Outturn May 2021

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NEW RELEASES WILL BE ONLINE AT MIDDAY AEST, FRIDAY 7TH MAY

Outturn Mic drops: Friday 7 May Issue 04, 2021

IT’S FESTIVAL TIME

Set your pulse racing and join us on a journey through festival casks, experiences, and guides to share the joy.

HEADLINING AT SMWS.COM.AU


Contents Cellarmaster’s Note Andrew Derbidge....................................................................................................... 4 Malt of the Month Small Batch 8 Sweet, smoked salmon jerky............................................................................ 6 Vaults Collection Cask No. 97.23 Seductive whispers of oak................................................................................. 14

OUR BOTTLINGS SPICY & SWEET

YOUNG & SPRITELY Cask No. 122.34 Railway track to a log cabin................................................. 8

Cask No. 143.1 Sea buckthorn tea time........................................................... 10

Cask No. 113.40 A sheep in wolf’s clothing........................................................ 8

Cask No. 41.138 A breath of fresh air................................................................. 10 Cask No. 82.32 (Festival bottling) Boozy cherry cake.................................................................... 33

SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW Cask No. 35.277 Waffle stacking ecstasy............................................................ 9 Cask No. G8.15 Dangerously innocent and sweet...................................... 9 Cask No. 9.200 (Festival bottling) Cherry possets with fruit marshmallows..................

2

35

Cask No. 68.55 (Festival bottling) Sweet coquetry with whispers of oak..........................

34

DEEP, RICH & DRIED FRUITS Cask No. 63.73 (Festival bottling) Shake your butt.......................................................................... 34


A Life-Changing Festival Experience Matt Bailey....................................................................................... 21 Spirited Speyside Season – Society Style

A Guide to a Whisky Expo

Alex Moores................................................................................... 25

Scott Mansfield............................................................................ 30

Asian Outting

Events

Martin Eber.................................................................................... 28

Events in your State.................................................................. 38 May Scotland Festivals Virtual Tasting......................... 39

NEW RELEASES WILL BE ONLINE AT MIDDAY AEST, FRIDAY 7TH MAY FESTIVAL BOTTLINGS WILL BE RELEASED WEEKLY - SEE THE FESTIVAL SECTION FOR RELEASE DATES (PAGES 32-37) OLD & DIGNIFIED

LIGHTLY PEATED

Cask No. 46.101 An ode to refill..............................................................................

13

Cask No. 4.259 Honey burner................................................................................ 17

Cask No. 38.29 Lust for must.................................................................................

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Cask No. 93.149 Burnt aubergine puree............................................................ 17

Cask No. 97.23 Seductive whispers of oak....................................................

14

Cask No. 66.176 Je suis bûcheron et je vais bien.......................................... 18

OILY & COASTAL Cask No. 93.155 (Festival bottling) Despicably fruited pizza....................................................... 36

SINGLE CASK SPIRITS

Cask No. 3.318 (Festival bottling) Exotic miso-glazed octopus................................................ 36

PEATED Cask No. 53.369 (Festival bottling) Fish liquorice ............................................................................... 37

Small Batch 8 (Malt of the Month + Festival Bottling) Sweet, smoked salmon jerky................................................ 6 Cask No. R2.13 (Rum) Funky fun flavours.................................................................... 18 Cask No. B6.2 (Bourbon) Pumpkin red apple sauce...................................................... 19 3


CELLARMASTER’S NOTE

You always remember your first time As you’ll discover as you read through this Outturn, Whisky Festivals are big things, and they are now well-oiled machines that have traction and history. If you’re new-ish to the whisky scene, it would be easy to assume that things have always been this way. However, in reality, the global festivals in place now, as well as the various expo shows we have here in Australia, are all relatively new. In fact, the vast, vast, majority of them did not exist even as recently as 15 years ago.

