The SMWS 29.104

30 ml phenolic smelling salts bottle

[In this, our 300th post on this site, we review a very special dram indeed.  This was a bottling that went on offer from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, only to sell out almost immediately.  We know why.  Alas.  Enjoy the Lo-Mob effect on the picture here (a little something we’ve decided to do with these SMWS reviews.  Check out the beginning of this other post for more on these reviews.  If you want to find out more about the SMWS or their bottlings, visit]

SMWS-29.104Tasting notes: 

     Phenol, vinyl, phono, thumb!
I smell the whisky from the tun! 

That, and burning pine cones, old Beatles LPs, Irish wolfhounds. Also, stew concocted for a robot who thinks he’s human, made with smoked venison, motor oil, and burnt hair from someone dancing too near the gas stove. Balanced and understated: the stew is a Merchant-Ivory production. Assertive on the mouth, with a cascade of flavors jostling for attention, much like Anthony Gatto’s record juggling of seven lit torches. He accomplished this feat in 1989, quite near the time this was distilled. There’s also a billionaire churlishly burning T. Rex bones in his fireplace: Peat, smoke, hellfire, communion wine, more peat, more smoke, and more hellfire. The finish is robust and perfectly aligned with the nose and mouth: a veritable funnel of love. [John: I believe that’s ‘tunnel of love.’]
     Water smooths it out like a Renaissance painter converting a palette of discrete dabs of oil into a perfectly blended, perfectly smooth coating of the waxy canvas. Some fruit shines through, as do maple glazed donut holes. Hints of pipe tobacco in an apothecary’s shop. A tad of retsina on the finish—I want to dance like Zorba the Greek!

–On the scale of rock music from 1967–
The SMWS 29.104 is the opening riff from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band–It’s unforgettable, and it changed pop music forever. It was 20 years ago today…just like the 29.104, so lift a glass in memory of George Harrison and all other pioneers, sonic and otherwise.


Happy Repeal Day Everyone!!!


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