Review #20: SMWS – A Sunny Day in Late Summer

This is the whisky I sneaked into a holiday party in a flask. And this was a holiday party that had 8 open bars. I ended up pouring many of the bartenders secret sips of it.

The act of sneaking in fancy whisky has gotten to become a bit of a holiday tradition. It started because I get a bit nervous about holiday party open bars, because sometimes the rules are that the base spirit must be put into a free-poured, unbalanced cocktail and you can’t get the base spirit on its own. So I always sneak in a flask. Luckily, when I inevitably get my purse checked by a security guard, they never are usually on the lookout for a flask (frankly many of them are flummoxed that someone would sneak alcohol into an open bar environment) and they let me through.

Whisky bottle next to half full glass of whisky in front of backlit bar
SMWS – A Sunny Day in Late Summer 64.97

SMWS - A Sunny Day in Late Summer
  • Score - 8/10

Tasting Notes

Nose: Jelly Belly factory, juju fruit candies, sweet lemonade and fresh pressed apple juice, banana chips, and laundry. On further nosing, there is some oak spice and sawdust. Sometimes I smell peach.

Palate: Silky and fruits, bright apples and lemon dipped in caramel, but the alcohol overwhelms the palate a bit without water. It becomes hard to taste – and to be honest, I coughed (which I usually don’t with even the strongest ABVs). Aftertaste is hot and a bit licorice and absinthe-like.

Palate with Water: Bright. Lemon and vanilla meringue, lemon cleaning fluid, caramel, and some drying leather and tobacco finish at the end.


TLDR: “Fun and fruity hookah.” Overview: With every smell, I smell a different fruit. Palate is fruity, bright, and has a bit of rye spice. A bit on the hot side though and needs water.

Bought for: $100 at SMWS

Quick overview of our scoring system

Additional Information

  • 9 years old
  • Distilled in 2008 by SMWS #64 (Mannochmore)
  • Cask: Refill barrel/ex-bourbon
  • Speyside
  • ABV 60.7% (wow!)
  • $100/bottle, 222 bottles released

About SWMS and Mannochmore:

  • SWMS was founded in 1970s and focuses primarily on single cask, single malt whiskies (but has recently branched out into blended scotches, rums, armagnacs, and more!)
  • First number on a bottle corresponds to the distillery (our comprehensive guide here) and second one is the bottling number by SMWS from that distillery
  • Mannochmore is a Diageo workhorse that is rarely bottled on its own but is found in a lot of blends
  • Official tasting notes can be found in this article

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