Here in Australia, we now have a number of whisky shows. “Festival” is perhaps too strong a word for what is often just a tasting expo held over one or two days, although the original Whisky Fair in Sydney was, in fact, based around a series of whisky events and happenings held over five days. Nevertheless, we have our local events here such as Whisky Fair, Whisky Live, Whisky Freedom, Whisky Show, Whisky & Dreams, the QMWS Whisky Expo, and several others. Happy and busy times now. But earlier….. The first dedicated whisky show/festival/expo in Australia was actually the inaugural Australian Malt Whisky Convention, held in Canberra in 2003. Organised by the newly-founded Malt Whisky Society of Australia (MWSoA), it was a fantastic three day affair that was the first of its kind in Australia and – indeed – set a template for how other events around the globe would plan and deliver their program. Over the course of the weekend, we enjoyed a HUGE tasting expo; a gala dinner; casual drinks; masterclasses hosted by genuine luminaries; plenary sessions; Q&A 4

sessions; and – it must be said – unbelievable camaraderie, as whisky lovers from across the country came together for the first time. Remember – this was before social media and the many other internet-based mediums and forums through which we communicate with each other today. Dr Bill Lumsden (Glenmorangie) and whisky writer Jim Murray (this was before the first edition of the Whisky Bible) entertained us, and it was a truly magical experience that – in some respects - I don’t think has quite been paralleled. Yes, it was my first whisky festival (as well as everyone else’s!) and I’ll never forget it. I met people on that weekend for the first time that I now count amongst my closest friends. (Interestingly, four people at that weekend would all go on to become State Managers for the SMWS in their respective cities.) The MWSoA backed it up with the second national Malt Whisky Convention two years later in Sydney in 2005 (again, a truly incredible experience), and then two years later again with the third Convention in Melbourne in 2007. The


happenings now have competition and issues with attracting all the brands and distributors. It would also be fair to say that the different organisers of the various shows in Australia have different raisons d’etre and different commercial objectives, which also impacts the incentives and value offering for exhibitors. The extra step up – that which takes an event from being just an expo to a festival - is the incorporation of plenary sessions, masterclasses, special dinners, and – increasingly – other attractions or sideshows such as music. The MWSoA national Conventions certainly had all these and, across the ditch, DramFest in New Zealand is a wonderful example of a festival done “right”.

fourth Convention was scheduled for Hobart in 2009, but was cancelled due to the GFC. (The fourth Convention eventually took place in Adelaide in 2013). Instead, 2009 was the first year that Whisky Live was held in Australia (in Sydney); Whisky Show appeared a year or two later, and the rest is history. The majority of the shows we have in Australia today are really just tasting expos. One of the problems we have now in this country is that, with many of those shows being franchise/ branded operations that occur in multiple capital cities, it’s an awful lot of events for the distributors and suppliers in this country to support or appear at. It’s an expensive exercise to exhibit at a show: You pay to take out a stand; you have to pay the staff who man the stand (including flights and accommodation if the show is in a city that’s not your home base); and you sacrifice a lot of stock that gets freely poured out for the masses. Few of the brands, if any, have the marketing and promotion budget to appear at all the shows, and so the organisers of these

The Society has had our oar in the water at a few of these shows over the years. (Indeed, we were exhibitors at the big gala session at the very first convention in Canberra in 2003!) We’ve had stands at various incarnations of Whisky Live and Whisky Show, sometimes with mixed results: In a room where the majority of punters just want to down your whisky and move on to the next stand, it can often be a hard, uphill task trying to promote or “sell” membership in an organisation, even though our whiskies on the table were often amongst the very best in the room. However, we’ve tweaked how we approach these things now, and those that have encountered us at Whisky Fair in Sydney in recent years would agree we’ve got a good thing going now. You never forget your first time, and if you’ve not been along to a whisky festival or expo, it’s a “must-do”. Of course, it’s difficult to get to Scotland most of the time, let alone while COVID is active, and so the Society is your next best thing with our Festival Bottlings and our upcoming Festival events. Make the most of your membership and be sure to join in the fun with our festival offerings this month.

Andrew Derbidge ~ Director, Cellarmaster & NSW Manager 5


MALT MONTH OF THE

May is all about the whisky festivals. It’s the coming together and the sharing of great whisky with friends and family. The SMWS expertise in whisky creation continues into the Festival month with a very special Malt of the Month: a single malt project release from distillery 10. For this release, Euan Campbell expertly blended casks exclusively from distillery 10 on Islay and used a combination of second fill Oloroso & PX sherry hogsheads as well as re-charred hogsheads. A sweet, smoky, syrupy creation that heralds in the festival month for all members!

