Hidden Gems March 2022
At The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, we are on a passionate pursuit of the world’s most unique casks of whisky. This month I took on the oh-so-difficult task of tasting through the selection of whiskies available to Society members in America. The objective? To identify the hidden gems that may have been overlooked since their release.
You see what fascinates me most about Society whisky is that oftentimes the casks that turn out to be the most memorable are also the most unexpected. They frequently come from lesser-known distilleries or appear relatively unassuming on paper. Yet when finally uncorked, the spirit will thrill and delight unlike anything before it.
Here are three (3) Hidden Gems to consider for your home collection:
Cask G10.34 And now, a word from the cask…
It’s not every day that we come across a 15-year-old single grain whisky from the Lowland region of Scotland and casks such as this one have me wishing for more. Matured for 11 years in a bourbon barrel before being transferred a second-fill hogshead with a heavy toast & medium char, the resulting spirit is rich and vibrant with notes of toasted marshmallow, dried banana and walnut oil. At 61.9% ABV, it’s wild and untamed when enjoyed neat but quickly evolves into a mellow and complex spirit with a dash of water.
Cask 2.267 Nomad’s tent vibe
While it may sound unassuming on paper, this 12-year-old Speyside cask is a spectacular representation of the region’s core style with an exotic twist. Fully matured in a first-fill bourbon barrel, the whisky is succulent and juicy with notes of mango and ginger with a waft of fresh leather and juniper. Everything seems to be clicking with this cask and it’s an easy pick up as we head into Spring.
Douro Cruise Blended Batch 14
Now this one is different! Douro Cruise is our latest blended malt from SMWS Spirits Manager Euan Campbell. It’s a marriage of Speyside whiskies matured in both bourbon barrels and ex-Ruby Port pipes. The result is a multidimensional spirit with notes of tropical fruits, dark cocoa and tobacco leaves. While the Port wine influence is certainly present, it doesn’t overpower the elegant Speyside spirit beneath it. If you’re looking for a versatile spirit that’s easy to love, I’d recommend giving this one a go.