A new SMWS bottling, this Inchmoan from Loch Lomond spent 15 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead and then was finished for an additional year in a 1st fill Sauternes cask. It’s almost red in hue. Sweet, Fruity & Mellow profile.
Nose: Quite unusual. Perfume, damp cardboard, old leather chairs and something decidedly synthetic. Walnut nuttiness is joined by steeped fruit tea, animal hides, must and something rather umami – egg noodles and cornbread perhaps? Fruitiness is present, favouring orange, but likewise, quite musty and a touch soured. Water brings out herbals (nettles) as well as suggestions of a spiced cigar box. Odd. Really very odd.
Taste: Again, I’m slightly confounded by this. Leather sofas, honey, buttermilk pancakes and soured lemons. These are merged with stale must, earthy nuttiness, sweet and sour sauce and tangy pepper. A few drops of water adds milk chocolate and allows the underlying fruitiness sometime in the limelight – peaches, apricots and lemon peels.
Finish: Medium to long, with a very pleasant gradually fading dryness. Strawberry pavlova lingers in the back palate along with lemons and slight nuttiness. Water lessens the quality of the finish, bringing out some grippy tannins.
Well, what to say about this inaugural SMWS Inchmoan?! Honestly, it’s hard to fathom. I was expecting some gentle smokiness – Inchmoan being a usually peated style produced at Loch Lomond – but, instead I was presented with one of the most unsual SMWS whiskies I’ve tasted in a long time. It’s inarguably a thinking dram with moments of intrigue, unusual flavour combinations and a really rather excellent finish – but, what do my thoughts really matter on it, it’s a .1 bottling, so it’ll probably sell out before you’ve managed to even read this far. Anomalous, but not without merit.