THE SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY SPICES THINGS UP WITH PAIR OF INDIAN SINGLE MALTS
Whisky club bottles single casks from an Indian distillery for the first time in its ongoing mission to explore the spectrum of flavours in whisky
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) [www.smws.com/] is spicing things up in October with the release of two new Indian single cask malts from a prominent distillery in Goa. The distillery is the 134th to be bottled by the Society, and marks the first time they have bottled from the Goan distillery, which rarely releases aged single cask, single malts.
In traditional Society style, the bottles are named after their flavour and aroma – ‘Exotic rainforest fruits’ and ‘Lip-smacking and cockle-warming’. Both whiskies are six years old and were matured in refill ex-bourbon casks. Priced at £145 each, the bottles will be available to Society members via a ballot from 19 October.
‘Exotic rainforest fruits’, which is one of only 174 bottles drawn from the single cask, was distilled on 28th February 2010 and is released under the Society’s Sweet, Fruity Mellow flavour profile. The Society’s expert Tasting Panel describes the whisky as taking the drinker “into the realms of the exotic with a profusion of tropical fruits combined with the woody humidity of a rainforest.”
‘Lip-smacking and cockle-warming’, which is one of only 168 bottles, was distilled on 31st March 2010 and was placed in the Juicy Oak and Vanilla flavour profile by the Society’s Tasting Panel. They note the whisky as having flavours of “caramel apple granny cake in a wooden cabinet, toasted coconut and pears in honey.”
Distillery 134 is located in Goa on the western coast of India. The warm, tropical climate of the region, where the average temperature reaches up to 30°C, has a significant impact on the whisky maturation process.
While the casks are stored in an underground temperature-controlled cellar, the heat makes the whisky mature faster than it would in colder climates such as Scotland. It also leads to more whisky evaporating – the ‘angel’s share’ of Indian whiskies is around 8% compared to around 2% in Scotland. This high level of evaporation makes it exceedingly difficult to age the whisky for longer periods, making the six-year-old bottling exceptionally rare.
This combination of temperature combined with the carefully selected American white oak casks gives the whiskies distinct flavours such as spices, marmalade, chocolate, coconut, dry fruit, vanilla and honey.
Kai Ivalo, Spirits Director at the Society, said: “Our aim at the Society is to search the world for exciting single casks to share with our members. These two casks from Goa are perfect examples – it’s fascinating to see how the different climate and faster maturation process there has created such an amazing array of juicy, sweet and spicy flavours. This is the first time we’ve bottled from distillery 134 and we can’t wait to hear the feedback from our members.”
‘Exotic rainforest fruits’ and ‘Lip-smacking and cockle-warming’ will be released in the UK and EU on 19 October. Due to the high demand anticipated for these new releases, SMWS will hold a ballot to ensure all members have an equal opportunity to purchase.
Other key SMWS branches such as Australia and the US will launch the bottles later in 2017.
FULL TASTING NOTES BOTTLE INFOMATION
134.1 – ‘Exotic rainforest fruits’
- Distillation date: 28/02/10
- Goa, India
- ABV: 57.9%
- Age: 6
- Outturn: 174
- Price: £145
- Sweet, Fruity Mellow
- Cask: Refill ex-bourbon
We found ourselves careering at some pace into the realms of the exotic as a profusion of tropical fruits combined with the woody humidity of a rainforest. Generous helpings of sweet mango, ripe banana and passion fruit were teased by light and floral lychee, white lily and carnation. Warming spice entered from the left with cinnamon, nutmeg and masala chai tea with a sweet earthy note that developed into new leather-bound books before turning to oregano, lemongrass and camomile. A luscious and rich vein continued throughout like hot toffee, milk chocolate and thick cream and finishing in the most splendid fashion with candied orange and apricot brandy.
134.2 – ‘Lip-smacking and cockle-warming’
- Distillation date: 31/03/10
- Goa, India
- ABV: 58.0%
- Age: 6
- Outturn: 168
- Price: £145
- Juicy, Oak Vanilla
- Cask: Refill ex-bourbon
The initial nose is sweet (honey, custard donut, candy corn, caramel apple granny cake); then the wood influence comes (wooden cabinets, toasted coconut, dusty tobacco). The palate also has initial sweetness (pain au chocolat, chocolate raisins, brown sugar), followed by big woody spice (oak, anise, chilli, liquorice). The reduced nose continues that duality – sweetie necklaces, pears in honey and ginger cake against wooden shelves in a shoe shop and pipe racks. The reduced palate is similar, but somehow more integrated – Madeiran honey cake (bolo de mel), bourbon biscuits, Oddfellows, sweet chilli and muscovado on toasted staves – lip-smacking, tasty and cockle-warming.
About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
- The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club that bottles rare single cask, single malt whisky, and a range of other spirits
- The Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 26,000 members and branches around the world
- The Society only ever bottles single casks – each cask is unique, making every Society bottling a limited edition
- The Society has bottled whisky from more than 134 distilleries in its history
- The Society releases a new batch of around 20 single cask, single malt whiskies every month
- The Society offers different levels of membership
- For more information about the Society, visit www.smws.com/
- The Society doesn’t reveal distillery names as they have a gentleman’s agreement with the distilleries and it compromises their ability to secure further stocks; where possible we’d appreciate it if you could not reveal the names
Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/10/the-scotch-malt-whisky-society-spices-things-up-with-pair-of-indian-single-malts-indian-whisky-news/