SMWS – A small cigar can change the world

SMWS – A small cigar can change the world

Lineup of the tasting
What a mighty lineup

Early september, I discovered there was events where you could taste SMWS whiskies as well as cigars – and boy what that an excellent discovery.
This time around, the French ambassadors reached out to me and asked me whether I would be interested in an “exclusive” session where we would taste a whisky selected just for France – SMWS 7.217 – Joie de vivre. This session would again be at Gentleman 1919, which I’m starting to love more and more.

Obviously, I accepted – and I can only thank them for that as I missed the Whisky Live due to friends having the bad idea of having their wedding that week-end. This was then the occasion for me to forget about the sheer pain it caused and soothe my broken heart by downing some drams.

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Saint George's SMWS 137.3

SMWS 137.3 – Smouldering englishness

The third SMWS release from Saint George’s Distillery (The English Whisky), a 9 years old first fill ex-bourbon barrel. This one measured against the Laphroaig I had before – which was hard, but I was told it was founded by an ex from Laphroaig based on English peat. Why not?

Saint George SMWS 137.3
Image courtesy of SMWS

Nose

A very surprising juniper start, followed by sea salt, chocolate and apricot, and at the very end a low key custard.

Palate

Attacking on an alcoholic burn. Milk chocolate, very smooth smoke with a slight sea salty after taste.

Finish

Finish a bit short yet on sea salt crystals, with this smooth smoke bringing them forward.

Comments

I discovered a new distillery with this one. I have absolutely no regret but this one: I waited for the Joie de vivre release on October 10th to make my order and there was none of this release left. My world is misery.

Rating: 89/100

Glen Grant SMWS 9.168

SMWS 9.168 – Cedar bigger picture

I tend not to really go for the Light & Delicate category of the SMWS. Usually, I’m a fan of strong flavours. So I eyed this Glen Grant with some bias, I’m afraid. But heh – why not try? It came from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead.

Glen Grant SMWS 9.168
Image courtesy of SMWS

Nose

At first, the typical Glen Grant citrus came out along with some sort of astringency, on a background of meringue and some oak.

Palate

Very surprising meringue on the attack! Then lemon meringue pie, lemon meringue pie, and lemon meringue pie again with some slight vanilla at the end.

Finish

Short finish, sadly.

Comments

It was a surprise as when I mentioned lemon meringue pie, everyone present said “ooh yes!”. It’s not often to feel such a clear cut, explicit sensory experience shared across an assembly of 6.

Rating: 85/100

Glenburgie SMWS 71.65

SMWS 71.65 – Cracking – Crispy & Crunchy!

We started our tasting with a Glenburgie – I can only say I was expecting it very much. I’ve recently tasted a very nice Glenburgie 1995 (the 20, rue d’Anjou edition from LMDW) and was positively ecstatic with it. So I had high expectations for this 8 years old, first fill ex-bourbon barrel.

Glenburgie SMWS 71.65 Cracking - Crispy & Crunchy!
Image courtesy of whiskybase.com
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SMWS – Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar

SMWS – Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar

When I joined the SMWS, I first did it as I wanted to partake of some cask strength unfiltered goodness. Obviously, for a whisky aficionado, this is one of the good places to be a member of.

Then, at one random point in time I realised there was an “event” category on the website where things were actually organised. I remember thinking – surely there’s nothing in Paris. Boy, was that a stupid thought. You can find the full account of my first SMWS tasting session here.

This time around, yet another discovery: I realised there were events in a small committee at a Speakeasy where whiskies were paired with cigars. My blood just went boiling at the sheer idea of the combination of both, being a fan of cigars (H. Upmann & Romeo y Julieta in particular if you wish to know).

The lineup for the tasting: 6 SMWS bottlings.
Our whisky line-up for the evening

So I purchased my ticket and eagerly went to Gentleman 1919, in Paris, a quite excellent venue. It was 21h. I got back home at 1h45. Here’s why.

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