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SMWS launches The Vaults Collection

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has unveiled its new The Vaults Collection, launching two single cask single malt whiskies.

The first releases in the new series are ‘In a perfumed garden’ (£875), a 26-year-old single malt from a now-closed Lowland distillery, and ‘Meeting an old master’ (£980), a 27-year-old single malt from a renowned Speyside distillery.

They will be released on 2 October exclusively to members of the Society.. The Vaults Collection will focus on the Society’s rarest aged releases and exceptional examples of single cask, single malt whisky.

‘In a perfumed garden’ (£875) is one of only 170 bottles from a single cask of whisky from a distillery that closed in 1993. It was matured in a refill barrel before being transferred for further maturation to a second-fill Sauternes hogshead for 18 months. Finally, it was moved back to a second-fill bourbon barrel where it rested for a further year before being released under the Society’s Sweet, Fruity & Mellow flavour profile.

On the releases, Charles MacLean says: “This is an exceptional example of this closed distillery’s remaining stock, which is rare and diminishing with every passing day. Its freshness and vibrant character shine through in a classic example of what was considered the Lowland region’s leading distillery. You’ll never see its like again.”

‘Meeting an old master’ (£980) is one of only 437 bottles drawn from a single cask of whisky that was distilled on 7 May 1990. The Speyside whisky matured in an ex-Oloroso sherry cask before further aging in a first-fill Pedro Ximenez sherry butt.

From the Society’s Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits flavour profile, the whisky is described as being “dark yet sweet, with chocolate-covered Brazil and macadamia nuts, figs, prunes and old leather, followed by Muscovado sugar, all spice and a finish of rye whisky with dark, strong coffee”.

Commenting again, Charles MacLean adds: “An absolutely gorgeous dram and a wonderful example of this distillery’s traditional style of classic sherried whisky, as it was made in a previous era. It is big, voluptuous and stimulating, with a deeply complex texture. Precious as it is, I wanted to pour myself another dram immediately.”

Kai Ivalo, spirits Director at the Society, says: “The Vaults Collection encompasses the finest and rarest casks from our treasure trove of single cask whiskies. These casks have been stored over decades and nurtured through their maturation as the ultimate expressions of their kind – these are once-in-a-lifetime bottling of liquid history.”

The Vaults Collection bottles ‘In a perfumed garden’ and ‘Meeting an old master’ are available to full SMWS members in the UK and EU from 2nd October with key allocations following in the US and Asia.

23 September 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor