SMWS ‘breaks mould’ with first blended malt bottling

by Annie Hayes

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has released its first blended malt whisky, a 10-year-old bottling called Exotic Cargo, as it seeks to "explore the full spectrum of flavours in whisky".

The Society, which is known for its single cask, single malt bottlings, said the "experimental" release is intended to "break the mould of what can be done with a blended malt". The term 'blended malt whisky' refers to a combination of single malts from more than one distillery that have been married together. Unlike a blended whisky, a blended malt whisky does not contain grain whisky. To create Exotic Cargo spirits manager Euan Campbell sourced a number of pre-blended malt whiskies that were all distilled on the same day on 2006 and matured in first-fill ex-sherry casks. After a series of trials, the Society's tasting panel selected a blend with an abv of 50%. The Exotic Cargo tasting notes read: "A wooden ship is sailing through the tropics with an exotic cargo of spices, scented flowers, medjool dates and mangoes. Close your eyes and drift away on this sherry-soaked cruise into paradise." Kai Ivalo, spirits director at the SMWS, said: "The Society has always had an unconventional streak and we’re really breaking the mould of what can be done with a blended malt. "We’re looking to our members for feedback on the bottle before releasing further intriguing creations, however, we’re sure they will be as eager as ever to get their hands and palates on what truly is a piece of exotic cargo." Just 1,937 bottles of Exotic Cargo will be made available in the UK and EU from 1 September, before rolling out to international markets including the US, Canada and Australia. Priced at £45 per bottle, Exotic Cargo is neither chill-filtered nor coloured.