SMWS 150.1 Lets go west

Posted 03 March 2022 by Matt / In West Cork Distillers
The Dramble reviews SMWS 150.1 Let’s go west

Bottle Name: 150.1 Lets go west

ABV: 58.7%
Distillery: West Cork Distillers
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Flavour Profile: Spicy & sweet
Region: Ireland Age: 7

Not being released until later this month – 150.1 was nevertheless offered to me during my review session. It therefore feels bad-mannered not to record it here - and truth be told I might not have time later in March anyhow. 

Whilst not giving the full details of the distillery away yet (I’ll aim to update this listing and add my photo once the bottle has been formally announced), I can note that this release is from one of the newer Irish distilleries and clocks in at 7 years of age having spent it's life inside a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel and an ex-rye cask. Oh, and congrats to SMWS on the milestone.

Nose: Opening with florals – juniper, rosehips and buttercups, before revealing blood orange juice, blondie biscuits, white chocolate and a selection of dried reeds and grasses. Water offers coconut macaroons, crackerbread and hay.

Taste: All on orange citrus – mandarin, tangerine and clementine – then desiccated coconut, toffee, vanillins and a selection of fresh cask-driven notes – dry oak, pencil shavings and wood lacquer. Dilution presents pepper and nutmeg together syrupy orange segments, paper bags and shaved oak.

Finish: Medium in length. Here the cask comes stomping in without any subtlety – liquid oak juice, freshly sawn 2 x 4 – rather tannic and incredibly dry.

There’s lots to like from this maiden SMWS offering – whilst both the nose and palate are straight-forward, their composures are well-mannered, stimulating and provide a good insight into the spirit quality being produced over in south western Ireland (that’s the only hint you’re getting). It’s therefore a shame that the cask is particularly exposed in the finish. Some will doubtless relish that final oak-driven, firm kick in the pants – but for me it’s just too much.

Score: 82/100


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