Another month, another outturn. It's the same old story. Some interesting cask finishes, a good range of flavour profiles, and some excellent whiskies.
Oh, and the SMWS's second ever blended malt.
And boy, did that ever cause some fuss amongst the traditionalists!
So let's get it out of the way - I have no problem with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society creating a blended malt. We've bottled Irish, Japanese, American and Welsh whiskies. We've bottled grain whiskies. We've bottle Armagnac, cognac, rum, gin, cider brandy. For those who are complaining that this is "not what the Society is about" - these casks were Scottish Malt Whisky when they were blended. It's not a Single Malt Whisky Society.
I've long believed that the SMWS should do interesting things that help whisky drinkers broaden their experiences and challenge their preconceptions. So I'm a fairly happy bunny.
If you're not a sherried whisky fan, you're going to hate it. For the rest of us, it's a good whisky. In a blind tasting, nobody would be complaining that it's a blended malt. (I suspect it would do quite well.)
So, way from the hubbub and drama - how were the other drams?
Lots of spice on this list. My favourite was the Auchentoshan, followed by the Linkwood and the Exotic Cargo itself.
There were plenty of decent whiskies, but nothing else really stood out for me. Not all lists can be packed with brilliance, but this one's certainly got plenty of decent whiskies to drink.
I'm hoping that the Society will follow up the Exotic Cargo with a bourbon-cask based blend. But I think that will take a while!
(Oh, I said that it was their second ever blended whisky... Technically their first was a dram called The Last Drop. It was made by combining the dregs of many open bottles into a blend. The result was... something that happened, and which nobody is in a rush to repeat. Not terrible. Not brilliant. Not worth repeating.)