SWEET, SMOKED SALMON JERKY SINGLE MALT SMALL BATCH 8

$199.00

REDUCED FROM $220 Limit of two bottles per Member

T OF MALMONTH THE Y ISLAIVAL T S FE

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REGION

Islay

CASK TYPE

2nd fill & re-charred Oloroso & Pedro Ximenez hogsheads

AGE

7 years

DATE DISTILLED

17 October 2013

OUTTURN

2,333 bottles

ABV

60.3%

AUS ALLOCATION

132 bottles

The most bleedin’ obvious first – plenty of smoke! A huge campfire on the beach using driftwood from an old wooden boat, smoked almonds, smoked salmon and roasted pears with walnuts and honey. Sensationally sweet and smoky on the palate – a beauty and a beast! Difficult to describe but here we go; char-grilled tuna with ‘Brinjal Pickle’, made with aubergines and traditional Indian spices followed by cinnamon caramelised apple rings. With water, crispy honey-glazed bacon and bramble jam on singed brioche. Awesome texture with that combination of sweet and smoke, balsamic glazed Cipollini onions and sweet, smoked salmon jerky. This small batch single malt was created from a combination of second fill Oloroso & PX sherry hogsheads as well as re-charred hogsheads.


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RAILWAY TRACK TO A LOG CABIN YOUNG & SPRITELY CASK NO. 122.34

$160.00

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE

2nd fill bourbon barrel

AGE

6 years

DATE DISTILLED

23 April 2014

OUTTURN

232 bottles

ABV

62.2%

AUS ALLOCATION

24 bottles

The nose suggested muddy leather boots, Brasso cloths, smoked sea salt and incense – then we were walking on old railway sleepers laid over shale through a eucalyptus forest. The palate was medicinal (Vicks VapoRub, Buckley’s cough medicine) but also had pickles, salted crackers, wood embers, Elastoplast, liquorice imps, black tea leaves, tar, coal smoke and chimney scrapings. The reduced nose discovered mothballs, Camp coffee, TCP, creosote and we pictured eating salt and vinegar crisps by a log cabin fireside; eventually honey, menthol sweets and Kendal mint cake emerged. On the palate now, prawn cocktail and smoky bacon crisps, hints of ouzo and old herbal liqueurs.

A SHEEP IN WOLF’S CLOTHING YOUNG & SPRITELY CASK NO. 113.40

$165.00

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

2nd fill bourbon barrel

AGE

8 years

DATE DISTILLED

23 May 2012

OUTTURN

246 bottles

ABV

63.8%

AUS ALLOCATION

24 bottles

A refreshing start delivered roses, carnations and fresh coconut as crunchy green apples, plums and pineapple merged with lemon sponge cake and orange icing. On the palate a spicy beast emerged bringing chillies and ginger fizz that touched on apple and lemon sorbet before launching us into liquorice, dark rum and duck fat. With water we found jasmine tea, mango and fermenting apples but now with grassy notes and dried tobacco on a dunnage warehouse floor. The palate retained a ginger and cloves lust for life, now with sweet malty notes, oat cakes and a dry, oaky finish. 8


WAFFLE STACKING ECSTASY SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW CASK NO. 35.277

$220.00

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

AGE

14 years

DATE DISTILLED

30 January 2006

OUTTURN

275 bottles

ABV

53.7%

AUS ALLOCATION

30 bottles

With a plate of warm Belgian waffles ready to go, we delighted in sprinkling cinnamon and ginger to start with. Then came handfuls of dried banana chips, white grapes and sliced apple topped with soft buttery toffee and runny caramel sauce. With a dash of water we took things to a new level with red apple pie stacked on sponge cake and covered with chocolate shavings and sticky honey. A scattering of dried herbs, fennel and star anise followed along with juniper berries to give an oily texture and a thick wedge of marzipan just for fun. Finally, a few peppermint leaves provided the garnish and a pinch of nutmeg created a waffle like no other while we hugged our favourite hot water bottle.

DANGEROUSLY INNOCENT AND SWEET

REGION

Lowland

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

AGE

30 years

DATE DISTILLED

18 June 1990

SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW

OUTTURN

272 bottles

CASK NO. G8.15

ABV

58.6%

$330.00

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles Sweetly perfumed and gentle, the nose offered yellow fruit pastilles, sugar-glazed yumyums, honeydew melon, sticky toffee pudding and sugar and cream on cornflakes; maybe hints of polished brass. The palate experienced sweet oak and pine resin, banana toffee, vanilla cream, candy corns, marshmallows and salted caramel – before a Christmas spice mix eventually appeared (like maple syrup infused with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove). The reduced nose developed sugar cane, meringue, banana split, maple and pecan Danish and hibiscus in syrup – also dried flowers and crumbly mints. The palate now gave us foamy shrimps and bananas, vanilla custard and cream soda – dangerously innocent and sweet. 9


