SMWS and The Battle for Bailey

let’s begin

Situated on the gorgeous Yorkshire coast, Filey Bay Whisky is a relatively new and brilliant English whisky company. Their malts are introducing news flavour profiles to areas that have never had distilleries.

This is a guest post by Crystal Coverdale, manager of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Vaults.

On Wednesday March 25, 2015 an Old & Dignified whisky tasting fundraiser & supper called Battle for Bailey will be held at the spiritual home of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS); The Vaults Members Rooms in Leith, Edinburgh.

Think again.

It’s much more than that.

Since 2014, the tasting panel has an added challenging job to fit each whisky they pass into one of twelve flavor profiles. 

Annabel Meikle, aka The Whisky Belle (, will be guiding attendees through the whiskies while she sheds light on this challenge.

Often referred to as a sensory expert, Annabel works closely with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society as an ambassador and regularly chairs their tasting panel. She can certainly attest to the difficulty of deciding, does this whisky best fit the “Deep, Rich & Fruity” flavor profile or the “Old & Dignified” flavor profile

We will even taste a whisky that Annabel was on the tasting panel for. How special?!

A memorable whisky no doubt and it certainly sounded so as we sat down together to look through the various whiskies available at The Vaults to select the line-up for the Battle for Bailey tasting.

So why are we battling for Bailey at The Vaults?

Well I am the Manager at The Vaults so it only made sense to showcase The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s single cask, cask strength whiskies at my fundraiser. And because Bailey needs us!

Bailey is my dear cousin – a once healthy, energetic & loving 15 year old girl who has been reduced to a shell of her vibrant self through an extremely rare and very aggressive form of cancer – Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. Bailey was diagnosed in November after dozens of agonising tests in a month long search for the cause of her illness.

Bailey has undergone many chemotherapy and radiation treatments, which have had a diminishing effect.

Now the only hope is for Bailey to be able to receive her brother’s loving gift of his matching bone marrow! The Doctors said it would be a miracle for this transplant to work, but option 2 is just not an option.

The emotional toll on Bailey & her family cannot be calculated but the financial toll can be – with initial estimates of $100,000 USD!! Together we can make this happen and give Bailey back the chance every young girl deserves: to become old & dignified!

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has so generously donated 5 fabulously old single cask, cask strength whiskies for us to taste to explore their “Old & Dignified” flavour profile. We will enjoy them along with a Society supper.

In typical SMWS style, only so much can be revealed about the whisky. Codes instead of distillery names, if you’re a member, you know the drill.

So I am not revealing everything, but if you make your donation for your ticket before they sell out you know you’ll get to taste a 29YO from distillery #26, 28YO from distillery #72, a 22YO from distillery #53 and then there’s a whisky you’ll taste completely blind that costs over £300 a bottle!

But there is one more and I’m revealing it first here on GreatDrams, with Easter around the corner I thought it’d be to share that you’ll get to taste 35.103 The Great Easter Bake Off, a 29YO refill ex-sherry butt aged whisky.

The tasting notes from the bottle share that “The Panel gathered ginger, tea soaked sultanas, and hot cross buns as if preparing for an Easter baking session. The taste evoked a rocking chair moment of apples ripening in an old tea chest made of sandalwood”. Full details here.

100% of all proceeds go directly to Bailey’s family to help cover her medical expenses.

Because this is a private fundraiser, anyone 18+ is welcome making it a great chance to discover SMWS if you have not already!

Tickets or donations 

Contact Crystal for more information

Twitter: @EdgyLassie
Instagram: @EdgyLassie
Tags: SMWS


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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