjoying Coquilles St Jacques among the gorse bushes. The palate now – lemon squeezed on calamari, key lime pie and salty Twiglets. After 27 years in ex-bourbon wood this was transferred to a first-fill charred red wine hogshead.
3.294 Hebredian dreams – 20 yo – 56,5 %
We were transported on to the deck of a coal fired steam puffer feeling the cold salty sea breeze across our faces and warming our hands on a mug of Gaelic coffee or mulled wine spiced with cinnamon and cloves. Lunch was served and we enjoyed griddled scallops with smoked, sweet chilli sauce and smoked salmon crabmeat salad. With a drop of water we went ashore on a now beautiful sunny late afternoon at a sandy beach on the western shores of the Outer Hebrides with the machair in full bloom and watched the sunset with sweet, slightly smoky, creamy lavender lobster bisque.
29.205 Two wheeled beach cruiser – 17 yo – 58,8 %
Cycling along the beach we passed an old shipwreck with its weathered and tar-covered timbers that sat amongst the glistening rock pools and dried seaweed. The sweet smell of sticky pork ribs on a bbq hung in the air along with smoked rhubarb crumble with whipped cream and roasted limes. Suddenly my tire punctured on the sharp edge of an oyster shell, releasing a sweet innertube aroma. We sat down on a rock and opened a packet of salted almonds and some sweet smoked salmon, and as a rain shower started we relaxed whilst watching patterns being made by the raindrops in the sand.
If you would like to know more about the SMWS, about the concept, about membership or if you would like to just try one or two – our staff are available to help, or you can read more about SMWS membership here in denmark by visiting their website.