SMWS Outturn 251 - Whisky With Bite

SMWS 35.185 - Frightfully delightfulOwing to some issues with labelling, it's a very short list this month - something should arrive mid-month to compensate!

(Edited to add: And indeed we did get a whopping sixteen more drams the very next week on the 11th! You can see the tasting notes for that list here. There were also six whiskies that were presented for the purposes of increasing choice for the new list tasting event, but I restricted myself to tasting notes for the "official" outturn.)

The Glen Moray was the best, but the Glendullan and the Balmenach are also excellent, and the Glen Ord is a great peated dram for warmer days.

Not a bad hit rate for such a short list!

SMWS Outturn 250 - Easter Bottlings

SMWS G8.8 - Botanic gardens and a sawmillThe April 2017 list sees two missing drams (7.168 and 5.54) due to glitches with labelling, but that doesn't change the quality of the whisky!

It will probably surprise nobody that my favourite dram was the Cambus, but there are solid showings elsewhere. A delightful Glen Scotia, a charming Bunnahabhain, a solid Bladnoch, and a great pairing in the form of an Aultmore and a Balblair. Finally, you can finish your day with the Bowmore and the Laphroaig.

With days like that, who can possibly complain?

Oh, and the rest of the list is pretty good too!

SMWS Outturn 249 - Colourful Explosion

SMWS G4.11 - A happy gatheringDespite having eighteen whiskies, this list keeps a very high bar in place. Most of the whiskies score 3.5 or 4, and there are two 4.5's. Quite an achievement!

With so many, I'm not linking to all the 4 and aboves, as it'll take ages. I'm just going to pare it back to three drams, and a fourth honourable mention.

I hope you like green...

I hope you like green...

Some flowers that suddenly arrived at the SMWS on Valentine's day in 2007.

The green leafiness, combined with the green jug and the green bottles and the green labels... Well, basically, I hope you like green.

Philip Storry

Philip Storry


Taken a decade ago, by a friend, in a bar. The photos taken before and after make it clear that they were mucking about with my camera.

I realised that there are no photos of me on my own website, so decided to fix that with this photo.

SMWS Outturn 248 - Fresh Catch

SMWS G1.15 - Could pacify a mobThe February 2017 Outturn is odd on a number of levels.

Firstly, there's a lot in the Spicy & Sweet category, so you can expect a lot of the drams to leave me unimpressed - but the list was actually two-faced for me, with as many excellent whiskies as there were spice monsters.

Secondly, some of the bottles are half-using the new bottle style which will come out soon. They ran out of the old bottles, apparently.

Thirdly, and if I'm honest this isn't that odd, we have a selection of crazy woods. The grain whisky matured in an Oloros butt and then finished in virgin oak. The Oloroso butt whisky which was finished in a Pedro Ximinex butt. The Port Barrique finish. And it barely seems worth mentioning the virgin oak and Sauternes finishes, as they're becoming normal by now...

My top pick was predictably the very unusual North British. A wonderful use of wood, a little rum-like but genuinely interesting. A long list of runners up though - Glen Scotia, Bunnahabhain, Strathisla, Auchentoshan, Longmorn, Tullibardine and the Glen Grant all impressed.

Important note: At the time of writing, two drams (the younger Longmorn and the Laphroaig) had not arrived, so these tasting notes are not yet complete.



"Give us a cuddle", said a friend when I was moaning about something on LiveJournal.

That was a stupid request, as I naturally grabbed my camera and obliged!

Also, remember LiveJournal? This photo was taken back in 2007, almost a decade ago as I write this.



As I post this at the end of January, Autumn seems a long time ago. This particular photo was taken almost nine years ago, so that's moot.

I was importing old photos into darktable, and this one struck me as one that had gotten away...

Courting Angels

Courting Angels

As always, I'm a sucker for a nice alignment, and the contrails follow the building's lines quite nicely. Combnie with some subtle reflections in the windows, and of course I'm going to find this to be the best photo of the day!

Invisible Man

Invisible Man

I had an idea for a project about "the invisibles" - about homeless people just being walked past, as though they didn't exist. This photo was taken for that project at London Bridge early in the morning, back in 2007.


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