For two reasons, picking a bottle from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is not a particularly hard task. First, the whiskies’ telling monickers always give you a good impression of what to expect. And second, the quality of the releases of the world’s biggest dramming club is usually so high that the chance of making a blunder is almost non-existent. In bars, through friends and via sample swaps I already got to try quite a few Society bottlings. And the all were pretty awesome or even better! When I was lucky to win a 1-year-membership at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society earlier this month, I still reviewed their latest outturn carefully to select a very special drop as the first SMWS order of my own. In the end, my choice fell on an 18-year-old Laphroaig labeled “Slapped by a kipper”. Cause how can you not love a sturdy Islay malt that smells, tastes and feels like “an intense and life affirming slap around the face with a smoked kipper”?
Eye: An Islay beach’s yeallow sands on a sunny day in June.
Nose: Typically Laphroaig. Iodine, sanitizer and band-aids clash with sea air, harbor walls and Islay peat. But that is not all. If you keep sniffing, you will also find sweet meat, fresh eucalyptus, crumbled caramel and gleaming coal. An intense nose that every ‘Phroaig fan will love for reasons no one else will understand.
Palate: In the mouth, the “Slapped By A Kipper” feels pretty oily at first and turns surprisingly dry a short while after – as if your tongue was suddenly wrapped in gause bandages. Taste-wise, this powerful whisky brims with phenolic peat, cold smoke, salt-crusted salmon and cookie dough.
Finish: Kawooom! This kipper does not caress your cheek softly. It slams against your face violently! During its prolonged finish, it unleashes salty and sweet as well as bitter and phenolic flavors. As raw and extreme as this Islay beast is, it also brings a lot of complexity to the table!
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 18 Years
Alc. volume: 57.4%
Cask type: Re-fill bourbon hogshead
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~129.00 Euro
More info: https://www.smws.com/ (Bottler) ; https://www.laphroaig.com/ (Distillery)