KWM 2022 Whisky Calendar Day 25: Scotch Malt Whisky Society 63.99
Posted on December 27, 2022
We made it, folks! Twenty-four days straight of whisky in small bottles to make that difficult trudge to Christmas Day all the more pleasant and fulfilling. Did it work? Did you find some new favourites? I know I did.
It is fun to take this time to reflect on the Whisky Calendar as a whole. Did some bottles stand out for you? I had tasted a few of these bottles before, though some I had never paid as much attention to. The most exciting part for myself was tasting some that were entirely new to me. Now that I have written about and tasted them all, here is a list of my personal top
five six from the 25 in this year's lineup:
1 - Read on... Or click on this link to find out (SPOILERS)!
There is a lot of That Boutique-y Whisky Company on my list! What were your favourites from the 2022 KWM Whisky Calendar? Do you have a top five?
We have a tradition of ending our Whisky Calendar with a special 100ml bottle from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada. If you have purchased and enjoyed the KWM Whisky Calendar in previous years then this is not a revelation. Luckily, the bottle selected for the Calendar is always a surprise and something a little bit different. We will get to that soon. But first, for those new to our Whisky Calendar and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society - what is the big deal?
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is the world's largest whisky club, and also an independent bottler. As a club, it has close to 30,000 members all over the world, and branches in close to 20 different countries. It bottles as broad a range of single cask, single malt Scotch whiskies as any other firm - if not more - and it doesn't stop there. It has also bottled Japanese whiskies, Bourbon, Grain whisky, Cognac, Armagnac, Rum, and Gin. Whether it is a whisky or another spirit, the Society always bottles the spirit from a single cask, straight from the cask, Unfiltered. Undiluted. Unrivalled.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was officially founded back in 1983. Membership to the SMWS is easy and gives you exclusive access to the widest selection of single cask single malt whiskies anywhere in the world. The Canada Chapter of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society celebrated its 10th birthday in October of 2021. Only Scotch Malt Whisky Society members can buy our exclusive single cask single malt whiskies, but anyone can purchase a sample kit for one of the monthly Outturn Tastings we hold online. We're confident once you've had a taste you will want to join the club. For more information on the SMWS and SMWS Canada, you can visit their web page or www.smws.ca.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society does not put the name of the distillery directly on the bottle or in the tasting notes. Instead, everything is codified. That brings us to the bottle for today. Check out the label and you will find it says SOCIETY CASK NO. 63.99. What the heck do those numbers mean? The first set of numbers before the decimal (the 63) means that this is from the 63rd distillery ever bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society since its inception. The first distillery that the Society ever bottled a cask from is Glenfarclas, so SMWS Glenfarclas bottles are always labelled as 1.xxx. The 42nd distillery ever bottled was Tobermory, so SMWS bottlings distilled at Tobermory are labelled as 42.xx. And so on. Number 63 is a distillery within Speyside named Glentauchers. The .99 of the 69.99 means that this is the 99th cask from Glentauchers that the SMWS has ever bottled.
Glentauchers Distillery was founded in 1897 by James Buchanan and W.P. Lowrie. James Buchanan & Co. had taken over control of the distillery just under a decade later and in 1915, that company merged with Dewars. A few other things happened ownership-wise over the next few decades, two world wars and other stuff that made the news at the time. What is important for Glentauchers as it is now is that in 1985, DCL (the owners at that point) mothballed the distillery. The distillery was silent until 1992 when it was revived by Allied Distillers. Allied was taken over by Chivas Brothers / Pernod Ricard in 2005.
Pernod Ricard owns the distillery to this day, and that is essentially why we don’t see any official bottlings from Glentauchers Distillery. The distillery’s production is nearly entirely earmarked for blending as it plays a prominent roll in Ballentine's as well as the Buchanan’s and Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky brands.
The Glentaucher’s Distillery is located in Mulben, which is just west of Keith. It’s nearest distillery neighbours include Auchroisk Distillery, which is a five-minute drive to the west, and if you take a seven-minute drive east to Keith, you will be able to reach Strathmill, Glen Keith, and the very picturesque Strathisla Distillery.
Even though, as I mentioned, Glentaucher’s doesn’t have much worth noting for official Single Malt bottlings, it is a favourite of blenders and indie bottlers alike. The distillery tends to make a wonderfully rich and fruit-driven whisky that both works on its own and plays well with others. Glentauchers can be found bottled by Gordon & MacPhail, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Signatory, and many others from time to time, including the SMWS.
Now, shall we give this 19 Year Old Scotch Malt Whisky Society Bottle a try?
Scotch Malt Whisky Society 63.99 - ORANGE CREAMSICLE CRUSH - 51.3% - 19 Years Old
Evan’s Tasting Note
Nose: Vanilla bean, creamy custard, ripe orange slices, peaches, apricots, orange pekoe tea with cream and sugar, chamomile, chalky and powdery hard candies, waxy floral notes, and just a touch of sawdust.
Palate: Oh, man. Waxy fruity, and tangy, with chalky and creamy notes. Orange sherbet, vanilla ice cream, lime sorbet, cherry gelato, the hard marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal, and angel food cake with strawberry slices in the icing.
Finish: The finish on an ex-Bourbon barrel single malt shouldn’t keep going like this, should it?!?
Comment: The SMWS nailed the name on this one. ORANGE CREAMSICLE CRUSH indeed!
There you have it, folks! I thought my personal top whisky from the 2022 KWM Whisky Calendar was set in stone, but this bottle ousted it. We have had some very cool SMWS bottles in previous KWM Whisky Calendars, but of the ones I have tasted none of them eclipse this bottle. I am glad we were able to share it with you and I hope you enjoyed it as well, but a part of me now wants to hoard all of the bottles for myself.
Well, everybody – that's a wrap! The calendar box is now but an empty husk and many (all?) of the bottles that were held within are now just a shell of their former selves. What memories we shared together, though!
I hope you enjoyed the journey with us through the 2022 KWM Whisky Calendar and found some new favourite drams of your own along the way. Thank you for tasting your way through all of the doors. Thank you to all of the KWM staff for building the boxes as they do every year. Thank you to the agents and importers that managed to source the mini bottles that went into the Calendar. Thank you to Rob and Kelly of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada for getting us the very special 25th bottle. And thank you very much to Andrew for making this Whisky Calendar happen for the past 9 years.
Time to get working on the 2023 edition!
Cheers, and Happy Holidays Everybody!
Twitter and Instagram: @sagelikefool
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