Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Six months ago today @bwmccoy visited my wife and me and brought us some whisky samples. Four days after he left my wife's illness intensified and she was in pain nearly all of the time until she passed away late in December 2018. I am just now getting around to trying most of the lovely samples he gave to @Dramlette and to me. Thank you, @bwmccoy!
SMWS 50.56 is 23 years old, was distilled July 10, 1990, was aged in a refill bourbon barrel, and yielded a total of 104 bottles
Nose: I gave this 23 minutes in the glass prior to nosing. This smells OLD. Moderate intensity long re-used oak flavours are dominant. They show gentle varnish, a hint of turpentine, and very light vanilla. Malt is noticeable and halfway between cereal and grass in its expression. A beautiful floral bouquet of carnations sits atop its other flavours as a crown. This is very gentle, pleasant, and elegant. With water added the flavours fuse together, but remain attractive. Score: 23/25 neat and with water
Taste: this is very sweet and far more expressive in the mouth than it was in the somewhat understated yet beautiful nose. The flavours of malt, vanilla, and varnish are strong. I find the strong sweet component here to be a necessary counterbalance to the rather astringent flavours of the old oak. I like this very much. Water added reduced complexity and individuality of the flavours. Score: 23.5/25 neat; 23/25 with water added
Finish: long finish, losing the sweet component early and ending on astringent varnish. Water added smoothed out the intense finish significantly. Score: 19/25 neat; 21/25 with water
Balance: lovely nose, great delivery, not so good on the finish. Score: 22/25 neat and with water added
Total Sequential Score: 87.5 points neat; 89 points with water added
Strength: 24/25 points
Quality: 22.5/25 points; some of the wood flavours greatly diminish the finish
Variety: 21/25 points; good variety
Harmony: very good harmony in the nose and on the delivery; only fair harmony on the close. Score: 21/25 points
Total Non-Sequential Score: 88.5 points
Comment: Leave out the finish and this would be a 93 point whisky to me. The nose is lovely, the palate delicious and intense. I don't like the finish.
Age is obvious in this bottle. I would recommend to drink this neat and to ignore the finish