SMWS June 2022 Outturn Review

We're back with the June outturn review. The preview tasting this month featured over 20 new bottlings, but we're sure there'll be more to come out as the month progresses.

There’s a few interesting cask types this month, mixed in with a fair amount of young bourbon bottlings, but we’re hopeful we’ll find a few gems.

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...

1.267 - Glenfarclas Distillery

SMWS 1.267

On the nose we’re getting light chocolate, malt, biscuit, porridge oats with chopped red fruits and pineapple. Palate doesn’t totally match up with the nose, there’s an initial funk, followed by some sweetness, and then into spice. It smells better than it tastes, and ends with bitter oak and ethanol.

Score: 5.5/10

4.311 - Highland Park Distillery

SMWS 4.311

It’s sandy, coastal, with light peat. It’s actually it’s very balanced on the nose. One of our companions noted “fresh upholstery/new car smell”. The palate brings much more earth, wood and nuttiness here, hazelnuts and smoked fish. There’s some tar, more salt and a woody finish. One of the better young Highland Park bottles, but a bit rough on the finish.

Score: 6.5/10

7.278 - Longmorn Distillery

SMWS 7.278

The nose opens with some strawberries and cream hard candies, but also a weird mustiness / saltiness which we didn’t expect. It’s sweet, but a bit flat and simple. It does have a relatively good, oily mouthfeel, but it’s fairly alcoholic and is a bit spicy for us. There’s not much going on here to be honest.

Score: 6.5/10

9.242 - Glen Grant Distillery 

SMWS 9.242

Overall it’s surprisingly restrained on the nose. We’re getting a cakey, icing sugar sweetness here, and there’s a little floral note here - fabric softener and aloe, but not a much else. The palate has a good mouthfeel, but it’s another dram that’s a little flat. There’s a herbal grassiness here, some spice and dryness on the finish. Pretty disappointing for a whisky of this age.

Score: 5.5/10

16.65 - Glenturret Distillery

SMWS 16.65

We’re getting some smoked haddock, salted chips, and some cream. This is maybe best described as cullen skink. We’re also finding the peat smoke is, very prevalent on the nose. The palate has a soft yet punchy smoke, it’s slightly astringent but then it follows into a creamier, oily, smooth charred oak. It’s a little hot with a fair alcohol burn, and it finishes with some old leather.

Score: 6.5/10

19.71 - Glen Gairoch Distillery

SMWS 19.71

Kefir lime leaves. It’s got the tropical fruits we always get with Glen Gairoch, with the addition of candle wax, and fake sweetener. Palate has tinned pineapple, mangos that have had the sugar washed off. There’s a mustiness here too that we didn’t expect, along with damp oak and a bittersweet finish. It has a much better nose than palate. There have been much better 19's released over the last 6 months which would be a better choice than this.

Score: 5.5/10

26.199 - Clynelish Distillery

SMWS 26.199

It has a very light and delicate nose. There’s a coastal, mossiness here along with some vanilla, cream, and a touch of oak. Palate has bitter chocolate, salted ginger snaps, treacle and an oily mouthfeel. There’s an alcohol spice, and some black pepper on the medium length finish. It’s hollow, missing complexity and showing it’s youth.

Score: 6/10

28.77 - Tullibardine Distillery

SMWS 28.77

It’s… watery. There’s a touch of floral here, we’ll say daisies. But honestly there’s nothing going on here on the nose, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were nosing a cheap vodka. The palate is harsh, bitter with white vinegar and a hint of lemsip. There’s perhaps a touch of sweetness on the initial palate but overall this is pretty poor.

Score: 4.5/10

35.315 - Glen Moray Distillery

SMWS 35.315

On the nose there’s some vanilla custard, orange marmalade, and buttered toast. It’s pretty simple but pleasing on the nose. The palate has citrus in abundance, lemons, limes and oranges. It’s reasonably balanced, a little banana with a gentle finish. Maybe we’ve just been beaten down by the other drams this month, but this is actually ok.

Score: 6.5/10

39.242 - Linkwood Distillery

SMWS 39.242

We’re getting toast, a slight meatiness and raisins. The sherry that comes through on the nose, is quite drying. Going back to it and there’s also some caramelised chocolate and brown sugar. The palate has more of the sherry, molasses, and treacle toffee with a touch of salt in there. There’s also some tangerine and lemon, with a woody finish. It’s one of the better Linkwoods in a while.

Score: 7/10

41.153 - Dailuaine Distillery

SMWS 41.153

On the nose there’s apple pie, marshmallows, candy floss, golden syrup and lemon scented candles. The nose is incredible - it smells wildly older than it is. The palate is… underwhelming. It’s got the expected fruits, and sugar with a touch of spice but then it disappears into the ether. Trying again and there’s pine, varnish and strawberry cream. We’re also finding the mouthfeel lacking and the finish is a bit of a letdown.

Score: 6.5/10

44.154 - Craigellachie Distillery

SMWS 44.154

It’s rummy, sticky toffee pudding, meaty and funky. It’s a little aggressive, and slightly out of balance. There’s a foostiness on the plate, along with dates, charred wood and burnt syrup. There’s a fair whack of alcohol and some of the more bitter, richer flavours put it out of balance a touch. Some will love it, some will not. We’re in camp #2. It’s not the worst Craigellachie we’ve had though.

