Highland Park SMWS 4.195

Highland Park SMWS 4.195,Highland Park,SMWS,single cask,cask strength,Acrobat In An Orchestra,4.195,single malt,single malt review,single malt tasting notes,whisky,whisky review,whisky tasting,isle of orkney,scotch,scotland
Distillery/Brand: Highland Park | Region: Isle of Orkney | ABV: 59.3% | Colour: Young Sauternes
Nose: 22 | Taste: 22 | Finish: 22 | Balance: 22 | Rating: 88

Review
Highland Park does some questionable stuff and some pretty awesome stuff at the same time. The older HPs (18, 21, 25, 30) are all pretty awesome in my opinion. All this other business with vikings and the NAS stuff is by and large quite questionable in my opinion. With the exception of Thor, mind you. That’s a peach.

So I don’t really know what to expect when opening a bottle from this Orkney distillery. Which is irritating because, based on the age statement expressions, I genuinely want to like everything they do.

And so I was in two minds before deciding to open up this SMWS. To be honest I got it only because it was SMWS and was up for sale at a decent price. Also because the name on the label got stuck in my head.

Acrobat In An Orchestra.

I mean, come on! How awesome is that name. It tells me absolutely nothing yet compels me to buy it. In fact, in honor of this creative naming system, I am going to dispense with my boring old method of describing flavors and be as SMWS as possible.

The spirit has been matured in a first-fill bourbon barrel for 14 years. Distilled on October 15, 1999 it is served at a cask strength of 59.3%

Nose: Young girl in love for the first time. Gentle breeze rocks the patio chair. Purple petals fall to the ground. Grandma in the kitchen is prepping for dessert. Two children run excitedly in the tall grass. Father is back from the butchers. It’s the first day of Spring. 22/25

Palate: Everyone at the dinner table. The dog knocks over the fruit basket. Fire roars strong. Crackles and pops. The walls have memories. Family picture hangs crooked. 22/25

Finish: It’s been a long hard day. Hands are calloused. Trying to sleep but the mind is wide awake. 22/25

Overall Comments: OK I have no idea what I’ve written. But you know why I wrote it so you’re going to have to live with it. Don’t blame me. Blame the acid trippers over at SMWS. Do I like it? Yes, of course. It’s pretty damn good!

PS : I’m going to destroy the original notes so that I never come back and taint this version.

PPS : Add a splash of water and it turns to summer.

Rating: 88

Bowmore SMWS Feis Ile 2015

SMWS Bowmore Feis Ile,Bowmore SMWS Feis Ile 2015,Bowmore SMWS Feis Ile 2015 tasting notes,Bowmore SMWS Feis Ile 2015 review,SMWS Feis Ile 2015,SMWS Feis Ile 2015 tasting notes,SMWS Feis Ile 2015 review,SMWS Feis Ile,SMWS Feis Ile tasting notes,SMWS Feis Ile review,SMWS 3.243,SMWS 3.243 review,SMWS 3.243 tasting notes,SMWS,single malt,single malt review,single malt tasting notes,whisky,whisky review,whisky tasting,feis ile,feis ile 2015
Distillery/Brand: Bowmore | Region: Islay | ABV: 57.1% | Colour: Copper
Nose: 23 | Taste: 23 | Finish: 22 | Balance: 22 | Rating: 90

Review
The SMWS bottlings have held a certain level of mystique over me for some reason. The way they don’t put the name of the distillery on the bottle and ‘hide’ it behind numbers and fancy descriptions.

The minimalism of their packaging. The near brilliant consistency of their whiskies. Everything ticks the right boxes for me.

I remember my first SMWS. It was a seven year old Ardbeg and, my word, it was delicious. Since then I’ve been on a quest to get hold of as many as I can get my hands on.

Which is not always easy.

And this I found out the hard way during my trip to Islay last week for the Whisky Festival. Because this release was no where to be found. Of course, missing their open day didn’t help!

However, I did manage to snag a dram at the Ballygrant Inn.

The SMWS 3.243 is a 17 year old Bowmore matured in ex-Sherry butts served at a cask strength of 57.1%. My sample is from an open bottle.

Nose: Lots of toasted barley. Lots of it. Touch of peat. Hint of char. Like a toasted papadum. As the smoke clears the honey shines. A mild dark honey. Almost bitter savory. Jute bag. And a sprinkle of black salt. Complex nose this. Wonderfully layered.

Palate: Black pepper. That same dark honey. Banana. Rum toffee. Butterscotch. Berries. Hint of dark chocolate. Cinnamon. The spirit is quite full bodied and the oakiness settles in the open cracks of your mouth. Makes sense?

Finish: Long. Oak. Spices. Chocolate.

Overall Comments: A tasty whisky this. Quite chewy and nice. Another reason to drink SMWS.

Rating: 90