SMWS 53.193 To Bring A Smile To Every Face - 49.9%

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society adventure continues tonight with the second of the 10cl bottles bundled in with my membership pack. This is a 22-year-old Caol Ila and yet another stunning drop of drammage.

Nose: After pouring a dram, a waft of peat slapped me about the chops even before I had stuck my nose in the glass. I left it so settle for 10 minutes then went to work. There's peat, obviously, but it's sweet, fruity, mellow peat - initially reminiscent of the BenRiach Arumaticus Fumosus (tasting notes coming soon, folks). That said, there's more depth here and the peppy fruit notes seem more eager to leap from the glass. Dig under the layer of sweet peat and there's creamy blackcurrant yogurt, thick plum jam, banana skins and smoky bacon crisps. I even get a whiff of sugar-glazed donut. Give it a gentle swirl and that classic Caol Ila character jogs by, giving a casual wave before disappearing into the Islay mist, leaving only a whiff of damp leaves and wet embers behind. It really does smell more like a peated Speysider than a classic Islay malt.

Palate: Sweet, smooth and salty, with ash, golden syrup, burnt green twigs, white pepper, a chunk of hard toffee, damson jam, prunes and blackened oak.

Finish: Again, that delicious sweetness remains, but there's also dark fruit, bonfire smoke, salt, damp earth, wet embers, spicy cinnamon and a shake of chilli flakes. It's also long and satisfying.

Notes: Another top drawer dram from the SMWS. This really doesn't need water, but a drop certainly does it no harm. The SMWS team really know how to pick their introductory drams - and a it's a wonderful way to tempt members into parting with their cash on the first Friday of every month. I think I might keep the last drop in the bottle for winter, as this would be absolutely perfect for a cold Scottish night.


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