Imagine what it’d be like if, in polite company, a Sherry butt…well…did what butts do. You can then imagine a well-heeled woman in a high lace collar gasping, “Well, I never!” It’s even easier to imagine that the Sherry butt just sits there as if nothing happened, because it’s difficult moving a Sherry butt. As entertaining as it is to think of well-placed flatulence with all of the punny trappings you’ve come to expect from us, it is only your imagination, because this is whisky came from a refill ex-Bourbon hogshead. Nonetheless, we got some of mankiness often found in Sherried whiskies, which some others refer to as meaty richness, which we wouldn’t dare use in the context of the joke line we’re perpetrating here.
But to continue with the nose, there are also exploded fireworks, woody toadstools, a World Cup game-used soccer ball grilled over mesquite alongside cornichons, and motorboat chutney. Not sure what that last descriptor means (Bill just came out with it as we were tasting this whisky), but I’ll be damned if it isn’t terribly apt. Oil and brine abound here.
The mouth is really unusual. It’s the Bob Hope of whiskies: weird nose, great sharp mouth. Take a sip and then return to the nose, and you’ll find burnt green peppers, rutabagas, and parsnips–and overall, the nose does not seem as hot as it did at first. But man, is the mouth bright: it’s like finding a note that brings to mind a suppressed memory from childhood. You know, but in a good way. We also got notes of the pressure treated boards of a summer camp cabin layered under notes of rubberized and mildewed mattresses. These last three sentences are not related.
The finish comes on all bright and manky, like a second tier funk band that’s just been joined on stage by a well-toked George Clinton. The band is pumped, the light seem that much brighter as they pulse to the beat, and that clarion, joyous call for what you need just as you’re getting it spreads through the crowd like a conflagration: We want the mank / Gotta have that mank / Awww, we want the mank…
The SMWS 93.61 is a gravitational singularity–You’re not going to be able to situate this one easily on your star/flavor map. That, to our minds, is a really good reason to try it.
–Our thanks to Gabby Shayne and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America for the sample!