SMWS Outturn 286 - Christmas Parcels

SMWS G6.9 - Listening to the frog chorusThe Society has previously put out a big list in November, followed by a much smaller Christmas Parcels list that’s mostly, um, parcels.

But this year, they’ve changed that and gone for a big - but still slightly smaller than November - list of 30 whiskies. And this doesn’t include some mid-month whiskies that will be coming out, including the traditional young Ardbeg bottling - a treat that no other bottler in the industry can get hold of. Unfortunately, a late delivery means I just didn’t have time to taste that - but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t remind you it’s coming!

This list has a lot of Christmas spices. For a short while I thought that there may be something wrong with my palate - but swapping drams with Matt confirmed that this was the case.

The star of the list is the Port Dundas, which gently delivers fruits, leather and caramel from its toasted oak cask. This is the bottle that won the Society an award earlier this year, and it’s easy to see why.

At the other end of the spectrum comes the Glenturret - a return to the young peated ones we’ve had recently, which means dry earthy smoke and caramel, but this one is enhanced with pork crackling and floral notes. It’s the good kind of madness, and will no doubt sell out quickly.

I’d also like a bottle of the Glenlossie - which is a treat. Hazelnut, maple syrup, cherries and fruits of the forest hang in perfect balance. This dram really is brilliantly poised, with the port influence being so minimal that I didn’t even realise it at first.

An honourable mention should go to the Glen Deveron, which has fruits, dry earthiness and cinnamon in a very pleasing arrangement - a competent session dram.

The abundance of peat, sherry, port and toasted oak would be something of an embarrassment if the November list hadn’t primed us for it. Something for everyone here, but do remember that yet more will be arriving before Christmas!

As usual, Matt has the other half of the list over at The Dramble.

Season’s greetings - I hope you spend the time with those that matter to you, and a glass or two of something that makes the memories even better!