SMWS Advent Calendar: Day 10

Tonight, the SMWS calendar is getting fancy with a dram called “C’est Chic”. Or at least, that name seems to imply a certain kind of fanciness. The dram in question is a 10-year-old Inchmurrin, which marks the second bottling from Loch Lomond distillery in this advent Calendar. After the Croftengea from day 2. I do greatly appreciate the Loch Lomond distillery, though the Inchmurrin flavour profile is not something I remember as being overly fancy. When I associate fanciness with whisky, my mind goes to lighter and more delicate flavours than I usually find in an Inchmurrin. But then again, this wouldn’t be the first time I’d be surprised. So, let’s find out what this dram holds in store for me.

Tasting Notes: Society Cask 112.36 “C’est Chic”

ABV: 59.3% (118.6 proof)

Age: 10 years old

Distillery: Inchmurrin (Loch Lomond)

Bottled by: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Category: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

SMWS Flavour Profile: Juicy, Oak & Vanilla

Chill-filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Nose:

The nose is very floral on this one. With orange blossom and some lily’s of the valley. There’s also some moss and water foliage on the nose as well. Which put together an image of a small pond on a warm day in early spring. Sipping some herbal tea, with just a dash of honey. If you imagine doing so from a lovely old-fashioned pergola from days of yore, it becomes very fancy indeed. But I don’t think that element of imagination would have come to me without reading this dram’s name first. Because it is also a nose to be approached with care, as the high ABV brings forth a rougher edge to the dram. Water adds a wallop of whipped cream on the nose, which takes away the rougher edges and adds a sense of luxury.

Palate:

The palate this dram brings forth is powerful, thick and luxurious. There’s honey, pineapple, mango and cinnamon spice. All working together to bring you one of the best mouthfeels of this advent calendar yet. It is absolutely gorgeous, but also very powerful. Luxurious would have been a better descriptor than chic for me personally. But since luxury and chic do have some overlapping similarities, I will give it a pass. The sweetness of the honey is so soft and silky, that it almost seems mixed with the thickest of creams. Water brings forth peppers in this dram. It’s still covered with creamy honey, but it has pushed the tropical fruits to the background a bit. I definitely preferred the palate without added water on this one.

Finish:

The finish is very long, and the thick honey layer remains throughout. There are also some oak notes (tannins) that find their way into the finish, that weren’t on nose or palate before. The tropical fruits turn into more of an apple and the tongue is left tingling. At this point I would like to stress how much I love this finish. Just describing the flavours would not do it justice. This dram truly covers the entire palate, every flavour receptor in your mouth seems activated and it stays that way long after taking your last sip. One sip could easily leave me enjoying this dram for 15 minutes or more, which means that even with a single dram you can entertain yourself for hours. Water cut the time of this finish significantly and mellows it down a whole lot. The flavours on the original finish where amazing though, so I would have rather not have them mellowed out.

Verdict:

C’est Chic managed to do more than surprise me, it blew me away. It makes me feel as if I got transported to a place of pure luxury. If this dram we’re a restaurant, it would deserve a Michelin star. Where I was skeptic about the name C’est Chic, I’m sold on it now. The only downside of this dram is the fact that the nose becomes so much more beautiful with a couple of drops of water, but the palate and finish are so much better undiluted. Leaving you with a bitter choice to make. Personally, I’d go for palate and finish, because with the length of that finish I’ll get to enjoy this dram much longer. But I also know plenty of people who like the nose more than anything on a good dram, in which case water reveals a picture of true beauty. Choose carefully though, because once you do add water the palate and finish will lose their full potential forever.

Rating:

92/100

How did I know this was an Inchmurrin? Just look at the code and find it in my SMWS bottle codes list!

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