Our final Tasting Panel Experience release of 2022 is here, and it’s a smoky powerhouse of a dram! For the last three years, we have been lucky enough to have legendary whisky expert Charlie MacLean guide our American members through The Tasting Panel Experience at events across the country. The objective is twofold: 1) offer our members the once-in-a-lifetime experience of participating in the Society’s Tasting Panel under the guidance of the Tasting Panel’s very first chairman, who comes from Scotland to be with us in person; 2) entrust these members with the task of evaluating several casks in a professional tasting format and assessing their readiness for release. The Tasting Panel Experience concluded its third successful edition this past April, and the final US exclusive chosen by our American members awaits!
Cask No. 66.202 Sneaky Peat was the most revelatory dram for many panelists. Pushing the boundaries of what we understand mainland versus island peat to be, this single cask flexed an awful lot of island muscle for a whisky created in the heart of the eastern Highlands! This was the perfect dram to finish the tasting with and participants let us know that – it scored the highest of any whisky tasted! Thirteen years in a refill ex-bourbon barrel allowed the make to shine through with copious amounts of toasted marshmallows, bacon, brine and bonfires. Members encountered chimney smoke, maritime peat, smoked ham, barbecue sauce and oolong tea on the neat nose. The palate exploded with bonfires, smoked salmon, garlic shrimp, blue cheese, grilled pears and burnt vanilla. Some were getting maple syrup and pig roasts whilst others picked up whiffs of iodine and roasted chestnuts. Adding a few drops of water brought out a more fragrant nose of lemongrass, freshly cut grass, smoked haddock, caviar and sea breeze. Band-Aid was another descriptor that came up a few times and reminded us of Islay again. The diluted palate sweetened up quite a bit with toffee, chocolate caramel, apple pancakes with maple syrup before finishing with a lovely lemon pepper spice and more smoked meats. A wonderful marriage of peated styles!
We thank those members who participated in this year’s Tasting Panel Experience and helped select Cask No. 66.202. We hope all members across the US can enjoy this very special malt and, while sharing with those near and dear to you, also share in the pride we all feel for our American chapter of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society! The Society’s Scott Brunow sat down with special guest and fellow Society member Erik Wait from Whisky Studies to taste this USA-exclusive single cask whisky. Follow this link to check out the tasting and their thoughts on Cask No. 66.202 Sneaky Peat!
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the expected high popularity of this release, Cask No. 66.202 will not be available for ordering today. Instead, we invite interested members to enter the raffle below for a chance to order Cask No. 66.202. Entries must be completed by Monday December 5th at 2pm ET. Winning member names will be drawn at that time. They will be contacted shortly thereafter and will have 48 hours to order their bottle (until Wednesday 12/7 at 2pm ET).
Cask No. 66.202
Title: Sneaky Peat
Tasting Note: Plenty of smoke in this expression with smoked ham, smoked trout, chimney smoke and sweet peat leaping from the glass. But also some briny and mineralic maritime notes and mentholic medicinal notes, not to mention sweet aromas of brown sugar, apple and brown sauce. On the neat palate, the smoky element appears as bonfire, smoked salmon, smoked trout, burnt chestnuts, pig roast; the sweet notes as maple syrup, grilled pears, sweet peas, rose petals and burnt vanilla. One panel detected new ‘tennis balls’! At reduced strength, the smokiness reduced to smoked brisket and smoked haddock, the maritime/medicinal notes to Band-Aid and sea breeze. But several panelists detected lemon, lemongrass, honeysuckle and fresh mown grass. One panelist went for ‘deviled eggs and caviar’. The taste was sweeter than the nose indicated – toffee, chocolate caramel, apple pancakes with maple syrup, plum juice – but still with traces of smoked ham. Hard to believe you’re not in Islay with this sneaky dram!
Age: 13 years
Date distilled: November 2008
Region: Highland Eastern
Barrel: Refill barrel
Outturn: 195 bottles
US Allocation: 195 bottles
700mL bottle format