Bought: SMWS, 27th October 2015
87/100 – Whiskybase (from one member vote)
My second bottle since joining the ‘Scotch Malt Whisky Society’ (SMWS) is this Linkwood entitled ‘Builders at Breaktime’. Not the sort of image I’d associate with good flavour but the description of the bottle goes on to say “chips wrapped in warm newspaper and meaty broth tangled with oily engines. Dough balls with dark chocolate, espresso and cinnamon sprinkles. A cheeky tequila with salt and lime. Twiggy crisps, peanut brittle and garibaldi biscuits. Tools down for the day!” OK so it wasn’t the builders that the title was alluding to but what they might be consuming during their break. Tasty!
In Ralfy’s video below where he discusses the SMWS and reviews one of their bottles, someone comments about how expensive the SMWS bottles are when compared to distillery releases. They mention a SMWS bottle of Ardbeg. In a lot of cases you can’t get cask strength distillery releases but you certainly can for Ardbeg. What you rarely get from Ardbeg is age statements that are cask strength (the 10yo is 46% and the hugely expensive 17yo is only 40%). So it’s difficult to compare SMWS directly with most distillery bottlings. What makes more sense is to compare with other independent bottlers. This 14yo Linkwood (58%) cost £48.10 with free postage. I could buy a 15yo Linkwood (55.8%) from Bartels Whisky for £55.80 but I’d still have to add £3.95 postage. Admittedly you pay £130 to join the SMWS society but it gives you free delivery for a year. If you buy 10 bottles in that time then you’ve made your money back compared to Bartels Whisky (who I would say are one of the cheapest independents). I’m not saying the SMWS are cheap but they’ve clearly done their pricing research and charge appropriately.
Ralfy discusses the SMWS and reviews one of their bottlings (Port Charlotte):