Whisky Review #118: SMWS 46.52 “A Storm In A Barrel”

Alas, the promised two reviews a week until the end of the year didn’t exactly pan out the way we both wanted, aye? Life does tend to get in the way sometimes and it brings with it a certain inertia that can be rather difficult to overcome at times.

But rather than set lofty targets, I’m going to endeavour to put out as many reviews as possible over the next week before the year is out. Until then, I’d suggest that you enjoy the ride.

This week’s review continues our foray into the world of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) and we visit another distillery in Speyside which has been making waves in the independent bottling scene.

I’ve been a fan of this distillery’s produce for some years now and have come across some truly exceptional expressions in that time. In fact, I believe that I’ve only experienced one rather ordinary expression in the lot thus far, which is a rather impressive hit rate if I should say so myself.

This week’s review focuses on an SMWS expression which was distilled on the 31st of May 2002, matured in a refill sherry butt for 14 years before being bottled at a cask strength abv of 59.6% by the society.

So, let’s jump right into the review!

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SMWS 46.52 “A Storm In A Barrel”

SMWS 46.52 “A Storm In A Barrel” (59.6% abv)

Colour: Burnished copper

Nose: Initial entry presents a perfumed and light nose with is redolent with sweet white grapes, wine gums, marzipan, barley sugar and some sherry. This isn’t a densely sherried whisky, but the sherry does exert itself to some extent. Nutmeg, cloves, white wine emerge later on and are complemented by black pepper and oak. (21/25)

Palate: Initial entry presents a palate which is rather rich, sweet and robust. The sherry influence is definitely present here and takes centrestage, with the nutmeg and black pepper following through soon after. White wine, cloves, and cinnamon powder emerge later on and are followed by oak and surprisingly, tarragon. (22/25)

Finish: Long and lingering on the finish, with spice and some dark chocolate intermingling well with the black pepper, oak and sherry. (21/25)

Balance: A very well-balanced and enjoyable expression from this rather underrated Speyside distillery which displays its typical distillery character in spades. The mouthfeel starts off oily but becomes increasingly drying over time. (21/25)

Rating: 85/100

This expression was sampled at the SMWS Kaleidoscope Bar in Devonshire Square, London during my trip in the middle of June and it was one of many enjoyable drams that I savoured during my visit. If you are intending to make a visit to the bar anytime soon, please give this expression a try.

Until the next review, have a wonderful week.

Slainte!

Brendan

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More reviews: https://www.thesinglecask.sg/blogs/news

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