SEA BUCKTHORN TEA TIME SPICY & SWEET CASK NO. 143.1

$225.00

REGION

Seattle

CASK TYPE

New oak #2 char barrel

AGE

3 years

DATE DISTILLED

14 March 2016

OUTTURN

255 bottles

ABV

60.0%

AUS ALLOCATION

30 bottles

An amazing deep mahogany colour! This was matured in a cask using staves that were air dried for 18 months, then heavily toasted and charred to #2. The aroma was that of Acacia honey on slices of buttered toasted malt loaf next to simmering red currants almost ready to be filled into jars for jelly. On the palate, full roasted oak and coffee flavours with hints of molasses and a slightly bitter turmeric finish. Diluted – rain smells so appealing after a long period of dry weather, earthy, dunnage warehouse and floral notes of jasmine appeared, and the taste was that of hot cross buns, strawberry jam and sea buckthorn tea with honey and cinnamon. This malt was made from a six row barley variety known as Alba. We’re talking very long fermentation here too. Three batches of wash were combined prior to distillation, each having between 9 to 13 days of fermentation!

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR SPICY & SWEET CASK NO. 41.138

$199.00

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

12 years

DATE DISTILLED

9 April 2008

OUTTURN

171 bottles

ABV

57.8%

AUS ALLOCATION

54 bottles

Like a breath of fresh air as we sat on sun-warmed grass and unwrapped our chestnut cupcakes with a chocolate coffee cream. On the palate neat a big hug of juicy warm flavours with a hint of spice – how about a cranachan made with the ripest and softest raspberries and a greengage puree and a spiced rum to top it off? After dilution the aroma of vanilla poached plums with cinnamon and nutmeg was followed by crème anglaise and Turkish delight, while on the palate, a classic cocktail with a twist, blood orange-vanilla Martini, and in the finish a piece of soft nougat. 10


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AN ODE TO REFILL OLD & DIGNIFIED CASK NO. 46.101

$290.00

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

AGE

22 years

DATE DISTILLED

18 September 1997

OUTTURN

266 bottles

ABV

54.3%

AUS ALLOCATION

30 bottles

A beautiful nose of freshly unwrapped polo mints, plum wine, waxed jacket, soot, roast chestnut, pine cone, green banana and custard creams. Wears its age beautifully and displays the kind of tertiary complexity that can only come from time spent in good refill wood. Water brings out toothpaste, heather honey, bitter ales, beeswax, hessian, pink marshmallow, new leather, olive oil and dried herbs. The mouth bursts with fruit liqueurs, menthol, camphor, mint cordial, earthy wine cellar must, old sauternes, green fruits, tea tree oil, marzipan and more waxes. Reduction lifts out resinous fruit oils, herbal teas, canvas, lime oil, aged sweet chenin and orange bitters.

LUST FOR MUST OLD & DIGNIFIED CASK NO. 38.29

$699.00

M MIU PRE T TLING BO

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

2nd fill bourbon barrel

AGE

25 years

DATE DISTILLED

11 July 1994

OUTTURN

262 bottles

ABV

53.2%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles This one is not strictly a single cask, being part of a consolidated parcel we acquired. However, it’s undoubtedly unique and seriously delicious, so we had to share it with you! The nose immediately bursts with waxes, old oily rags, wine cellar must, furniture polish, linseed oil, hessian and gloopy fruit salad juices. Then things like rhubarb crumble, vanilla essence, stewed damsons, honeycomb and posh custard! Reduction brought all manner of complexities. Things like smoked olive oil, aged Calvados, vapour rubs, cough sweets, white stone fruits, yellow plums, marshmallow snowballs, rosewater and kumquat. The complexity is maintained on the palate, an abundance of manuka honey, spiced aged mead, soot, waxes, pollens, dried wild flowers, chopped dark fruits and then smoked herbs and pickled walnut. With water it all crystallises around scented waxes, flowers, aged Gewürztraminer, sandalwood, citronella candles, hawthorn and lime pith. Totally spellbinding old Speyside whisky.

