SMWS Advent Calendar: Day 6

The glory of yesterday’s dram is going to difficult to repeat. But today is another day of advent, with a new door to open. And I found a wee scamp hiding behind it. This SMWS bottling comes from Glen Moray and was aged for 7 years in a first fill ex-bourbon barrel. The SMWS put this dram in the “Young & Spritely” flavour profile, which comes as little surprise given the stats. Looking at the information available, I would have never purchased this dram for myself. Which makes it all the more interesting, to see if this dram can prove me wrong. Let’s find out!

Tasting Notes: Society Cask 35.299 “A Wee Scamp”

ABV: 58,2% (116,4 proof)

Age: 7 years old

Distillery: Glen Moray

Bottled By: the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Category: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

SMWS Flavour Profile: Young & Spritely

Chill-filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Nose:

There’s a bit of ethanol coming of the glass, so it’s important to approach this dram with care. Surprisingly enough I don’t get a strong ethanol scent though. It’s just the burn you need to keep an eye out for. The scents remind me of a freshwater stream, with a strong presence of minerals in it. There’s a pleasant iron note, that mingles smoothly with a whisp of honey and vanilla. I would almost call it a perfumy quality, but it’s a bit too subtle for that. Going back to the glass a second time, I’m finding some raisins there as well. A few drops of water do tame the ethanol a little, but it reveals little more flavours to me.

Palate:

After a couple of drams in the calendar with a very high ABV, I’m quite surprised by the burn on this one. It’s quite sharp at first, but it quickly becomes warming and sweet. There’s a strong tea note in it – liquorice root to be precise – with more than a spoonful of honey stirred into it. A few drops of lemon can be found in this dram as well, but only very faint at the start of each sip. The faint bit of bitterness I find reminds me of biting into the hard part of a Galia melon. For a 7-year-old it has a very nice mouthfeel, it’s quite oily and the flavours fill your entire mouth. Drops of water reveal a nice mellow pepper, like a green jalapeño. It definitely gives another dimension to this dram.

Finish:

On the finish I’m mainly finding bitterness, that hard part of a Galia melon I found on the palate but turned up a notch. It also leaves the mouth quite dry. As if I’ve been sucking on liquorice root long after the flavour has gone. I don’t find the flavours offensive, but that’s about all the good I have to say about the finish of this one. It’s rather one-dimensional. The finish becomes more pleasant with a few drops of water. As the bitter Galia note gets turned down a little and some honey starts to come through. It still leaves the mouth very dry though.

Verdict:

Unlike day one – where I really didn’t like the dram – there’s nothing about this dram I really don’t like. The only off-putting thing I can mention is that it leaves the mouth very dry.  But this dram is also utterly unimpressive to me. I like the honey and how it balances of the bitterness. But it’s all very unspectacular and one-dimensional. I wouldn’t mind a glass of this when offered to me, but I’d never pick it out for myself. A Wee Scamp won’t be making the Christmas list.

Rating:

70/100

How did I know this was a Glen Moray? Just look at the code and find it’s match in my SMWS bottle codes list!

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