Released by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), this single malt, single cask release was distilled in 1996 and is one of the society’s “Oily & Coastal” bottles. It was aged for 20 years in a first-fill oloroso sherry hogshead before bottling at cask strength of 49.3% ABV. As is the case with all SMWS releases, it is non-chillfiltered. This was released in celebration of the 2018 Fèis Ìle (Islay Festival), one of three bottles created for the occasion.
Aromas filled the room in a harmonious fusion as scallops and king prawns drifted alongside smoked duck and walnut bread. A sticky sweetness was present with honey and treacle tart that seemed to be perfectly complimented by toasted pine nuts and strong black tea. Behind the sticky black tar and charcoal of the palate sat sweet carrots and parsnips roasted in honey and herbs. Water took us on a more maritime tour with smoked lobster and muscles in almond oil and balsamic glaze. Down to the finish of salted butter, liquorice sweets and sausage casserole, everything combined in one perfect moment of unity. This whisky previously inhabited and ex-bourbon hogshead.