OUR PLACE IN HISTORY
Leith was a very different place in 1983, when Society founder Pip Hills was seeking out a home for the newly formed Scotch Malt Whisky Society. We should all be grateful that he happened to climb the steps to The Vaults to find out if it might be for sale…Richard Goslan tells the remarkable story of how this historic building became the Society’s ‘spiritual home’.
The opportunity for many of our members to gather in person this year has been scuppered by coronavirus. But we can still share in the delights of our unique drams, and celebrate belonging to a worldwide family of whisky lovers, says SMWS spirits manager Euan Campbell, with his selection from September’s Outturn.
Cask No. 35.259
RUMTOPF, BIRNENBROT AND STOLLEN
PROFILE Sweet, Fruity & Mellow REGION Speyside AGE 24 Years ABV 53.5% CASK TYPE 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel
The nose is so exotic it’s – well, sexy – perfumed fruits, coconut, Moffat toffees, Trail Mix, honey, maple syrup and an orangerie. The taste delivers an immediate Yee-haw bourbon kick, then perfumed coconut, oranges in syrup, dark chocolate, wine gums, mango and papaya – waves of pleasure gently lapping on the pristine beach of your soul.
The reduced nose has expensive hand cream, floral incense, tangerine peel, rumtopf, birnenbrot, stollen and glacé cherries. The reduced palate is still intensely toothsome – filling the mouth with peach cobbler, floral nectar, ripe pineapple and corn candies. This dram would be best enjoyed in the boudoir.
Cask No. R8.8
LIMBO DANCING IN A KILT
PROFILE Rum REGION Nicaragua AGE 21 Years ABV 57.2% CASK TYPE 1st fill ex-Sauternes barrique
The nose brimmed with fruit (mango syrup, melon, papaya, pomegranate, pineapple, banana) and hints of bicycle tyre. The palate also picked up nuances of muscovado, clove, blackcurrant, eucalyptus oils and calvados.
The reduced nose found rosewater, star fruit, yellow plums, kumquats and flambéed banana. The palate now encountered coconut (sweetie tobacco), cherry pieces in dark chocolate and old dessert wines served in a stable, but in truth, sipping this in The Vaults, we dreamed of Hemingway at his local bar counter, Caribbean crofts and limbo dancing in a kilt. After 19 years in ex-bourbon wood, this was transferred into a first-fill Sauternes barrique.
It’s been tough to gather with loved ones this year, but nothing can stop us from celebrating our amazing membership, whether we can travel in person or not. We’ll be celebrating all things Society at The Gathering from 31 August, with a week-long programme of physical and digital events, tastings and festivals happening all across the globe.
Our main event is a Virtual Tasting streamed live from our spiritual home, The Vaults on Sunday, 6 September and we want as many members as possible to get involved. All you need to take part is our limited-edition Discovery Pack, including five exclusive Gathering bottlings. You can join in on your own, or why not organise your own gathering at home and take part with your friends? This is a Society occasion that you won’t want to miss, so grab your pack now before they disappear.
Next Outturn Preview
LET’S GET FIZZICAL
Next month we’re reaching fizzy new heights: explore and enjoy our latest batch of dazzling drams paired with a hand-picked selection of brilliant beers. Look out for that along with our dive into Germany's culture of art, design, music, and food.
WHISKY & FRIENDS - THE PERFECT PAIRING
Do you have a friend who loves single cask whiskies as much as you do? Invite them to become part of the Society and they will get 20% off their initial SMWS membership fee, while you’ll receive £20 in online vouchers for each successful referral – it’s a win-win!
Member vouchers can now be used against renewal.