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SMWS launches first ever blended malt

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has released its first blended malt, Exotic Cargo.

The 10 year old blended malt is available in the UK and EU from September 1 at, before being released to international markets including the US, Canada and Australia.

The Society has claimed that it will always focus on single cask, single malt whisky, but also that this blended malt with a heavy sherry influence is the latest example of its mission to explore the full spectrum of flavours in whisky and other spirits.

For Exotic Cargo, The Society’s spirits manager Euan Campbell sourced a number of pre-blended malt whiskies, all distilled on the same day on 2006, and all matured in firstfill ex-sherry casks. A number of blends at various strengths were then tried before the Society’s Tasting Panel selected a blend with a reduced strength of 50% ABV which they describe as a “sherry-soaked cruise into paradise”.

In typical Society style, the Exotic Cargo tasting notes read: “A wooden ship is sailing through the tropics with an exotic cargo of spices, scented flowers, medjool dates and mangoes… close your eyes and drift away on this sherry-soaked cruise into paradise.” 

The Society revealed the blended malt to its members first, with a selection of volunteers being sent preview samples to feedback on.

Commenting on the whisky’s release, Kai Ivalo, spirits director at SMWS says: “The Society has always had an unconventional streak and we’re really breaking the mould of what can be done with a blended malt. We’re looking to our members for feedback on the bottle before releasing further intriguing creations, however, we’re sure they will be as eager as ever to get their hands and palates on what truly is a piece of exotic cargo.”

Exotic Cargo (£45) is available in an outturn of 1,937 bottles, and as with all Society single malts, is neither chill-filtered nor coloured.

In July earlier this year, The SMWS released a new single cask spirits brand for its rum, gin, cognac, bourbon and non-malt whisky releases. Later in the year, rye and grain whiskies will also be added to the range.

29 August 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor