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Smith's 1998 8 Year old

Surprisingly good for a completely unheard of malt

0 081

@jdcookReview by @jdcook

20th Nov 2009


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: Smith's
  • ABV: 40%

A brief bit of blurb: this dram comes from a South Australian wine maker, and is very limited novelty release. It is made from Franklin barley from Tasmania, and matured in a combination of American and French hogsheads (which previously held red or white wines) and old sherry casks.

More information can be found here: www.nicks.com.au/index.aspx

The nose is very sweet, with overriding floral and vanilla notes. A decent hint of malt, pears, with an almost savoury sour cream nudge in the background. Just a hint of spirit buzz in the back of the nose.

The taste is full, rich, creamy and mouth-watering. Strong caramel fruitiness, with hints of oak and just a slight note of peat. That savoury sour cream taste remains in the background, trying to balance out the sweetness. Refreshing notes of citrus come out over a couple of sips, and account for how refreshing it is despite its full rich character.

The finish is decently long, full of warm caramel sweetness with a hint of tingling spices to balance it out.

When a mate of mine mentioned he had a bottle of this, he asked if I was interested in having a glass. Naturally, despite having heard precisely nothing about this dram before he mentioned it, I said yes. I didn't expect much, and it is heavily weighted towards sweetness, and I would prefer it with a bit more on the savoury end of things, but this is genuinely good. It's a pity that it is only a limited novelty release by these wine-makers, but when the casks set aside to be released as a 15 year old come out, I will be buying a bottle.


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