Hidden Gems: July 2021
This month there has been no shortage of exceptional single cask whiskies to discover at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. From the enchanting forests of Speyside to the mystical island of Islay, it seems like we’ve been uncovering unique casks from all the right places lately.
Earlier this week I sat down to revisit our ever-growing selection of single cask whiskies and identify the true hidden gems. Which were the most thrilling? The most unexpected? How about the best value? All these factors and more were considered in curating this short list of fantastic whiskies that should not be missed.
There’s nothing quite like a young Islay whisky bottled at cask strength. Its bold and smoky character makes this style of whisky one of the most exciting out there. This particular one happens to have been matured in an Oloroso sherry cask for 7 years. The symphony of dense, maritime peat smoke and warm baking spices is thrilling in every sense of the word.
As further proof that whisky need not be enjoyed in an oversized leather sofa alongside a roaring fire, Cask 39.208 Summer gardens and funfairs has become my go-to companion for this month’s outdoor activities. I’ve brought it to a picnic with friends and even thrown it in my backpack for a few hikes. Its bright and zesty profile of pineapple, orange peel and crème brûlée with a hint of wood chips and Earl Gray tea make this a perfect pairing for sipping under the sun. An easy pickup if you too have been taking advantage of the outdoors lately.
Keeping to the theme of whiskies to be enjoyed in the summer, Cask 35.278 Abundant treats is a Light & Delicate whisky aged for a full 24 years in a first-fill ex-bourbon barrel. Over the course of a near quarter century, the whisky has absorbed a myriad of flavours from vanilla essence and worn leather to raspberry jam and lavender. And while it may be an elegant whisky from start to finish, the combination of gentle flavours and a strong delivery (55% ABV) is just a joy to experience.