SMWS Advent Calendar: Day 3

Today we’re surprised with a bottling from the first distillery that ever had one of their casks released by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. As behind door number three of the SMWS advent calendar hides society cask no. 1.257 “Lip-Smacking, Citric and Summery”. Summery is not something I usually associate with Christmas, but then again… beneath the equator it is a summer holiday. So perhaps this dram will help me see the holiday season from their point of view? Let’s find out!

Tasting Notes: Society Cask 1.257 “Lip-Smacking, Citric and Summery”

ABV: 63,1% (126,2 proof)

Age: 8 years old

Distillery: Glenfarclas

Bottled By: the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Category: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

SMWS Flavour Profile: Sweet, Fruity & Mellow

Chill-filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Nose:

There’s immediately plenty of fruit here, a wave of apples is followed by a stream of tangerines. There’s a yellow grape note in there as well, which intermingles with cloves. All together it paints a picture in my mind of mulled white wine. A variant of the regular mulled wine, that I’m personally not the biggest fan of. But even though I’m picking it up in this dram, here I do find it to my liking. I am hoping it doesn’t tastetoo much like mulled white wine though…

I felt like this dram needed a couple of drops of water, and after adding them I do get the summery note as well. Or rather, things I associate with summer. It becomes a combination of a cold glass of white wine, with a small bowl of fruit salad on the side. Lighter flavours that suit summer heat well.

Palate:

Oof, you can really tell the high ABV here. But aside from that alcoholic heat there’s not much spice in there, instead it’s wallops of thick luscious honey. There’s the faintest hint of wood in there as well, which brings to mind one of those special wooden ladles for pouring honey (and what I imagine it will taste like if you’d suck the honey straight from it). There are some oranges in here as well, and the tongue-tingling effect of the high ABV almost makes it feel as if I’m sipping some orange soda instead.

A few drops of water make the alcohol burn a lot more tolerable. And strangely enough, it reveals a lot of spice that I wasn’t able to pick up before at all. More than a fair amount of black pepper has been added by those drops. Other than that, it doesn’t affect the palate all too much.

Finish:

Where the orange soda holds strong in the finish at first, a slight bitterness starts to appear after a while. The same kind of bitterness a glass of Orangina has, which this finish very much reminds me of. There are some rather pronounced tannins that remain on the sides of the tongue as well. Almost creating the numbing effect as if you’ve just had a cavity or two filled at the dentist. But thankfully the orange lingers long enough to ensure that the whole experience does stay pleasant, and long after the numbing effect fades those citrus hints are still there. I notice no difference in the finish after adding a couple of drops of water.

Verdict:

I can see why the SMWS called this dram Lip-Smacking, Citric and Summery. There’s plenty of orange soda in here to imagine yourself sipping a Fanta based cocktail on a hot beach somewhere, smacking your lips as you pull aside the tiny umbrella to take your first sip. I will tell you honestly that I am very much impressed with the flavour profile this bottling manages to pull off at only 8 years old. Though I will add that it’s not a flavour profile I like all that much myself. Out of all available sodas I’ve always liked the Fanta’s and Orangina’s the least of all that’s on offer. Which makes it hard to rate this dram.

I can tell it’s a high-quality product, but in the end, I will let my personal opinion be my guiding light. But, I will give it a fair number of points though, because even though it might not suit my palate best… I am still very impressed with what this dram manages to pull off. And if you are a big fan of the more citric soft drinks, you should definitely give this one a try!

Rating:

85/100

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

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