Review: Long Pond SMWS

Updated: Jan 22


2002-2012 Long Pond - “To Life, Love and Loot” SMWS R5.2 - re-fill sherry - 81%


Context: The Scotch Malt Whisky is an independent bottler that selects individual casks for purchase by its members. During the late-70s, a group of acquaintance began the organization through a series of individual cask purchases. In 1983, they opened up membership to the public. The brand is known for their clever bottle names and playful tasting notes. Each release also features a unique outturn, a numerical sequence that refers to the distillery and the specific cask.


This bottling was the second rum by Long Pond for SMWS. The first bottling was one year younger and had a few extra decimals on the proof. Both were finished in sherry barrels. I imagine this was mostly aged on the continent, but I wasn't able to confirm that.


Nose: Banana. Pickled pineapple. Relish. Plenty of ethanol and maritime notes. Grilling spice. Tart yogurt-y funk. Elmer’s glue. This is intense. I'm into it.


Flavor: Tons of candied tropical fruit. Solid oak. Salted nuts. Hard strawberry candy on the back. Finish is long and rolling with fermented fruits, glue, and oak. Maritime notes reemerge - seaweed and brine.


Palate Structure: It's a tornado. This thing swirls and hops all over the place.


Alcohol Integration: The palate starts with an intense explosion - understandably hot. The nose is boozey. Tread lightly or you'll singe nose hairs. That said, I've had plenty of 120 spirits that did a much worse job of integrating their heat. This never drops flavor and maintains complexity even if the heat and structure remain untamed.


You May Also Dig:

Rye - high rye mashbill, young 4-6 yr, higher proof

Bone Snapper Rye – 47 months – 55%


Teenage Armagnac - higher proof, single cask

SMWS Armagnac A5.2 (Laubade 13 yr.) - 59.4%


Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) It's a ride absolutely worth taking. The heat could get distracting at times, but it was a small price to pay for the fireworks and ferocity.


Archived Scores


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Wish I Was Drinking Something Else

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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