SMWS August 2022 Outturn Review

We're back with the August outturn review. The preview tasting this month featured 13 new bottlings, quite a small number compared to usual, but we're sure there'll be more to come out as the month progresses.

The bulk of this months outturn is made up of young bourbon cask releases, but we’re hopeful that there’s a gem or two in here.

At time of writing we’re unsure if all bottles were available at the preview, but if any are missing we’ll attempt to post details of the missing bottles over the next few days. Check out our social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to get an updates on the missing bottles and heads up on our other reviews.

As usual we’re giving every bottle a score. The score will be based on our initial impressions, and for full disclosure, we won’t be spending the time we usually would with a dram that we’d do a full review for, but we’re hoping you’ll find the scores useful.

For reference, our scale is...

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

Onto the bottles...

4.322 - Highland Park Distillery

SMWS 4.322

Earthy peat, a little honey, some heather, a little vanilla too. The palate has some citrus, more of those earthy peat notes, some white grapes and a fair whack of white pepper spice. It’s a touch bitter and oaky, with a bit of salt but overall a little uninteresting. Normally we don’t care for Highland Park, but we don’t have strong feelings about this one. It’s just a little boring and simple compared to the others we’ve tried.

Score: 6/10

16.70 - Glenturret Distillery

SMWS 16.70

Heavy peat, ketchup, brine, factory smoke, medicinal, salt, plastic. The palate is savoury, earthy and quite spicy. There’s some smoked meats, chilli spice… actually make that a lot of spice. Black pepper, a hint of lemon juice and oak. It’s relatively bitter with a rough finish. Not our favourite Glenturret.

Score: 6/10

26.205 - Clynelish Distillery  

SMWS 26.205

It has a light bready aroma, with malt loaf, dusty shelves, sweet apple wood, coconut, and white pepper on the nose. There’s a lot of spice on the tongue, green apple, and vanilla icing. It’s got a really nice mouthfeel, very oily with a great texture. The finish has an ok length but ends slightly woody and bitter. Oh, how we wish for a 20 year old Clynelish. It’s better on the nose than the palate.

Score: 6/10

35.318 - Glen Moray Distillery 

SMWS 35.318

It's dusty, with freshly sawn wood, orange, lemon, vanilla, and a little grass. The palate is spicy, there’s white pepper and a hint of Indian spices, along with some sugar syrup, and white chocolate cookies. It’s got a short finish, which is quite bitter and oaky. Not our favourite Glen Moray by a long margin.

Score: 6/10

39.248 - Linkwood Distillery 

SMWS 39.248

It’s got quite a restrained nose, dusty cupboards, followed by a little dried fruit. It’s very mellow… Dates, petrol, freshly laundered linens, and Frosties cereal. The palate has more fruit coming through, grapes, fruit pastels, a little milk chocolate, and raspberries on a short, uninteresting finish. The mouthfeel is good though. It’s a middle of the road dram.

Score: 6/10

48.152 - Balmenach Distillery 

SMWS 48.152

Nose opens with vanilla, sawn wood, custard, polish, a little raw alcohol, some lemon zest and rosemary. The palate has some parma violets, vanilla, sweet glazed pork and oak. A fair bit of oak actually . The finish is short with a little sugar syrup but not much else. The mouthfeel isn’t bad, but compared to the other drams around this price, it doesn’t really hold up. A young bourbon cask Speyside.. it’s ok.

Score: 6/10

53.416 - Caol Ila Distillery 

Name: Of the clan MacRancio!
Flavour Profile: Peated
Region: Islay
Cask Type: 1st fill American oak PX hogshead
ABV: 56.1%
Age: 14

Price: £84.70

There’s something here that reminds us of a rum cask. It’s got a rubbery, funky Caribbean note. It’s also got a nuttiness, some hazelnuts, and salted peanuts. The palate continues with the nuttiness, introducing chocolate, medium peat and salted caramel. We’re not really finding the PX here, but there is a fair bit of cask influence. Not super different from the standard bourbon Caol Ila for us, but it’s pleasant.

Score: 7/10

64.130 - Mannochmore Distillery

SMWS 64.130

It’s grassy, herbal, minty, with aloe, nail polish remover, nutmeg, orange marmalade, and a slight smoke note in the background. The palate has some Irn Bru, a hint of salt, rusty iron, spirulina, a hint of red berries and red grapes. It’s an interesting palate, a fair bit going on here. The mouthfeel is good but the alcohol feels a little hot. The finish is shorter than we’d like, but overall not too bad.

Score: 7/10

71.90 - Glenburgie Distillery

SMWS 71.90

It’s spritzy on the nose, there’s also some marshmallows and vanilla. It’s quite alcohol forward but that’s unsurprising at 63%. There’s creamy gingerbread biscuits, sherbet, custard and and a hint of apple on the palate. We’re also getting a note of varnish after a little time in the glass. It’s got a nice mouthfeel but a dry, musty finish. Water accentuates the cask flavours, with vanilla and marshmallows become more prominent. A simple dram but good value at just over £45.

Score: 7/10

73.139 - Aultmore Distillery

SMWS 73.139

Some peaches, Turkish delight, and a good bit of alcohol spice on the nose. We’re finding it quite light on the nose in general. The palate is hot. It’s burning the flesh off our tongues, and scorches our throats as we swallow. There’s also a bit of turpentine here, pineapple and oak. Not great in our opinion.

Score: 5.5/10

108.59 - Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery

SMWS 108.59

Furniture polish, dusty floors, orange peel, iced gems, but not too much more on the nose. The palate has some creamy strawberry, jelly babies, warm pepper spice, fair bit of alcohol. Water brings out orange throat lozenges, an earthy note, and something slightly medicinal. The reduced palate has a very bitter oak note, following onto orange squash, moving into some more bitter oak on the finish.

Score: 6.5/10

134.14 - Paul John Distillery

SMWS 134.14

Chocolate powder, hazelnuts, raw wood, tannins, nutmeg, grass and herbal notes too. The palate is also nutty, with some raw spirit, and a little meatiness too. The palate is thin, the finish is slightly longer with dry oak and cocoa. Going back there’s some chocolate loaf, charred oak and a little funk too. We’re not really the biggest Paul John fans, and while this is one of their better releases this is still not for us. Especially at £142.

Score: 5.5/10

Batch 19 Blended Malt - Frazzle dazzle

SMWS Frazzle Dazzle - Blended Malt 19

Slightly smokey and slightly grapey. Some red fruits, red apple and cherry syrup. There’s some sweetened red wine on the palate, a little tannic, a few herbal notes, tarragon and liquorice. The alcohol is surprisingly present for 50%. there’s a bit of spice here. It has a good mouthfeel with a coffee like finish. It’s interesting to try, but not something we need to revisit.

Score: 6.5/10

Thanks for reading. Let us know what you thought of the outturn in the comments below.

Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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  • Matt

    Did you get any notes on 112.108 Orchard Grenade?

  • Dan

    Well, that is a surprise – looks like rather a disappointing list. With July being a bit down in the dumps too fingers crossed for a resurgence in September!

  • Andrew Jarjour

    Thanks for doing these, it’s much appreciated. There hasn’t been a strong outturn in a while has there? For the first time in a while I am seriously considering not renewing when my membership is up. Also, like you, I hope that they’re keeping some Clynelish in reserve for later release because all these same-y young releases seem like a missed opportunity.

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