SMWS Exotic Lip-smacking single malt.

This last week something very special happened, a personal project for two great guys within the whisky industry came to fruition. Shilton Almeida from Paul John single malt whisky and John McCheyne brand ambassador at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, who together made a first happen.

I’m pretty sure you can tell What this is, the inclusion of a brand new distillery on the SMWS list. Number 134 is the first Indian distillery used by them, with two single cask being released this past week. With 134.2 being available to buy for members on the website already. The SMWS are expecting a huge demand for the 134.1 so have decided to sell it by ballot, with members having until the 25th Oct to register.

So how do the first Indian single malts released by the SMWS taste, 

Picture courtesy of Shilton Almeida

134.1 Exotic rainforest fruits 

A 6yo refill ex-bourbon barrel distilled on the 28th of Feb 2010, it is bottled at cask strength of 57.9% abv with only a 174 bottles available. 

Nose: Rich fruit, mango, kiwi, bergamot orange, Sweet cinnamon, cardamom, there’s a creamy toffee note constantly in the background, with time more delicate spices appear and a hint of traditional Turkish delight..

Palate: Wow a big explosion of fruit and spice bursts across the palate, Pomelo, Mango, lime mixed with the cardamom and bergamot, with time some floral notes appear quite delicately in the background, the oak also makes an appearance on the palate in a subtle spicey way..

Finish: This is long with a delicate woody note with that bergamot finishing of the experience..

The second cask is 

134.2 Lip-smacking and Cockle-warming

Another 6yo refill ex-bourbon barrel distilled on the 31st of March 2010, it is also bottled at cask strength of 58% abv with only 168 bottles available. 

Nose:  A blast of citrus notes, lime, tangerines etc, hints of clove, liquorice, creamy chocolate, with time poached pear, vanilla toffee and a rich oak note appear..

Palate:  poached pear, hint of lime, some caramelized demerara sugar, rich oak with white pepper in the background,  just a hint of bees wax, with time some orange rind notes appear giving the palate a more robust spicey feel..

Finish: Long with a big warm spice that doesn’t want to fade, some hints of oak are shimmering below the surface of the spice. Extremely moreish and easy drinking..

I’ve always wondered how the SMWS come up with the descriptions for the bottles, now having tried both of these expressions I can see were the names come from. Close your eyes when you drink the 134.1 and you could be in a rainforest, with the nose and palate transporting you to the midst of somewhere exotic. Then you try the 134.2 and it’s just the perfect dram I’d want to share while walking in the country on a cold autumn morning. It just has that wonderful warming sensation, the one that starts in your core and spreads outwards. So who ever it is that samples the casks and comes up with the descriptions, my hat comes of to you for having the most accurate ones I’ve come across.

These are two amazing expressions, that for me showcase the quality that Paul John are producing. They are both rich and complex with so many layers, so completely different yet the basic DNA of Paul John is present throughout both of them. The 134.1 is more delicate and fruity for me with the 134.2 being more robust and having more wood and spice influences. For me the Lip-smacking flavours I get from the 134.2 make it my choice of the two, although I’d be happy to own both.

Picture courtesy of Shilton Almeida.

I think both Shilton and John should be very proud of these releases, they are outstanding and make me excited to see what will happen in the future. Fingers crossed the SMWS will look at a some of my favourite malt from Paul John next time, of course I’m talking about the Peated casks they have maturing at the distillery in Goa.

Thank you to Shilton and the SMWS for giving me the opportunity to try this, it’s been a pleasure for me.

Sláinte. 

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