SMWS 48.51 - "Grapefruit, monkfish, manzanilla!"

My favourite of this outturn, if I'm honest. A very nice fruity dram, which suited the warm start to Autumn that we were having when I tried it. Sometimes it's not about depth and complexity - it's just about having a really satisfying experience, which this Balmenach delivers with grace.

13 years old, distilled 9th October 2000, 55.9% abv, first-fill ex-bourbon barrel

SMWS 30.81 - "A baker's delight"

Glenrothes went through a "more sherry, sir?" phase with their Own Bottlings in the early 2000's that I have vivid recollections of. Mostly because I wasn't getting on well with sherry at that time. Luckily, they have an excellent spirit which thrives in almost any cask. This example is bourbon, so I'm not really sure why it reminds me that they do well in sherry - maybe that leather note?

(And yes, I got over the sherry thing and stopped throwing up whenever I drank it. No idea what caused it, happy it's stopped, not going to discuss it any further.)

SMWS 39.101 - "Sophisticated adult sweetness"

23 years old, distilled 29th October 1990, refill ex-bourbon hogshead, 46.9% abv, 243 bottles
A big, woody nose - polished oak, ginger, orange blossom and apricots. The body (which is quite thin and watery) brings dried fruits - sultanas - and more oak. The finish has camphor wood and raisins, with a hint of dark chocolate.
After water (which provides compact, lengthy whorls) the nose is less oak and more camphor wood, with sultanas and cardamom. The body has a little more toffee and nuttiness, then orange peel and dark chocolate on the finish.

SMWS 9.86 - "Sangria on the terrace"

16 years old, distilled 3rd April 1997, refill ex-bourbon hogshead, 55.5% abv, 291 bottles
The nose is sweet and quite light, taking a while to open - peanut oil, vanilla ice-cream with caramel swirls and a hint of cinnamon. The body is toffee at first, then opens up to deliver cinnamon, vanilla and tea. It then brings dried fruits - raisins and sultanas - and moves towards oranges, lemons, limes, and peaches at the back of the body. It’s a fruit explosion! The mouthfeel is decent. The fruit explosion continues into the finish, which is a party of fruit and cinnamon.

SMWS 36.68 - "Sweet and salty combo"

Second fill ex-bourbon hogshead, 21 years old, 50.7% abv, 29th October 1991, 229 bottles
A very restrained nose gives little away - hints of raspberry jam, but little else. The body thin and smooth, with lightly toasted white bread, butter and cinnamon. The finish is sweet and long, mostly vanilla.
After water, the nose has digestive biscuit. The body becomes tobacco and caramel - very smooth, somewhat intense. The finish is a little musty - old books and caramel.
A dram to drink with an ice-cream.


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