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Bladnoch SMWS 50.56 "Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!"

Floral Perfume and Old Wood

5 688

@VictorReview by @Victor

25th Mar 2019

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    88

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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

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6 comments

@NamBeist
NamBeist commented

@Victor a finish can be astringent sometimes. It's still a great whisky. Such is life itself sometimes.

I wish you the best of all. I love to read about your discoveries in the world of whisky and beyond that.

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@NamBeist 'astringent' per se is not a bad thing to me. I didn't like the varnish in this case.

Cheers!

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@Victor I've never had the pleasure of meeting you or @dramlette but every Connosr I've met who knew her has mentioned that she was such a kind soul.

Great review as always, it gives us a clear sense of what worked and didn't work for you. I've read that for many distilleries that we're closed in the late 80's early 90's their outputs were often put in 2nd and 3rd fill casks as as cost saving measure. Perhaps it was the case of a cask like this, 23 years in refill oak might account for distillate driven notes, the still present varnish and astringency.

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@cricklewood, thank you for joining in. Julie was and is the best. Every day of not having her physically with me any more is still a shock for me. Sometimes the mysteries of time and eternity stare us in the face and we are forced to look at them for prolonged periods. Now is one of those times for me.

I look forward to meeting you one day. Because you hang out with some of the same people I have been hanging out with for years now, I do think that we will meet and sip some whisky. Cheers!

3 months ago 6Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy commented

@Victor - I'm just now seeing this review. Sorry that I missed it before now. Thank you for taking the time to dissect this dram. I really enjoyed your review. I find it very interesting that I rated this one a 93. I know that my palate and nosing abilities are not to your level (yet). I'm just not able to detect the finer details that caused you to rate it a little lower than I did, but you did give it a 93, if it wasn't for the finish. That gives me confidence that I am at least on the right track. That is one of the things I love about whisky; there is always more to learn.

As you know, having the opportunity to meet you in person and share drams with you meant the world to me, but I am especially thankful that I also had the opportunity to meet Julie. Even though it was only for a few hours, it was quickly evident what a very special person she was. You both made me feel so welcome and it was like I was someone that you had known forever. So many great memories!

3 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@bwmccoy having you visit us while you were in DC was wonderful. I had eagerly been looking forward to meeting you for several years. I am glad that you met Julie and I am sorry that Julie did not get the chance to meet Tamara and Kilton. It was quite a blessing that you met Julie while she was still very comfortable and just before she was in pain continuously.

As for your taste in whisky and your abilities to evaluate them and their merits, you do just fine!!!

Thank you for being my friend.

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

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