Orchestral manoeuvres in the cask
SMWS Cask no. 72.109
What do you think about the name of this bottle?
Because that's what the title of this page actually is: the name of this bottle.
It is a bottle that I got from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
(Which is celebrating it's 40th birthday this year.)
In November 2022 I visited a SMWS tasting with a friend. We were looking forward for a great night of tasting drams. And we did. But more important, we had this dram. Society cask number 72.109.
Now let me explain that by literally quoting Wikipedia:
"The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), founded in Edinburgh in 1983, is a membership organisation which bottles and sells single cask, single malt whisky. It purchases individual casks from more than 170 malt whisky distilleries in Scotland and throughout the world, bottles them and retails directly to its members."
And due to some legal issues with naming, they never mention the distillery on the label. Instead, you get a code which is easy to crack if you know where to look.
My drambuddy Dramblingman is one of the many sources you can use to "crack the code" by checking his blog about it.
A quick check shows us that number 72 is distillery Miltonduff and this is cask 109.
Back to the tasting, this was number 3 in the line-up and I liked this one so much, that I cannot remember the other drams that night without checking my notes.
I really wanted more, so I ordered the bottle.
Two days later, I was so lucky to assist the SMWS Benelux at the International Whisky Festival in The Hague. Guess what bottle got my "Favorite" label?
So what made me go a bit nuts about this bottle. What is so special? Let me try to explain by going to my notes:
As mentioned earlier, this is a Miltonduff whisky. It has aged 10 years, but on 2 casks: The initial cask was an ex-oloroso butt for 8 years. The final cask a 1st fill heavy char puncheon, for 2 years. And I think it is a cask-match made in heaven! As every SMWS bottle, it has been bottled at cask strength: 57.4% vol.
The color is a beautiful amber, which seems to blend in with the wooden table I'm sitting at right now. A swirl gives some thick legs, but a thin line.
On the nose: Sherried. Dried figs, sultana's, christmas pudding. Some oak, leather and charcoal. And I can only describe it as sitting in front of your tent, camping, drinking a very fruity, sherried whisky. While 100m next to your tent someone is building a campfire made with dry pinewood. And while you enjoy your dram, that thin hint of smoke lingers around.
Taste: Prunes, tobacco, chocolate. Very fruity notes like strawberry and cherries. Candied apple, tea biscuits and warm. honey. Anding with that campfire smoke trail.
The finish is medium long and leaves a very nice tone of honeyed walnuts, some fresh hints of strawberry and a light citrus flavour.
Adding some drops of water really opened it up and made al the notes more clear and even made it sweeter than before.