Our sister company, Speciality Drinks Ltd, has unveiled a stylish new look for its Single Malts of Scotland (SMOS) range, as well as – count ‘em – FIVE new bottlings.
The new whiskies comprise a trio from Speyside, one from the Northern Highlands, and one from the Isle of Mull, but the overall spectrum of flavour is vast: one displays fresh, zingy citrus notes, another heads down the waxy, fruity and peppery route, while a third brings dried meat and spicy barbecue notes to the party.
As with all previous SMOS bottlings, none of the whiskies are chill-filtered, and no colouring is added. So, let’s get on to the fantastic five new bottlings:
Nose: Zingy! Aromas of lemon sherbet and bitter orange dominate, with a touch of fruit-cake richness and subtle spiciness lurking in the background.
Palate: Beautiful balance between the refreshing lemon and ginger notes and the rich spiciness, and dried fruits and nuts. Lemon meringue pie in a glass. Doesn’t need water.
Finish: Clean, zesty and moreish, with that sweet spiciness hanging on in there.
Nose: The freshness of cut green apple, then that classic Clynelish waxiness takes hold, with honeyed peachiness, a little peppery spiciness and an appealing leathery note.
Palate: Much fuller than expected, with pink peppercorns and burnt sugar taking charge. The addition of water brings out lighter, cleaner flavours, as well as malty, biscuity notes. A lot going on here.
Finish: Powerful and spicy – but clean and precise – and long lasting.
Nose: An unexpected but delicious whack of barbecue sauce, with smoke and smoked-meat notes wafting out of the glass, softened by lemon, red-fruit and floral notes.
Palate: The meaty, smoky flavours persist – treacle-and-mustard-glazed ham with star anise and some spicy fruitiness. Hold the ketchup; this is the perfect accompaniment to a burger.
Finish: Rich, warm and satisfying.
Nose: Fruity and spicy: cinnamon, Seville oranges, cherries and cocoa powder, balanced by refreshing citrus and ginger notes, then a curiously dusty/leathery note, like an old library.
Palate: Restrained Christmas cake flavours, then notes of malt loaf, treacle toffee and Black Forest gateau all fighting for attention.
Finish: An enveloping blanket of warming autumnal spice.
Nose: Boozy Dundee cake with spicy Maya Gold chocolate. Fruitiness comes through with the addition of water.
Palate: Intense chocolate notes – The River Café’s Chocolate Nemesis, with bags of dried fruit and spice. Very rich and mouth-filling, and definitely one for after dinner, or with pudding.
Finish: Rich and intense, with the spicy chocolate notes persisting.
All in all, a fantastically diverse bunch.