The SMWS 2.84 was released in the January 2014 collection and is notable for its particularly low outturn. Only 77 bottles were available from the 20 year old first-fill Sherry Hogshead, so inevitably it sold out within days.
I was one of the fortunate ones to get hold of a bottle so here’s my tasting notes.
Caramelised Golden Syrup.
Smells like Cola at first, though this changes. Leathery tobacco notes with lots of raisins, other dried fruits and spice. Prunes in Armagnac and there are some sweeter tropical fruits coming through as well.
An incredible nose; rich, deep and dry.
Starts off sweet with a good chunk of Christmas cake combined with dark chocolate. The fruit subsides and the bitter chocolate comes to the fore, bringing in leather, tobacco and some burnt caramel.
Sweetens at the finish, but much darker overall than the nose suggested. The finish is rich and long.
I added a few drops of water, well aware that this can often kill Sherried whisky. The water did open it up however, revealing some of the sweeter, tropical flavours which were on the nose. Also a bit of liquorice and a dash of dry rubbery sulphur.
This is a fantastic dram, which unfortunately only a few will get a chance to experience. It is definitely more dry and bitter than I expected, however still feels quite balanced and the finish is amazing.
I feel very lucky to have got hold of a bottle and will try to make it last for a while, saving it for special occasions. It’s also one for the end of a night; with the depth of favour you wouldn’t want to follow this with anything else.