SMWS Advent Calendar: Day 24

Christmas Eve is upon us! The most magical night of the year. And the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has decided to surprise us with one of their small batches. Batch number 17: Fruit Utopia! A Single Malt blend where the emphasis was put on maturation techniques found while traveling the Cognac region. After an initial period of twenty years in speyside ex-bourbon hogshead barrels, the spirit spent three months in French oak barriques. After which the spirit was transferred again into fresh 2nd fill ex-bourbon-barrels until it was deemed fit for bottling after a period of 5 years. As you can see, there’s a lot of thought and hands-on process that went into the creation of this dram. Let’s find out how that translates to the tasting notes!

Tasting Notes: Society Batch 17 “Fruit Utopia”

ABV: 50% (100 proof)

Age: 25 years old

Distillery: Unknown (Speyside is all we know)

Bottled by: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Category: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Chill-filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Nose:

Lovely fruity marmalade vapors come from the top of the glass. Pineapple and mango intermingle into a lovely tropical fruit salad. Both give of the sense as if they’ve been roasted on the barbeque and drizzled with maple syrup. Which gives this nose a real sense of dessert. There’s also figs and dates, and perhaps even some dried plums. The notes are heavy and thick, with not much space for lighter elements at all. But when those thick notes are as lovely as these are, I don’t mind it one little bit. Water opens the nose in a beautiful way, turning the fruity nose almost floral. But there’s also a different kind of sweetness other than from fruit in it now, namely marzipan.

Palate:

It’s easy to spot that this dram has a lower ABV than any of the drams we’ve had in the Calendar thus far. But that doesn’t mean there’s any less flavour in there. There’s thick and luscious fruit pudding. With a plethora of dried fruits in the mix. I’m getting plums, figs, cranberries, dates and raisins. And on top of that lovely pudding there’s a lavish amount of clotted cream. This is a British Christmas dessert in a glass, and I’m loving every sip of it. I was careful with adding water to this dram and I stuck to just three tiny drops. I didn’t want to dilute it all too much, but it was still worth it to add a little. The marzipan from the nose also finds it’s way to the palate with water and aside from that there’s also a softer cream note in there. Almost like a fresh strawberry milkshake.

Finish:

The finish is unfortunately rather short. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s short compared to the other drams in this calendar. There’s still some length to this dram’s finish as well, but I think the lowered ABV starts to show here. Those Christmas pudding notes are all still in the finish, but they’re rather thin and the only thing that really does linger is a slight tannin bitterness. Water amps up the finish a little bit. The bitterness remains unchanged, but the sweetness gets turned up. Leaving behind a clear strawberry cream note, the same note that reminded me of milkshakes on the palate.

Verdict:

I think with Fruit Utopia the SMWS chose a very apt name for this dram. This is truly a fruit explosion. I personally loved the notes of Christmas pudding and clotted cream, as both very much fit the season AND my palate. I do find myself wishing we could have tried this at a little bit higher proof. But then again, this dram would probably have become much less accessible if that we’re the case. For now, Fruit Utopia is still available for “only” 235 euro. Which ofcourse is still a lot of money, but for a 25-year-old dram of this quality it’s more than a fair price.

Rating:

93/100

Dramble on!

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