Exotic Cargo – SMWS’ First Blend

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has been expanding the range of spirits expressions is produced beyond the traditional Single Malt from which it takes it’s name.

This release of ‘Exotic Cargo’ is the first blended spirit which has been bottled however; a 10 year old blended malt matured in first-fill Spanish Oak Sherry Hogsheads and bottled at 50% alcohol.

It was released as part of the September Outturn and despite being 1,937 bottles, it appears to have sold out. We were fortunate to be able to buy a bottle and our tasting notes are below.


Lovely rich sherry nose. Dark muscovado sugar combines with walnut, cherry and tropical fruits.

Boozy raisins and just a hint of cedar wood.


Thick, chewy liquid but even at 50%, it’s not prickly with alcohol. Sticky jam sweetness is the first flavour but quickly subsides as a more savoury flavour comes in with just a hint of green olive saltiness.

Brown sugar and dry leathery notes fight it out against each other which makes it a mouthwatering flavour combination.

Feels like there is some peat in this blend which makes things interesting.


Dry, chewy long finish with a dry sweet tobacco note carrying through to the end.


I’ve been lucky enough to experience a blending session with SMWS whiskies in the past when I took part in the Tweeddale Blend feature for Unfiltered Magazine and Alasdair Day was let loose on the SMWS’ collection a few years ago.

Since then I’d always wondered what an ‘officially’ bottled version would look like and now we know – in my view Exotic Cargo is a great success and I look forward to future expressions.

The blend is both accessible and interesting which I really like and despite being first-fill sherry matured, I’d say it’s not as much of a ‘monster’ as I may have expected.

Good work SMWS!

Braw Spirit 0665

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