Score: 6/10

48.151 - Balmenach Distillery 

SMWS 48.151

On the nose initially we’re hit by creamy ginger cake. We’re also finding it oaky, and musty like an old wardrobe. We’re also finding the alcohol very present. Finally there’s also hint of apple and pears. The palate has some saltiness, a bit of foostiness, more oak and ginger. It’s fiery, but there’s also a touch of vanilla sugar. It’s kind of like an alcoholic wine gum. Not terrible, but not particularly exciting either.

Score: 6/10

53.407 - Caol Ila Distillery

Name: Nutty peaty sweetie
Flavour Profile: Peated
Region: Islay
Cask Type: Refill bourbon hogshead
ABV: 59.2%
Age: 11

Price: £70.30

On the nose we’re getting hazelnuts, fish and chips, salty sea air, and vinegar. This is a classic Caol Ila. There’s a good amount of bourbon sweetness on the palate, but then the peat and savoury nuttiness comes through. It’s another solid 53, just like every month. Maybe a touch more sugar than usual.

Score: 7/10

63.97 - Glentauchers Distillery

SMWS 63.97

Eggy, Ooft. A touch rancid, sulphur but from a 2nd fill bourbon cask?? It’s foosty, earthy and not really what we’re look for. Palate isn’t much better it’s quite bitter, but it’s also meaty, with a note that’s almost brown sauce like. This is out of left field, but not for the right reasons.

Score: 5/10

66.219 - Ardmore Distillery

SMWS 66.219

It’s a Bakewell tart on the nose, with a heap of cherries, quite prominent alcohol and some tobacco. There’s also some oak, earth and a touch of burnt ginger. The palate has a lot going on, smoke, fruit, sugar, cake with a really nice balance, it’s got an oily mouthfeel and a nice, sugar-forward finish. There’s touch of acid on the back palate, some blackcurrants and candied almonds. Maybe a touch pricey, but good whisky none the less.

Score: 7/10

68.77 - Blair Athol Distillery

SMWS 68.77

This has a nice balance of vanilla, freshly cut grass, lime juice, and sweet brown sugar. Palate has burnt orange, pain aux raisin, citrus, pineapple and mango with a touch of oak on the finish. It’s got a fair bit of tobacco and char on the palate, but it’s a pretty solid dram. A return to form for the 68's.

Score: 7.5/10

73.135 - Aultmore Distillery

SMWS 73.135

We’re getting dry oak, burnt oak, a touch of varnish and a lot of alcohol with a spritz of lemon on the nose. The palate is a little better, there’s some nice bourbon sweetness, but it quickly evolves into wood. It’s not terrible, but a little too dry for us. Like a lot of society offering this would have benefited from longer in the cask.

Score: 6/10

78.60 - Ben Nevis Distillery

SMWS 78.60

Some nail varnish. No actually make that varnished wood, rhubarb and custard sweeties. It’s oily on the nose. This is a thick, heavy spirit, with a touch of orange marmalade. The spirit really coats the mouth, and is nice and luscious with some sweetened orange and touch of leather. The finish is long, but slightly bitter. Good quality whisky at a reasonable price.

Score: 7/10

93.180 - Glen Scotia Distillery

SMWS 93.180

This is Light, esthery, salty, and earthy. It makes us think of laundry on a washing line blowing in the wind. There’s peat here but it’s very light, and restrained. There’s also some pear brandy with a wisp of vanilla. The palate has lovely bourbon sweetness, with a healthy dollop of peat smoke and a nice peppery finish. We’re getting apples, pears and a touch of porridge. It’s really well made whisky, that’s nicely balanced but it’s also not the most interesting Glen scotia we’ve tried.

Score: 7.5/10

100.36 - Strathmill Distillery

SMWS 100.36

On the nose we’re getting a slight rancio note , fresh paint, malt biscuits, maple syrup and weirdly a little pickled onion. Palate has Fruit and nut dairy milk, candied orange peel, with an oily mouthfeel and oaky finish. We’re not getting too much of the PX here and we’d not have guessed this was in a 1st fill PX hogshead for three years. Not bad but a little disappointing.

Score: 6/10

108.49 - Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery

SMWS 108.49

On the nose we’re getting chlorine, a medicinal note, some cough syrup, and a fair kick of alcohol. We’re finding the palate is very astringent, with some chilli. There’s a lot smoke here, but it’s very rough with a touch of Jammy dodger biscuits buried in the finish. We’re finding it tough to get through, but there’s are some interesting flavours here.

Score: 6/10

108.58 - Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery

Name: One fancies a sherry
Flavour Profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Region: Speyside
Cask Type: 1st fill ex-PX barrique
ABV: 55.0%
Age: 13

Price: £72.90

So this is pungent. There’s sulphur, A swampiness and rubber bands. Some people love sulphur, we do not. The palate has a touch of cherry, like a beaujolais, cooked off into a stew, but It’s tough to get past the meatiness on the nose. There’s sweet currants and red grapes here too. It’s a complex dram if you can get past the smell. We can not.

Score: 6/10

122.50 - Loch Lomond (Croftengea) Distillery

Name: Nuts crushed by a sandalwood mallet
Flavour Profile: Young & spritely
Region: Highland
Cask Type: 2nd fill bourbon barrel
ABV: 57.5%
Age: 9

Price: £53.10

There’s cucumber, Pimms, and some lemonade. This is another one that’s very light on the nose. Palate has polished wood, walnuts, a touch of coffee and some moscavado brown sugar. It’s well balanced, with good sweetness and a nice long finish. Very well made whisky at a good price, slightly simple but really tasty and our first recommended purchase of the night.

Score: 8/10

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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