What would be a trip to Scotland without meeting friends and sharing a few drinks? As I’m quite active on twitter, I’ve made lots of friends over the last few years and It was a rare opportunity to (finally) meet some in person, so we’ve setup a meeting at the SMWS venue on Queens Street in Edinburgh.
SMWS, the Scotish Malt Whisky Society for you, is practically the largest whisky club on earth (30,000 and counting). You pay annual subscription and get access to unique cask strength bottling done every month which you can buy or taste at the venues. This is what you get to choose from at the venue:
I reviewed a whisky bottled by SMWS before but only now after visiting them I can truly understand how amazing is this. On that evening I met my Edinburgh area friends Tom, Stewart and Kirsty and we went on for some heavy dramming (except for the drivers, poor Tom…)
We started with SMWS 29.130 A chimney sweep smoking a cigar (a Laphroaig, 1993, 19 years old), Cask strength 52.1% a to warm up and then moved to the main course – The special SMWS menu of 3 pairs of Whisky and Oysters for mere £12
I skipped the Oysters (as well as some of the others) and we moved on to the real treat – the whiskies:
73.58 is whisky from Aultmore distillery.
59.43 is from Teaninich (a 29 years old whisky – superb!)
53.190 last one is Caol Ila.
and for dessert, SMWS 50.52 Tales of the River-bank (a Bladnoch from 1990, 23 years old) – which was the best of them all.
But then it was the time to say goodbye, quite sad moment, but I promised to visit again on my next venture to the area!
(cont after the pics)
I didn’t take any tasting notes during the evening, but let me assure you – they were all amazing. I think it’s a must for any whisky fan living in countries with SMWS chapter to be a subscriber to enjoy their single cask, cask strength bottlings. (yeah, I’ve became a SMWS fanboy, so sue me…). Subscribe here
I’ve also used the occasion and purchased a SMWS bottle (thanks Tom!), 127.37 Dinosaurs dancing to Stravinsky – a 9 years old Port Charlotte, bottled at 66.5% and I plan to purchase many more in the coming years.
SMWS 127.37 Dinosaurs dancing to Stravinsky (9 years old, 66.5%)
Nose: Peat, a bit medicinal, fresh, grass and meadow, BBQ meat in sauce, smoke, After a few minutes, the peat subsides a bit and a whole new set of notes is revealed – sweetness, apples, pears and much more – all while the peat is still strong at the background – very complex and lovely nose.
Palate: starts with heavy ashes notes, burning coals and smoke, very kiln feeling, then turns sweeter, spices led by white pepper, strong peat behind it all
Finish: huge, long finish, sweet and peat dance together, switching back and forth all the time with no apparent winner. Just fantastic.