Scotch Malt Whisky Society R6.1 Spice at the Races

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Spice at the Races Rum Review by the fat rum pirate r6.1Scotch Malt Whisky Society R6.1 Spice at the Races. As you can guess the primary fuction of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is not bottling rum. However, they have bottled a few over the years and released quite a few more late last year.

Now I’ll get one thing of my chest I am not overly keen on the frankly rather stupid names given to the rums – “Spice at the Races” is one of the better ones. “Paddingtons First Sip” anyone? Sadly, it reminds me of some of the pretentious and over the top tasting notes made by whisky commentators in their attempts to be noticed.

This is the full description they give on the rum

“Moist hay with a touch of spice. Rum Bloody Mary with smoke and lighter fuel, then scorched leather, rubber from a horse’s saddle and sandalwood.”

Right now that is out the way lets concentrate on “Spice at the Races”.

The rum comes in a tall dark green glass bottle. The overall look is quite contemporary. Much less old fashioned than most other Scottish Independents. This rum is actually from the Foursquare Distillery, Barbados. It was distilled October 2002 and bottled in 2017 after just over 14 years of ageing. Thought to be in Europe in a refill cask (no further information is available). A run of just 210 bottles priced at £75. The price can change dependent on whether you are a member or not. Non-members pay more. Spice at the Races was bottled at 57.3% ABV which I assume to be Cask Strength.

I’m not the first reviewer to have cast their eye over this particular bottling. SImon over at Rum Shop Boy has also reviewed this. He’s reviewed quite a lot of the SMWS output recently. In Simon’s review he explores the make up of the rum – he suspects it may all be Pot Still rather than a blend of Column and Pot which is more common for Foursquare. Simon also notes the reasoning behind the SMWS strange naming conventions.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Spice at the Races Rum Review by the fat rum pirate r6.1In the glass the SMWS Spice at the Races is a straw to light golden brown colour. Those unfamiliar with a spirit appearing like this might assume it is relatively unaged.

The nose is very heavy. Strong notes of alcohol and a medicinal and slightly tar like note dominate. It reminds me very much of Cask Strength rum from Fiji. In particular the Berrys’s Bros 8 Year Old. It has a “young” vibe to it. Rough and ready and smells quite immature and unbalanced.

It’s aggressive even with time in the glass it does not really mellow. There is some sweetness trying very hard to get to you – faints hints of tropical and stoned fruits. Maybe a tiny hint of the Foursquare 2013 is trying to reveal itself.

But it struggles there is a strong almost overbearing note of something smoky and tobacco like. Indeed like the descriptors say (so maybe they aren’t all bad) it does have a kind of vegetal smell to it like perhaps wet hay or freshly cut grass.

It’s not an awful sickly sweet horrible mess of a nose but it is quite difficult to love. It’s very whisky-esque. It does smack me very much of being aged in a barrel which was perhaps past its sell by date. It’s not very vibrant.

Sipped at the full ABV it is very boozy. Hugely spicy with masses of white pepper and not really much else if I am being completely honest. It is difficult to enjoy the spirit. Once the heat dissipates you get a very tobacco heavy bitterness on the mid palate which is brief but pretty unpleasant. The finish is very long but again its mostly just heat.

Can this rum be enjoyed at full ABV? Not by me, so lets see if some water might be its saviour?

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Spice at the Races Rum Review by the fat rum pirate r6.1The water helps a little. Sadly though not enough to make this enjoyable. It’s still the same drink but with slightly less heat. It’s better and there is a little sweetness thereby way of a touch of pineapple and some raisins and blackberries but its hard to pick the flavours out. It tastes “old” and not in a good way. It tastes over oaked, tired and is just to “savoury”. Far too much smoke, leather and tobacco to make it an enjoyable balanced rum.

Without doubt the worst rum I have had from Foursquare. I’m sure when the rum was distilled it was very vibrant and full of flavour but now its just tired and a little bit sad. Over done and sadly just very flat. It’s not totally undrinkable but I wouldn’t seek this rum out again. For too many better options available.

I would never have guessed this as being a Foursquare or Bajan rum at all to be honest. It reminds me a little of the St Lucia Dennery Silver Seal rum I reviewed a little while back.

Disappointing and not a very good example of a Foursquare product at all. Probably best the name is left off this bottling!




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One comment on “Scotch Malt Whisky Society R6.1 Spice at the Races

  1. I went to the SMWS tasting event at RumFest. While in theory cask strength single cask rums should be right up my alley, I found them all kinda meh. I believe this was one of the rums that were sampled, but would not have identified it as a Foursquare product either.

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