January Hidden Gems by Scott Brunow


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  • Flavour Profile:
    Light & Delicate, Lightly Peated, Spicy & Dry, Spicy & Sweet
  • Age:
    9 years, 10 years, 12 years
  • Region:
    Speyside, Highland, Speyside
  • Cask:
    First-fill barrel, Second-fill barrel, Refill hogshead


At The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, we are on a passionate pursuit of the world’s most unique casks of whisky. Oftentimes we discover true Hidden Gems amongst our whiskies. Here are three 'below the radar' casks chosen by Scott Brunow to kick off the New Year!

Let’s start off with a flavor profile we don’t see often, Light and Delicate. This profile is usually a result of refill barrels, but not this one. Cask No. 39.233 Many shades of green was aged for 9 years in a first fill barrel, and you’ll notice very little cask influence and a great look at Distillery 39's Speyside character. The nose is surprisingly aromatic with citrus, malt, and fresh flowers. On the palate, candied sweetness will greet you up front, followed by baked bread and citrus notes.  Water will bring out more of the sweetness, apple juice, wood, floral notes and tea.

If you’re a movie buff you’ll get the reference in the name of this one. The Spicy and Dry profile is one of those often overlooked profiles, but popularity is growing.  Cask No. 94.22 A Replicant tries whisky making is from a Highland distillery known for lighter fruitier whiskies, breaking the mold and delivering a peppery-spicy-yet-citrus palate-buster. A waxy, earthy, citrusy nose greets you right up front. On the palate savor the crayon, white pepper, flowers, grilled lemon and pear. With water the waxiness turns oily, herbal earthy notes appear, and peppery spices shine even more. A truly unique whisky.

Finishing up this month's Hidden Gems is a 12 year Speysider - Cask No. 113.52 Dangerously deceptive. This one is a classic example of the Spicy and Sweet profile. Beautiful on the nose as berries, earth, malt and chocolate escape the glass. The taste is overrunning with fruits, berries, spice, chocolates and cream. There’s even a little bit of earthy dunnage seen in older whiskies.  Maybe that’s why its named Dangerously deceptive.  Add some water to bring out tobacco notes, more fruit, chocolate and cream!

If ordered separately: Cask No. 39.233= $115; Cask No. 94.22= $125; Cask No. 113.52= $130. 


Cask No. 39.233 - Many shades of green 
Date distilled: December 2011
Cask: First-fill barrel
Age: 9 years
Alcohol: 61.4%
Region: Speyside Lossie


Cask No. 94.22  - A Replicant tries whisky making
Date distilled: March 2011
Cask: Second-fill barrel
Age: 10 years
Alcohol: 62.7%
Region: Highland Eastern

Cask No. 113.52 - Dangerously Deceptive
Date distilled: January 2009
Cask: Refill hogshead
Age: 12 years
Alcohol: 64.0%
Region: Speyside Spey