The colour is amber and the texture shows a fat sticky ring and a few medium fast moving legs. The nose is very malty and woody, obviously this was an inactive (leached) cask what is a pity because the nice Glenugie distillery profile can not enfold in such a cask. It is okayish but not more than that. The dram arrives warming and coating on the palate, here the oiliness of the spirit is more important than the maturation in the cask. The taste again is exactly that of an old exhausted cask - meaning malty and barley sugary sweet with some spices but almost no other flavours (that develop in a proper cask only). I guess, this dram would not taste very different if it matured in a steel tank only... The finish is of medium length and adds no new impressions but no distracting moments either. Water does not help (if no interesting flavours matured at all what should additional water release?) but does no harm either.
As I stated before: There are some great SMWS bottlings but this one surely is very weak and I wonder why they bottled this cask at all. Just because it is a lost distillery? This is a collector's item only and I am really glad it was a sample only. By the way, dear SMWS: Have you ever heard of the technique to re-rack such casks (refill its immature content into another high quality cask and allow the precious spirit to mature properly for another couple of years)? PS: To call this dram "complex and intriguing" is very intriguing, indeed!