Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask 135.19
For the rapidly aging Generation X jet set clinging to inane pop from the ’80s, the phrase “Easy Lover” conjures up memories of a duet between Earth Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey and that one drummer from Genesis. Much like the grocery store intercom anthem, the SMWS selected an accessible and pleasant dram for which to lay down some hard earned coin, especially if you’re a Loch Lomond Fan.
Cask 135.19 is an Inchmoan initially laid down in an ex-bourbon cask, then finished in a hogshead of heavy char new oak over a duration of 11 years. It is presented in an edition of 279 bottles, and as of this writing there are still a scant few available at the SMWS store.
A very ample and summery nose emerges on first approach. There’s a generous helping of pear and influence of the hogshead finish, with mild oak counterbalancing the pear. Letting it rest in the glass keeps things status quo, but a few drops of water bring out vanilla and freshly baled hay. The palate showcases more of the bourbon cask influence: lots of vanilla sweetness that is not overpowering, but which dominates the oak and notes of well-toasted hazelnuts. A nice long finish finds the wood influence earning a well-deserved rest while pear, cooked plantains take things to the conclusion.
It is still an absolute mystery to me why Loch Lomond’s full portfolio is a challenge to purchase stateside. Folks seem to be frothing at the mouth over other bottles in October 2020’s SMWS outturn. This was the definitely sleeper pick of the bunch.
A- / $110