The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is a well-known independent bottler of single cask, single malt whiskies from around the world. Owned by Glenmorangie and based in Edinburgh, Scotland, the SMSW purchases casks from distilleries and then releases the bottles with a distinctive code on the front (the first number states which distillery and then the number after the decimal point tells you which cask). This adds to the mystery and sets up a sort of blind tasting by ideally eradicating preconceived notions about particular distilleries.
Recently, SMWS has ventured into the world of American whiskey and they present us with SMSW 133.1. An interesting note about this release is that the people at SMSW have not really tried to hide the origin of this bottle. It comes from Washington State and the release party was held at the Westland Distillery in Seattle hosted by SMWS and by the good people at Westland. For obvious reasons, distillery 133 is thought to be Westland Distillery which is known for its varieties of American single malts.
SMSW 133.1 is a 5-year-old single malt whiskey sitting at approximately 114 proof. It is aged in heavy char virgin oak barrels.
Scotch Malt Whiskey Society Distillery/Cask #133.1 – Speakeasy Sneaky Peeky (Believed to be Westland) (Bottle 1 of 207) (Distilled on October 2011 – virgin oak, heavy char, from Washington State) (114 Proof) (5 Year)
Nose: A bit of alcohol burn consistent with 114 proof. Green apple pie; grain; cinnamon sugar; strong clove; mentholatum; pistachio; light caramel/butterscotch. (4/5)
Palate: Creamy. Pear; apple cider; baking spice; clove; ginger; vanilla; caramel. (4/5)
Finish: Medium-long, but incredibly rich. Rancio (the mushroom/earthy/soy-sauce old Cognac flavors); strawberry; lime; warm hard apple cider; clove; allspice. Tingling; (4/5)
Overall: On this Scotch Malt Whiskey Society #133.1, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. From start to finish, this is exceeds not only our expectations, but our sense of mere satisfaction. (4.5/5)
Value: Ordered straight from the SMWS at a cost of $175+shipping, this one is a bit costly. However, the quality is certainly there, as is the enjoyment. Overall, we were pleased with the value. (3.5/5)
“On this Scotch Malt Whiskey Society #133.1, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. From start to finish, this is exceeds not only our expectations, but our sense of mere satisfaction.”
Dr. Stephen Benson is an original member of Flight Club.