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SEDUCTIVE WHISPERS OF OAK We’ve started the year with a veritable list of Vaults Collection releases we’ve had the fortune of being able to offer up to members. May is no different with a rather special offering from closed distillery 97. One of Scotland’s oldest distilleries that ran on and off between 1772 until its final demise in 1992, this cask is some of the last stocks we’re likely ever to see from this Lowland enigma. Single malts from this distillery today are rare, but single casks are hens teeth. A seductive whisper of oak and exotic snapshot of another era of whisky out of Scotland

LTS VAUECTION L COL SED C LO I L L E RY D I ST

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SEDUCTIVE WHISPERS OF OAK OLD & DIGNIFIED CASK NO. 97.23

$1,399.00

REGION

Lowland

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

30 years

DATE DISTILLED

23 April 1990

OUTTURN

152 bottles

ABV

58.2%

AUS ALLOCATION

24 bottles

An old-school malt of slowly emerging complexity and eye-twitching pleasure. The nose combined orange fondant and golden syrup sweetness with seductive whispers of oak (vanilla, sweetie tobacco and orange crates). On the palate, that whisper became a Carmina Burana chorus of church pews, leather, tobacco strands and spiced rum, cinnamon flambéed bananas, Grand Marnier, Sercial Madeira wine, spun sugar and toffee. The reduced nose was golden sunshine on late summer meadows; walnut toffee, barley sugars, jellybeans, chocolate ice-cream and champagne Bellini. The palate now – teasing oak, orange peel, sugary espresso dregs, heather honey and anise. A fabulous exotic journey.

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HONEY BURNER LIGHTLY PEATED CASK NO. 4.259

$220.00

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

12 years

DATE DISTILLED

28 January 2008

OUTTURN

251 bottles

ABV

61.2%

AUS ALLOCATION

30 bottles

Salt, brine and limestone combined with damp and earthy smoke that bellowed from an old chimney while below chestnuts and cereals roasted on the peat-fuelled fire. A wave of sweetness then crushed the flames and washed gravel up the shore with a bounty of heather honey, lavender sweets and strawberry chews. After a dash of fresh water we found ourselves floating in an outdoor swimming pool among muddled mint leaves, malted cereals and freshly painted beach huts. Sweetness escalated into marshmallows and icing sugar to balance the return of burnt grains and dry smoke. A spicy back-note of cassia bark and cajun pepper tingled away before Lapsang souchong tea joined eucalyptus on the finish. In 2017 we combined selected hogsheads before returning the single malt to a variety of different casks to develop further. This is one of those casks.

BURNT AUBERGINE PUREE

REGION

Campbeltown

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

8 years

LIGHTLY PEATED

DATE DISTILLED

16 March 2012

CASK NO. 93.149

OUTTURN

234 bottles

ABV

60.7%

AUS ALLOCATION

24 bottles

$180.00

Aromas you just have to love; oily rags, old polish cloth, cider washed cheese rind and a rusty bike chain or indeed puffing from a pipe filled with heritage tobacco while cutting the grass with a ‘smoking’ vintage lawnmower. On the palate neat like burnt aubergines, heavily charred over a cast-iron griddle, and then pureed with a splash of olive oil and lemon. When we added water, the sweetness and spiciness of a peppercorn sauce emerged at first before a hint of birch tar and clove-spiced dried orange peel took over. To taste very savoury, like a slice of smoked duck pizza with hoisin and scallions. 17


JE SUIS BÛCHERON ET JE VAIS BIEN LIGHTLY PEATED CASK NO. 66.176

$199.00 SPE FINI CIAL SH

FUNKY FUN FLAVOURS RUM CASK NO. R2.13

$240.00

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE

2nd fill red wine barrique

AGE

14 years

DATE DISTILLED

9 March 2006

OUTTURN

264 bottles

ABV

60.1%

AUS ALLOCATION

54 bottles

The panel noted a boisterous and playful aroma full of poster paints in an artist’s studio, old oxidatively aged wines, smoked blackcurrant, sautéed frog legs in butter, miso broth, mushroom powder and black peppered biltong. With reduction, we encountered a lumberjack’s woodshed, full of cold axe heads, freshly split logs and oiled chainsaw. Add to that roof pitch, freshly laid tarmac and fermenting lemons. The palate was surprisingly saline with salt-baked venison, caviar, salted pistachios and sheep wool oils. Water brought the warmth of horseradish, English mustard powder, Belgian farmhouse ale, duck eggs, pickled ginger and sweetened cough medicine. Matured for 12 years in a bourbon hogshead before transfer to a 2nd fill red wine barrique.

