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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 3.177

The SMWS is a private club that bottles cask strength whiskies and only identifies the bottling by the code format X.XXX and a "nickname" based on the characteristics of the whisky.  The first X refers to the distillery (a quick internet search reveals that SMWS distillery 3 = Bowmore)  and the second number is the cask that was bottled. So 3.177 is the 177th SMWS cask from Bowmore and this is bottled at 61.3% ABV and was named "The Gentle Giant".  The bottle is also identified as "1 of 223".   So it would be fair to assume that I am keen member of this society and many more of my blog entries will be dedicated to this wonderful collection of rare whiskies.  Fair yes, correct, no.  I actually have an issue with the idea of exceptionally strong whiskies (see earlier blog) and rare and limited bottlings.  My primary concern is alway the same... what if I find The One?  The One being that perfect dram that captures everything I love about whisky in a single glass.  My dream drop of heaven and the constant companion for the rest of my whisky journey?  Well that would  be tough **** beause they are all one off bottlings.  I think I fear the heart break more than I anticipate the joy and so I stay away to protect myself.  I also have another fear, probably irrational, that some (maybe many) of the people who do join are the sort of whisky "fans" that feel whisky isn't good unless it is bottled at aviation fuel strength and from a distillery rarer than a Scottish World Cup victory and would turn their nose up a Glenfiddich 12 or a great blend.  At the end of the day I simply don't need to join a club to get good whisky.  All that said this was rather good.  I found this dram at Malmaison bar in Aberdeen which has an excellent selection including some SMWS bottlings.  The nose was, according to my notes, like being smacked in the face with kipper.  Pungent but not overpowering and with a fresh air salty note as well.  The taste was stringent as you might expect, sweet with some citrus hiding behingd the clout.  The finish is a cloudburst of heat and pepper. Guess what.... this one needs water.  Water brings out the citrus notes as lime peel and smoke receeds and it becomes nicely balanced with a sweet cake taste.  Overall good, but not The One.

Additional Info

  • Country of Origin: Scotland
  • Type: Single Malt
  • In '101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die': No
  • In '101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die': Nope

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