During the festive season the SMWS is releasing a new cask collection each week. That’s a lot of whisky! You are able to view all the releases in advance to make it easier to choose those special Christmas gifts for family and friends… or for yourself. Why not? Everyone deserves a little extravagance from time to time.
Last week I took part in the latest Scotch Malt Whisky Society outturn release in Glasgow as I wanted to see how these events work and understand better what goes into choosing each outturn. It also gave me a chance to chat with some of the current members.
The SMWS is a whisky lover’s dream. Their whiskies are truly unique and exciting, and they come with outrageous, bizarre, and funky names, such as ‘Creaky Wooden Scaffolding’, ‘The Gum-Gatherer’s Log Cabin’ and ‘Farewell, Cheddar’. Normally the Society releases around 30 new bottles every month, with all the whiskies bottled at cask strength without chill filtration, allowing you to enjoy the ‘raw’ whisky.
These outturn release events allow members to sample the new bottlings and to be the first to buy the bottles. I know people have sometimes struggled to get the bottle they want when ordering online due to the limited numbers, so these tastings are a great way to make sure you catch the worm early, so to speak.
You select the samples you would like to try from the latest outturn leaflet. Last week they had 14 new releases to choose from, although I decided it was safer not to try them all even if the samples weren’t full-size drams. Your host for the evening (ours was Alan, ask him anything about whisky and he will know the answer!) will come and take orders a few times during the night to allow time for you to study each bottling and chat with the other guests about their drams. The ticket price also includes a tasty Society supper. An outstanding night for only £35 per person!
Some of the bottlings available at the event in Glasgow included:
Cask no. 94.19 ‘Emotion-Provoking and Mind-Blowing’ – This one has a little bit of everything. Sugar cane juice, porridge, cigar holder aroma, saffron and toasted coconut, with the essence of a floral bouquet.
Cask no. 46.123 ‘Rosé Vinho Verde’ – Fruity and floral that turns into more herbal and spicier. With water, there is nuttiness combined with milk chocolate.
Cask no. 3.335 ‘The Lavender Consipiracy’ – A bit of a surprise this one. Labelled under peat, but it is not what you’d expect. Plenty of floral lavender and heather. It is also slightly woody with salty liquorice and fennel. The peat is sweet and gentle.
Cask no. 135.41 ‘Arclight’ – This heavily peated Highlander is full spicy mustard, BBQ smoke and bacon fat.
Batch 13 ‘Tabanco Time’ – A blended malt from Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso quarter casks, hogsheads and butts in both Spanish and American oak. It’s nutty and a bit sweet with juicy dark fruits, chocolate, cured meat and a hint of truffle.
A very pleasant experience. Yet again I learned more about my developing personal whisky palate, and it was lovely to meet other members, one of whom worked for the Society for years, so he was giving me all the inside knowledge. The SMWS has so much variety, it’s easy to find new tasting experiences. They also get me hooked on whisky jargon.
Give the gift of whisky
If you know someone who likes their whiskies or wants to learn more, I cannot recommend the Scotch Malt Whisky Society membership enough. It really makes an excellent gift! The cost of membership is £85 a year. And you can create a personalised membership by adding tasting sessions and sets or even full bottles.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has a special discount code for my readers, which is valid until the 31st of December 2021 in both the UK and the EU. Simply quote INKA10 at the checkout for a 10% discount.
Or if you hurry, you can join for £50 in the UK and €60 in the EU with code BLACKFRIDAY50. ONLY VALID UNTIL 28TH OF NOVEMBER 2021.
The SMWS annual membership includes:
- Member-only access to around 20 new whiskies and other spirits each month
- Access to exciting tasting events (including virtual tastings)
- Expert advice and whisky concierge
- Bring up to three guests to Members’ Rooms
- Discounts on drams at all SMWS partner bars around the UK and worldwide (see the list here)
- Free delivery on all orders throughout the UK (and across the EU for orders over £99)
- Bottle discounts
- Enjoy the award-winning online members’ magazine, Unfiltered
All this for £85 a year. It really is a great deal, and you will struggle to find another members-only club for this kind of price. You can make good use of the venues as they all serve food throughout the day. Take clients for a dinner, organise a private meeting, enjoy an after-work dram or a cocktail, or simply get some lunch in a nice atmosphere.
SMWS Advent Calendar
Countdown to Christmas has never been as exciting! The SMWS whisky advent calendar features 25 special 25ml sample drams. You’ll find single cask and grain whiskies, a couple of Single Cask Spirits surprises and some exclusive special label bottlings that you might not have tried before.
The Society will be exploring each whisky online throughout December, so order your calendar now to be part of the experience!
Have you been to any of the Society tastings? Do you have a favourite SMWS bottling?
Disclaimer: This post has been created in collaboration with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Some of the links used are affiliate links. If you buy through the links, I may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price for you.