REGION

Guyana

CASK TYPE

2nd fill bourbon barrel

AGE

16 years

DATE DISTILLED

15 June 2003

OUTTURN

197 bottles

ABV

50.8%

AUS ALLOCATION

24 bottles

We grilled salmon in a soy sauce and brown sugar marinade, flambéed pineapple chunks and oven-roasted coconut plantains. Funky flavours reigned supreme on the palate neat; super spicy and super sweet like a Caribbean red pepper hot sauce with Scotch bonnet peppers (pour with care!) or pruno; jailhouse hooch - originally made with fermenting fruit juice, plenty of sugar and mouldy bread. We modified to make it with fruit cocktail, oranges, apples, yeast, sugar and raisins. With the addition of water we polished, waxed and painted a wooden boat on the beach and having finished we got a tropical muscle rub cream massaged into our backs – relaxing and rejuvenating! 18


PUMPKIN RED APPLE SAUCE BOURBON CASK NO. B6.2

$235.00 REGION

New York

CASK TYPE

New oak charred barrel

AGE

4 years

DATE DISTILLED

25 March 2015

OUTTURN

168 bottles

ABV

56.5%

AUS ALLOCATION

42 bottles

Freshly baked, fluffy vanilla cupcakes, breakfast cereals made out of toasted maize and wheat squares with a brown sugar flavour, runny honey and ripe Red Delicious apples. On the palate, a wonderfully creamy texture like pumpkin apple sauce with plenty of brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and lemon zest. With the addition of a little water the aroma had a gentle wood spice at first followed by cinnamon swirls, golden syrup and muscovado sugar but at the same time - the freshness of honey dew melon and chamomile. We were now snacking on sweet and tangy dried apricots and papayas – once you start you can’t stop. The mashbill was 70% corn, 20% wheat & 10% malted barley. The cask was coopered from 36 month air dried staves that were then charred to a #4.

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FESTIVAL MONTH

It’s Festival Month! Here are some accounts and top tips from our Members of their whisky festival experiences, starting with our National Ambassador, Matt Bailey.

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A life changing festival experience Each year, outside of COVID restrictions, the SMWS has what is described as an annual ‘brand & branch’ meeting. A chance for all the international Society branches to get together in the spiritual home of the Society, The Vaults, and discuss planning, marketing, upcoming special projects and the year(s) ahead. As well as learning all about how and what SMWS HQ is toiling away with, it serves as a useful and reciprocal opportunity to meet all these wonderful faces from other branches and learn what works for them, what doesn’t, how their members react to certain things, flavour profiling, special events, and more. I certainly don’t know of any “independent bottler” that focusses on these things, nor any other whisky club to be honest. We’re talking experiences, we’re talking members at our heart, and how to always improve on our offering to you.

month. Each region has events, special bottlings, and often live music to celebrate the region. The big one, however, is the Islay festival, with each distillery having its ‘own day’ each day of the 3rd week of May to showcase a special bottling or two, plus a proper distillery party which brings thousands of people to Islay each year.

2019 was a different beast however. This was my second formal ‘brand & branch’ after a successful 2018 outing. Just like in 2018, the meetings were to be held around early May, at the same time as the renowned whisky festivals around Scotland. Each year in May as the weather starts becoming more agreeable, the Highland, Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay whisky festivals kick off around the middle of the 21


“...nothing can quite prepare you for the emotion of finally getting into Islay. It’s truly special. It really does embody the spirit of whisky and the people that make it.”

2019 was different for one massive reason: the wonderful Helen Stewart in our UK head office reached out to me about two months earlier about everything the Society was being involved with this year in relation to the festivals. There were plans for a Campbeltown tasting, a Speyside presentation, and a special release of some of the Society festival casks at Islay House! The catch? Oh, I’m hosting them. Say what now? Out of all the international hosts and ambassadors that the Society has around the world, I was asked to be the co-host for the Campbeltown Festival tasting, and solo-host the Islay House one. I’m not one to suffer nerves when preparing for a tasting usually, as I relish the opportunity of performance and storytelling, but I was truly nervous for these ones. So the brand & branch session finished up on the Thursday 16th that year, three solid days of meetings and planning which shaped much of what we enjoyed locally in 2019 and onward, followed by a couple of days of much-needed downtime over the weekend. I caught up with some old friends on the Saturday, a cigar and dram with some of the USA team, and then a rather big Sunday night with Euan Campbell & Bill Lark after spending the afternoon filming his first ever video interview for members. So much for a quiet weekend. Monday suddenly appeared and I was properly sick as a dog with a big head cold and what I would surmise was just proper fatigue. This was the festival way! After about three hours sleep cumulatively (and a broken shower) it was time to get to the festivals! 22

