Whisky Review #120: SMWS 3.299 “Sweet Smoke On The Water” (Feis Ile 2017 Bottling)

We’re just a day away from the last day of 2017 and I thought that it was a good time to provide reader with a double header of reviews for this weekend!

This would be the first review, with the other following tomorrow afternoon as we prepare to bid farewell to 2017 and usher in 2018.

As such, I have set aside two rather special expressions which will be reviewed this weekend, and they’re both Islay-centric whiskies!

This review focuses on an expression from the SMWS which was distilled on 27th March 1996, matured in a second-fill French Oak hogshead for 20 years before being bottled at a cask strength abv of 54.2% by the Society for Feis Ile 2017.

So, let’s jump right into the review!

IMG_20170617_163221_037
SMWS 3.299 “Sweet Smoke On The Water”

SMWS 3.299 “Sweet Smoke On The Water” (54.2% abv)

Colour: Bright gold

Nose: Initial entry presents a hint of acetone followed by mango and gentle peat! The nose evolves into a tropical fruit salad of sorts and the mango is complemented by kiwi and apricot. With time, white pepper, sea salt, limestone, menthol and vanilla emerge and are followed by cinnamon and coal dust. (22/25)

Palate: Initial entry presents a rich and dense flavour profile with a fair bit of gentle peat. The tropical fruit salad trio of mango, kiwi and apricot filter through and are complemented by green ferns, creosote, limestone, coal dust and white pepper. Late developing hints of menthol, cinnamon and sea salt also emerge. (23/25)

Finish: Long and lingering on the finish, with fleeting hints of the tropical fruits, peat and cinnamon intermingling along with sea salt and oak. (22/25)

Balance: A rather well-balanced expression which is rather dignified and delightful. The mouthfeel is oily and drying in equal measure, displaying a great balance of both elements. (22/25)

Rating: 89/100

This expression was sampled at the SMWS Kaleidoscope Bar in London during my visit in June and was one of the highlights of what was an exceptional sampling session. There are bottles of this which are still available for purchase at various online stores, so please get in and acquire one while you can.

Until the next review, have a wonderful weekend.

Slainte!

Brendan

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