Whisky Review: SMWS 37.81 Orange Turmeric Margarita

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Cragganmore distillery; SMWS Distillery 37

Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society

ABV: 56.6%

Cost: £58.20 [sold out]

smws-37-81

What they say:

Cask 37.81

A perfumed aroma leapt out of the glass and combined with fruity cinnamon apple rings as well as the delicate smoke from maple wood chips making this a multi-faceted experience. The taste neat was somewhat different, bitter sweet with a slightly unripe Granny Smith apple. The nose with water had a wonderful summery feel; minty with a hint of herb like cranberry Pimm’s and the palate now wonderfully juicy sweet, even a whiff of smoke like an orange turmeric margarita. After 12 years in a n ex-bourbon hogshead, we transferred this whisky directly into a Sauternes cask for the remainder of its maturation.

Drinking tip: Changes completely when adding water

Distilled: 1st October 2002, 13 Years Old, Finished in a 2nd fill ex-Sauternes hogshead, produced 270 bottled at 56.6% ABV, Colour: Champagne.

What I say:

Dram #1 from the 2016 whisky roundtable discussion, as selected by JJ of Whisky Rover, partially based on Ben’s SMWS outturn review.

Colour:

Light champagne gold (4/20), medium-fine tears and legs

Nose:

Fruity peach skin, peach melba, cereal; lightly toasted white bread, sweet vanilla custard, putty and linseed oil, floral and light, a hint of menthol and some other herbal aromas

Taste:

Sweet, fruity apple and hints of other fruits, floral and perfumed but mostly an overpowering sweetness, honey and syrup, slightly musty wood, putty and linseed oil, syrupy in texture but quite light bodied, with water much more citrus is revealed and the cloying sweetness of the Sauternes influence dissipates, the citrus is creamy like lemon meringue or key lime pie still with biscuity cereal hints

Finish:

Medium long, quite light sweet and faintly woody

Overall:

Ok, some mileage as it is different in character undiluted compared to watered down, however the thin veneer of Sauternes finishing doesn’t add much for me and water stripped it away. A shame not much Cragganmore nature was revealed other than a general air of lightness and florality battling through

Score: 82/100

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