A 7am text message from Helen: “Have you left yet?” Me: “Sort of?”. That was my version of saying that Europcar were just finding my rental car and then I was to drive back to the Vaults and load it full to the brim with whisky. With a throbbing headache, blocked nose, and crack of dawn, it was time to start the festival. I had a car full of whisky and began my 4.5 hour drive from Leith to Campbeltown in an unknown rental and thousands of pounds worth of whisky in my boot. Apart from nearly missing a turnoff, actually missing a turnoff, and then nearly sideswiping a Peugeot, it was a fairly uneventful drive to Campbeltown. There’s a certain magical feeling to Scotland as soon as you see the rolling hills, the wildlife, the water. I would imagine it’s kind of like when Scots come to Australia and see kangaroos and cows here - a special experience across the world but for us locally it’s a “get off the road” moment, or also known as “yes, I’m on the Hume Highway”. I did arrive in Campbeltown in time and the Ardshiel Hotel was incredibly hospitable and welcoming. We were hosting the tasting there, but that’s not where we were staying. Laura Roberts in our team had some family in Campbeltown and as is the way, it made more sense to just stay in her house up the road. I’d like to apologise on


were discovering whisky from Campbeltown. It was magical in its own way and even if the stream fell apart, the whiskies certainly didn’t. Next stop was Islay.

behalf of the whole SMWS crew that stayed in that lovely old house as I think we ruined both an electric couch AND a stereo that night. After some dinner and drinks that night with our Global Ambassador, John McCheyne, along with the legends from the UK team including Madeleine Schmoll, Will Richardson and Paul Kerr, it was time to host the Campbeltown festival. John and I sat at a table full of whiskies and presented a live virtual tasting in a room next door to attendees and those around the UK, but instead of presenting to people, we were presenting to a camera. It was innovative, it was game changing, and it didn’t work… The internet isn’t what you think it is in Campbeltown, or perhaps it is what you think it is. The connection dropped out a few times, the camera team were scrambling around in the foreground while John and I were attempting to talk about these whiskies, and nothing was technically working. What a nightmare. These things happen, and it’s nearly impossible to plan for them, but the real moment that made it all worthwhile was immediately after the tasting, John and I walked next door and found a room full of people there who were trying to hang onto every word we said and follow along. A community of members and enthusiasts who

Mads will recall me frantically knocking on her door around 7am out of a fear of missing the Calmac ferry to Islay, but we made it with plenty of time to spare. The scary part for me was edging this little Opel Astra manual car up a steep ferry ramp, again with a boot full of whisky, and hoping I didn’t drive it off the edge and into the freezing water! The bacon butty on the ferry was a life saver, along with the strong black coffee with Irn Bru chaser. But nothing can quite prepare you for the emotion of finally getting into Islay. It’s truly special. It really does embody the spirit of whisky and the people that make it. First stop was Ardbeg distillery for a few drams with lunch where we bumped into Mickey Heads and talked a bit, then it was time to find our team cottage. Once international travel returns properly, if you get a chance to stay in Islay for a while with some friends, I can’t recommend Grace Cottage enough. It was just up the hill from Bruichladdich and it’s a stunning place to rest and regroup. The following day however was showtime! Islay House and Port Ellen maltings are the first two places for Islay Festival that kick it all off, and it was my job to host the Islay House SMWS launch of the specially selected casks! I’d prepared my notes, my jokes, my cask research for the weeks leading up to the day, and then right when we’re about to kick off the first of two tastings that day, the wrong whiskies were delivered to the house. I was in disbelief.

ABOVE: Matt hosting a full Islay experience at Islay House for Islay Festival 2019. 23


sure! As soon as we started talking tasting notes on the 53.285 there were two young women sitting up the back who suggested a tasting note of “cane toads in the sun”. Of course, I couldn’t be the only Aussie in the room, that never happens no matter where you are in the world. Following the tasting we shot arrows, threw hammers, sunk some coffee and partied on into the night before going again the next day. That’s what the festivals are all about.

MATT’S TOP TIPS FOR FESTIVAL TIMES 01.

Book early and often

02.

Book a car or driver, not everything is walking distance

03.

There are some great walks & hikes to take a dram on!

