SMWS March 2022 Outturn Review


Annoyingly not every bottle was available at the preview, but 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.

Last month’s approach of giving every bottle a score proved popular so we’re going to do it again this month. The score will be based on our initial impressions, and full disclosure, we won’t be spending the time we usually would with a dram we’d do a full review for, but we’re hoping scores will be a little more helpful.

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...

1.263 - Glenfarclas Distillery

SMWS 1.263

To us this is like artificial strawberries and cream, with a good amount of icing sugar sweetness. A little one dimensional on the nose. Palate has sherbet, more strawberry in the form of chewy candy. The alcohol is a bit rough and sits with you through the medium finish. Passable introductory whisky.

Score: 6.5/10


4.298 - Highland Park Distillery

SMWS 4.298

Initially there’s some smoked mackerel and a distinct olive oil aroma. Following this we get salt and vinegar chips, a little sugar and a char grilled burger. Palate has an earthiness, wet soil, cherries in alcohol, maybe even tropical red bull. The finish is disappointedly short with some sweet red grapes and more woodiness.

Score: 6.5/10


6.56 - Macduff Distillery

Name: Tea Tree Tobacco Leaves
Flavour Profile: Spicy & Dry
Region: Speyside
Cask Type: 2nd fill bourbon ex-Islay barrel
ABV: 66.1%
Age: 8 
Price: £49.80

A hint of smoke, some grassiness, lightly burnt toffee, toasted rice, dusty orange with some sweet vanilla too. Sweet on the palate, a heavy spice followed by some sour lemon and orange. Maybe a little liquorice and cinnamon sweeties. The ex-Islay cask hasn’t given this much smoke, so we're a little let down.

Score: 6/10


7.275 - Longmorn Distillery
SMWS 7.275

Toasted marshmallows, vanilla cream sweetness and some orchard fruits. Palate has a light acacia honey with a touch of oak. It has a nice mouthfeel and decent alcohol integration. Not bad but would be great with a few more years in the barrel.

Score: 7/10


16.63 - Glenturret Distillery

SMWS 16.63

Prawn cocktail crisps, with a good amount of alcohol burn on the nose initially. It’s very medicinal, with TCP and a fair amount of spice. There’s also a note that reminds us of an oak wardrobe that’s been freshly varnished. Palate has sour apples, pickles and vanilla cream. Not bad, maybe a touch too bitter and medicinal.

Score: 6.5/10


39.240 - Linkwood Distillery

SMWS 39.240

Is there Whisky in this glass? It’s incredibly faint on the nose, maybe a bit of gooseberry over the horizon. Delicate flowers, light appletiser and some warm cherry pie with a drying finish. Alcohol is pretty well integrated too, not showing too harshly. Drinkable but nothing too special.

Score: 6.5/10


46.132 - Glenlossie Distillery

SMWS 46.132

On the nose we’re getting watermelon and cantaloupe, red kola, sticky hard candy, and candied orange peel. Palate is bit more spicy than we wanted but the fruit and sweetness do stick around. Water does help. If a whisky was a negroni, this would be it.

Score: 7/10


48.142 - Balmenach Distillery

SMWS 48.142

The nose has grassy Sauvignon blanc, lemon zest, and Milka chocolate. There’s also a mustiness here, but a young, semi-fresh must - like an old wardrobe with freshly laundered clothes. Palate starts with cream and finishes with wood, a little more white chocolate and a slightly sweet, bitter oak finish.

Score: 6/10


53.397 - Caol Ila Distillery

SMWS 53.397

There’s ash, brine, and a smooth cream note. Tea leaves and a slight cherry aroma too. Palate has more cherry, a little cough syrup, raw grated potato. It’s incredibly sweet, almost too much. There's some unripe banana and a fair bit of alcohol on the finish. Honestly we like sweet, rich Caol Ilas but this feels a little hollow.

Score: 6/10


66.215 - Ardmore Distillery

SMWS 66.215

Jamaican Ginger cake, sweet, syrupy sherry, orange, basically everything festive. The expected smoke is missing on the nose. It’s a little woody too. The palate is hot, fiery but then cools down to give raisins, brown sugar, candied orange peel, apricot and the subtlest hint of peat in the background. It’s maybe a touch too spicy, but quite delicious.

Score: 8/10


68.74 - Blair Athol Distillery

SMWS 68.74

Sulphur. Overpowering sulphur. They call it funky and eccentric, we call it unpleasant. Rubber balloon, fresh tar. What happened here? Palate shows galvanised rubber, a touch of ginger and maybe some sweetness if you go looking deep enough. It you like blowing up balloons, you’ll like this. Otherwise avoid.

Score: 3.5/10


80.35 - Glen Spey Distillery

SMWS 80.35

We’re getting notes of ginger, some sourness, there’s a herbal note, some allspice, and a dustiness. All things we’re not too big fans of when mixed together. Oxidised white wine on the palate, maybe even a touch salty. It’s a bit off. This is not for us.

Score: 4.5/10


107.25 - Glenallachie Distillery

SMWS 107.25

The nose is bready, toasty, and reminds us of a sweet Chinese bun. There’s some butter here as well, but it’s maybe a little off. Maybe even some tomato soup on the nose. Palate has some sweetness alongside a baked pasty tart. It’s too hot, chalky, too much alcohol which throws out its balance quite considerably. Finish is alright, still a little spicy. Better with water but nothing to write home about.

Score: 5/10


108.50 - Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery

SMWS 108.50

We’re not getting much. There’s a little alcohol, touch of wood, light vanilla, a slight chemical note, but otherwise aroma-less. Palate is slightly milky, salted popcorn and sour orange - maybe even Berocca vitamin tablets. There's also a little lime, pear drops with maybe a little pear skin too. Finish is fine, not too short, but not super long either.

Score: 6.5/10


122.48 - Loch Lomond (Croftengea) Distillery

SMWS 122.48

Quite sweet on the nose, maybe a little BBQ meat there too. Honey glazed pork with extra Maldon sea salt. There’s a slight vegetal note - more like courgette, peppers, grilled vegetables. Palate has a kilogram of white sugar, lemon, flying saucers, a touch of earth, maybe even some pineapple. There some peat there but it’s melding in with the alcohol relatively well. Finish is a bit simple, and maybe a little short. We appreciate what it is, but we don’t love it. Pleasant.

Score: 7/10


G10.40 - Strathclyde Distillery

SMWS G10.40

There’s quite a bit of spirit here, but also some sherbet lemon. It’s a little dusty, with some meringue and cherry. Palate is perfumed, with a good amount of oak, parma violets, powdered vanilla custard and a chalky mouthfeel. We love grains, but this is a bit pricey for us at this age. It’s nice but not exceptional.

Score: 7/10



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

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