SMWS 72.41 – Girlie holiday breakfast dram

The SMWS bottling marked 72.41 and titled “Girlie holiday breakfast dram” was shared with us in the Maltstock master class by John McCheyne, of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. This whisky comes from the Miltonduff distillery and is distilled on 23 September 2004. Aged for 9 years in a first fill white wine hogshead and bottled at 59,8%, producing 273 bottles in total. This is what they tell us about it on the SMWS website and label. 

Some described this as a feminine nose – pot-pourri, tanning lotion, cocoa- butter, orange-scented candles, honey-nut cornflakes, pancakes and bucks fizz – perhaps a girlie holiday breakfast dram? Nothing feminine about the palate though – this was a big hitter! – burnt toffee, black bun, treacle scones, caramelized nuts, Jamaica cake, muscovado and rendang sauce – spicy, fruity and darkly sweet. The reduced nose turned to cinder toffee, pencil boxes, Maya Gold chocolate and jelly babies – plus the girls had now been in for a swim. The palate – mmm – coffee creams, sticky toffee pudding, chocolate-coated raisins – delish! The distillery, ironically, has connections with monks. Drinking tip: To go with dessert, or instead of dessert; or to get into the holiday mood.
I have tried this one first without water and then with some added and it kept being a strong and delivering lovely notes… Now I must say that making full tasting notes at a festival is not the easiest thing to do with all the smells and impressions going on the whole day. But in this master class I tried to do it due to SMWS being a bit more unknown here in the Netherlands, and this was a good chance to taste a couple and listen to John tell us about it. When he asked us to guess the cask type used, we all went in the direction of Sherry and so due to the rich and deep sweetness in it. So surprised really by the different flavours developed by a white wine cask.

This whisky was syrupy and sweet with dried fruits and made me think of Christmas pudding in a liquid form. Not that I ever drank it, that would be weird. Have had Christmas puddings before, but never put it through the blender, but when I might have done that, I imagine this is what it tasted and smells like. Warm, pepper, sweet, fruit, red apple, mocha cake, chocolate and coffee…

Normally when I read stereotypical descriptors like “feminine nose” and “girlie” in whisky my toes curl and I grumble a bit. Not that much a “feminist type of girl” but just don’t like it when people assume that you can’t handle cask strength, peat, strong flavours or stuff like that, nothing different between a woman and a man there. Hate assumptions. Sigh. Learning to ignore it, shake it all off easier and don’t get worked up about it and just look back at the whisky that is what it is all about here. Concentrate on that and ignore the rest. My first response was yumm to it. Lovely warming dram… The bottom of my glass was reached far to quickly sadly… Scoring it an 8 out of 10 for sure. Thanks for sharing John!

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