SMWS 135.12 Juicy yet mouth-drying

Posted 31 January 2019 by Matt / In Loch Lomond
The Dramble reviews SMWS 135.12 Juicy yet mouth-drying

Bottle Name: 135.12 Juicy yet mouth-drying

ABV: 60%
Distillery: Loch Lomond
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Flavour Profile: Lightly peated
Region: Highlands

The Society continues its recent run of Inchmoan’s with an intriguing green label bottling that’s been drawn from a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel. Lightly Peated profile.

Nose: Juicy bright fruits – apricots, oranges and pears with a saccharine element of Jelly Babies and Haribo gummy sweets. Toffee custard joins digestive biscuits, nutmeg spicing an overt oak in support. But, there’s no smoke at all that I can detect. Reduction introduces a slight nuttiness of almonds and chopped cashews, alongside rocky outcroppings and pebbles.

Taste: Bright and crisp with stone fruits (apricot and peach) and creamy fudge lifted by white pepper, chilli and nutmeg. The mid-palate reveals a slight coal dust ashiness – a gentle a smoke as is possible. Reduction finally delivers the peat that was promised – it’s still light and wafting, but presents hearth embers, ashtrays and spent bonfire ash. It also adds in some tropical with mango and guava joining an assortment of tinned fruits.

Finish: Medium with dusty minerals (quartz), chocolate and light white pepper spice.

I can imagine the difficulty in giving this bottling a colour code. Straight out the bottle, it mainly presents pleasant spiced fruits, but it's only once diluted that any sense of peat smoke becomes perceptible – and even then, it’s remarkably feint. It all works well enough, but feels a bit undecided as to what it wants to be. Perhaps this highly innocuous profile is a good one to try on a member of anti-peat brigade? But, for my palate, it’s all rather too ambivalent.

Score: 81/100


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