The Scotch Malt Whisky Society are celebrating with The Gathering this September, and they want to share the joy even if you can’t be there. Bringing Single Cask Whisky to the Masses
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society have been around since 1983 when they first set up to make great whisky more widely available, especially rare and exclusive bottlings. Since then they have flourished and are now one of the most important independent bottlers around.
The initial idea was pretty innovative, considering that single malt was not as popular at the time, especially when compared to nowadays. It was rare to find a bottle of single cask single malt Scotch whisky. But their founder, Pip Hills, first tried a sample straight from a cask and was wowed. He eventually convinced his friends it was the best way to enjoy Scotch, and together they bought a cask. From 1983 they began regularly buying casks and introducing new members to the society. Since then, it has thrived.
The Gathering at the Vaults
In order to celebrate those many years in business and the success SMWS have had, they have out together a festival. It’s taking place on September 2nd-8th in Leith.
To celebrate the Gathering, SMWS have released a taster set of Scotches with a range of flavour profiles. They plan to go through each one on the 7th with ambassador John McCheyne doing a live streamed tasting.
There are five Scotches in the pack, each one offering a wonderful exploration of Whisky. Let’s take a closer look at what’s included.
Pack cost: £35.00
Tasting notes for Campfire Marshmallow SMWS 33.137
This malt is a 10 year old Ardbeg, distilled in 2008 and matured in ex-Bourbon barrels. It is a typical Ardbeg, packed with peat.
The nose begins exotic aromas of coconut, banana and citrus fruits. Mangoes and apricots add a nice tang. It is wonderfully sweet and zesty, brimming with fruity notes. Peat comes thorugh, of course, backed up by saline and ocean spray.
The palate is soft and smoky, with lots of peat and seaside qualities. Heat comes from charred oak wood and you can really taste burnt sugar. It is sweet and smoky. The sweetness fro the Bourbon is very obvious. Fruit flavours become less pronounced, but are still there.
Toasted white sugar with oily sea spray and hints of citrus fruits make for a well rounded dram. It finishes on oak wood, caramel and oranges, with an excellent waft of peat smoke.
Tasting notes for Sweet Seducation 35.239
The oldest of the Gathering malts, this Glen Moray 23 Year Old is super smooth and full of sweet notes
It opens with a nose full of vanilla and oak wood alongside notes of orchard fruit and caramel. There is a soft hint of honey and fresh cut grass as well. The malt has a refreshing quality that sets it apart from the others.
The palate is rich, and as the name suggests, sweet. More caramel, honey and butterscotch comes in. Oak wood is well developed and chewy. It adds a hint of cinnamon and lots of vanilla flavours.
The finish is long and elegant.
Tasting notes for A Real Cracker 44.99
A 14 year old Craigellachie that has been matured in refill Bourbon barrels, this is a great dram.
The nose begins with notes of sweet nuts, milk chocolate and baklava. It is rich and creamy, packed with sweet notes. Apple pie, caramelised pears and a hint of citrus fruit adds a lovely tangy bite.
On the palate, it is smooth and oaky, with more wooded tones and a lovely hint of vanilla. There is a real earthy quality overall, with spicy dried meats and cheese boards coming out. Salt seasons everything. It is joined by herbs de provence and olive oil. Combined with the sweet notes from the nose, this makes for a full meal in every drop.
The finish lingers on oak wood and herbs, bringing out a little thyme and basil.
Tasting notes for Something for the Weekend 64.108
This Mannochmore 10 Year Old has been matured in refill Bourbon barrels. It is super fruity and mellow
Opening on floral rose and heather notes, the nose brims with sweet fruits and zesty citrus. Banana, peaches, grapes, lemons and orange make for a crisp and refreshing dram.
The palate continues, with more fruits and a lovely hint of vanilla and cinnamon. Fruits abounds throughout. Grapes, apples, pears, apricots, more lemons, with hints of summer berries, give this dram an excellently sweet edge.
The finish rounds up with apples, lemons and oak wood.
Tasting notes for Truly a Fairytale
The nose begins with big notes of raisins and cake. Malted grains add a little depth and bring out a sweet caramel note. Dried fruits with sherry spice give it a warming tone. Caramel and oak wood enhance everything.
The palate is warming and homely. It is full of sweet, sugary notes, reminiscent of caramel, chocolate cake, pastries and almonds. The oak wood comes though really well, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. The texture is smooth but chewy, making for a really satisfying dram.
The finish ends with a flourish of spices and a nice sweet caramel note.
Whether you’re going to the Gathering or not, this is a brilliant collection, with each dram complementing the other.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society put a lot of thought into their drams and this collection captures that dedication perfectly.