It struck me as kind of funny that one of the few (pun intended) American whiskeys the SMWS bottles has a name with two words that are spelled in a distinctly English way.
So, I got a big share of this, and it took me a while to get started on it, but after that it was gone fairly quickly. And not only because I don’t want too many open sample bottles standing around on my shelf.
It’s a very raw bourbon. Dry, sharp and spicy, with lots of grains. Typically FEW, or maybe ‘new wave bourbon’ instead. Tree bark, crusty bread, salted caramel and a campfire. So, charcoal, burning embers and that kind of stuff.
Sharp, like on the nose. Sharp oak, sharp grains, sharp spiciness. Kind clunky with lots of oak. It doesn’t mellow over time, so it stays sharp and dry. Again, typically FEW, with tree bark and charcoal.
Very warming, almost glowing, with a significant afterburner. Charcoal, embers, dry, sharp and oaky.
I find this whiskey typically true of the FEW style, but contrary to some other brands that are in this style bracket, they seem to pull it off. It makes for a very interesting, and dangerously drinkable whiskey, without ever being boring.
Somehow, I noticed that this was a strong whiskey, but I would never have guessed that this was over 60%. I’d have guessed some 55% or so. Quite the difference.
But, after all is said and done. This is one of those whiskeys that, if you bought it, you won’t regret it since it’s really good and really drinkable. However, it is completely in line with other FEW products and therefore utterly predictable (predictably good too). That means it’s not so exclusive to FEW that you’d want to spend the significant uptick in price that the SMWS charges for it.
The current market price for this is some € 230, which is just ridiculous. I’d wait till a new cask strength release from FEW drops and comes in at € 80 or so.
FEW 3yo, 2013-2016, 63.4%, SMWS, B4.3 – Full Flavour Behaviour
Nice one! I had quite a few SMWS bottlings already, but didn’t try any of their bourbons so far. Hopefully soon…
So far, I’ve been more enthused by the Scotch whiskies, although those have been a hit & miss too. Especially with the rising prices, I think it’s a try before you buy right now.