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THE KNOWLEDGE : SMWS SMALL BATCHES

Updated: Feb 15


THE KNOWLEDGE : When two become one


The Society’s Spirits Team are all about experimentation, with a view to providing members a constant range of exciting flavours to explore and enjoy. SMWS ambassador Lee ‘Connas’ Connor caught up with the Society’s head of whisky creation, Euan Campbell, to find out more about a new offering where two casks have been combined to create a new ultra-small batch release and how it has been crafted

PHOTOS: MIKE WILKINSON


In recent years The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has been unashamedly proactive in embracing the arts of blending and extra maturation, via releases such as our Heresy Range and Small Batch Single Malt Releases. The next tantalising instalment put together by our Spirits Team will be in the form of a series of small batch single malts, created by combining the contents of two casks.

ABOVE: The Society regularly releases small batch single malts


HOW DOES IT WORK?

The Society’s head of whisky creation, Euan Campbell, has selected and blended pairs of casks containing single malt from the same distillery, to create a variety of styles, textures and flavours.


“This method gives us the opportunity to layer flavours from different cask types, but on a very small scale,” he says. “For example, 6.72: Fruitful mellifluosity started life as two bourbon hogsheads. They were transferred separately to a first fill Spanish oak oloroso hogshead and a first fill American oak Pedro Ximenez hogshead. After a couple of years in those casks, we married the two together prior to bottling at cask strength to create something every bit as unique as a single cask, with some very bold flavours to explore.”


WHAT TO LOOK FOR

These new offerings will go into our regular iconic green bottle and will be given a bottle code as with our single cask releases. But keep an eye out for the number of bottles and cask type entries on the label, and they will give you some clues!

In fact, we have already done something similar, albeit we combined the whiskies into a larger cask at the beginning of their additional maturation.



PICTURED: The new series of ultra low-batch bottlings will see the Spirits Team create a variety of styles, textures and flavours by taking the contents of two casks and giving them a period of additional maturation in separate styles of casks then marrying them before bottling


As Euan alluded to, Cask 6.72: Fruitful mellifluosity is a great example, made by marrying the contents of two casks. The Tasting Panel noted: “The starting note for this small batch was two bourbon hogsheads of single malt Scotch whisky. At 13 years of age one cask was transferred to a first fill Spanish oak oloroso hogshead, and the other to a first fill American oak PX hogshead. The casks were then married together before bottling. The nose majored on an array of fruits (banana, glacé cherries, sultanas, orange peel, lemon bonbons) bound together with the mellifluous sweetness of fudge, honeycomb and butterscotch.

The palate also had fruits and sweets (toffee, peach cobbler, strawberries, plums, rhubarb), with some earthier notes punching through – candied almonds, sea salt dark chocolate, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.”

MORE TO COME

Euan has confirmed that there are 13 such whiskies in the “Two to One” range currently being bottled, so, there is an ever-growing choice and points of interest coming your way.

Keep an eye on your Outturn emails!




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