The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Festival Bottlings

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May. The month of whisky festivals. World Whisky Day, the Whisky Stramash, and the Campbeltown Malts Festival are book-ended by the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival at the start of May and Feis Ile at the end, to create a jam packed month of whisky heaven. To celebrate the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and Feis Ile, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society have released several single cask bottlings.

From Speyside:
9.173 Glen Grant 9yo 60.6% – £95
107.13 Glenallachie 9yo 65% – £55

And from Islay:
3.307 Bowmore 20yo 55.9% – £125
3.308 Bowmore 13yo 57.4% – £TBC
10.141 Bunnahabhain 12yo 59.5% – £66
10.146 Bunnahabhain 9yo 60.1% – £65
29.241 Laphroaig 20yo 49.3% – £150
29.244 Laphroaig 8yo 62.2% – £75
53.248 Caol Ila 11yo 58% – £TBC
53.252 Caol Ila 11yo 57.8% – £TBC

Most of these whiskies are available for members to purchase at society venues or online, but there are a few exceptions; 3.308, 53.248 & 52.252 will only be available from members’ rooms and on the island during Feis Ile whereas 29.144, the 8yo Laphroaig, will only be available for members to purchase on Islay during the festival this week. Exclusively exclusive.

I was very kindly sent the above beautiful sample pack from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society containing drams from five of these single casks which are: 3.307 Bowmore 20yo, 9.143 Glen Grant 21yo, 10.141 Bunnahabhain 10yo, 29.244 Laphroaig 8yo, and 107.13 Glenallachie 9yo. With Feis Ile now in full swing, it only seems appropriate to give my thoughts on the 8yo Laphroaig today, seeing as today is Laphroaig’s Open Day.

Laphroaig 8yo
SMWS 29.244
Refill ex-bourbon barrel
222 bottles only
62.2% ABV
£75 at Feis Ile 2018

Nose: Classically, clean, coastal and medicinal, with remarkably soft smoke. Elastoplasts, Deep Heat, eucalyptus, some fresh mint, rockpools and lemon zest to begin. Then there’s charred logs, scorched grass and a snuffed out peat fire along with a lovely creamy vanilla note.

Palate: Smoke to the fore! Intense peat reek, tar, oilskins, chewy oak, and burnt caramel. Then a nice herbal and earthy thing – rosemary with crispy smoked bacon, a touch of balsamic vinegar and some salt and vinegar crisps.

Finish: Long, warming medicinal smoke, with some savouriness; clove, smoky bacon crisps and peat ash.

Overall: A fantastic, classic, example of young Laphroaig. Medicinal, coastal, and smoky – all the reasons people either love whisky from this distillery or hate it. I have no doubt that all 222 bottles from this single cask will be snapped up by the time the weekend comes, so if you’re a SMWS member and happen to be one of those jammy buggers who are on Islay at the moment, seek out the society’s base, Islay House, and grab one while you can.



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