Everyone else was pretty calm, because at least we HAD whisky to present, but they were the wrong ones. Ah well, these things happen, so I winged it pretty well I think and I’m sure a few could understand me through an Aussie accent, so that also worked! The second tasting went much smoother and was extremely well-received. I had to pinch myself a few times realising that I was hosting THE Islay Festival launch tasting, in Islay, at Islay House. In my lineup I had an 80’s cask of distillery 10, a 53.5 from 1978, an absolutely stunning new 23.75, the engine oil of 29.270 and others. A true career highlight. But if you recall from earlier, I couldn’t smell or taste a thing. A massive head cold that I couldn’t shake even with all the pharmaceutical assistance. I’m sure they were actually stunning whiskies as the crowd told me, but what a bummer to not be 24

The following days were a wild mix of weather, a few distillery open days and festival parties, and special bottles being passed around. It was raining super heavily at Lagavulin the next day, but that didn’t dampen any party vibe, and the following day at Bruichladdich was just glistening and stunning to experience. While all the distillery festivals were fantastic, it was often the ‘off the beaten path’ part of each day that really provided the most fun. The impromptu gathering at the little Lochindaal Hotel, or meeting a stray cyclist who crashed at the cottage, or seeing festival bottlings being bought and opened within a blink of an eye and not just scurried away into collections. A true sense of discovery and enjoyment of whisky. In the end the whiskies are fun, the distilleries are iconic, but they all pale in comparison to the people you meet along the way. The faces you may have only known on Facebook that you get to meet in real life, or the members you’ve been conversing with for years to finally meet in-person. The tapestry of whisky that is always evolving and growing as a community. The Scotland festivals may have been postponed another year over there, but we’ll raise a glass to them over here, lucky as we are, and share in a dram or two as a whisky club like no other. Slainte!

Matt Bailey ~ SMWS National Ambassador


Spirited Speyside Season –

Society Style

BY ALEX MOORES

It all started with a quick dram and an early lunch at Queen Street: Cullen skink and a Distillery 53 or two to get in the mood for the drive to Elgin.

TIP 1

Whenever in Scotland, always go to Queen Street. The long road from Edinburgh to Speyside takes around 4 hours if you stop for a few of the sights (which you should) and winds its way through the Cairngorms showing, what I think, is Scotland in all its glory. While the destination is worth the visit regardless of the time of year, this was the end of April 2019, and it was time for the Spirit of Speyside Festival. Affectionately known as SOS, that abbreviation proves to be very apt after a long day in the valley.

For those who are used to the rapid refresh on an Outturn Day to secure the bottle you want, imagine a stress level tenfold higher when buying tickets for SOS events. Sure, you might still get one even if you are a little slow off the starting blocks, but especially for an Australian it is a long way to travel for a single tasting. Add to that the whole world whisky community is vying for the same seats, and the heart rate really starts to soar. Fortunately, and probably because of my particular leaning, I had managed to get tickets to all the Society’s events, as well as a few other fun activities. Arriving in Elgin the night before, I had time to relax and enjoy a dram or two from my travellers’ bag (including 9.159 and 50.106 which I had picked up at the Vaults), then settled in for a relatively early night. 25


TIP 3

Participate in all opportunities presented to you, there is never a downside. I hung around for a fair while until Hans and I realised we both had to be at the Dowans Hotel for the official launch of the three Society Festival Bottlings (him more so than me, given he was launching them), so off we went together and had a great evening with a different room of Society members and a whole new back bar to enjoy. DAY 2 was not particularly SMWS focused, but involved a great tour of Glenallachie led by Billy Walker, then the annual Battle of the Villages, and 2019 was Dufftown v Elgin. Hosted by Dave Broom, who definitely missed his calling in stand-up, I had expected some relatively basic drams but the 1978 Glendullan and 1967 Longmorn quickly proved me wrong. ABOVE: L-R: Alex Moores with whisky writers Dave Broom and Charlie MacLean (former SMWS Tasting Panel Chairman)

TIP 2

Get rest when you can, it’s a very big week. And so it begins. DAY 1 began at Glen Moray distillery with a big Scottish breakfast and tour, and then a six pillars tour of the new Macallan distillery. Nicely primed it was time to start the SMWS events with the Three Monkeys tasting hosted by Dave Broom, Charlie McClean and Hans Offringa. A room of Society members at the Craigellachie Hotel eagerly awaited what would happen, and were surprised with a blind tasting. To make matters worse, or at least more intimidating, it was a “say your answer out loud” as the hosts went around the room. Fortunately, I managed to get two right, and had a fantastic time talking to the panel after the events.

26

TIP 4

Book events that don’t have a lot of detail, you might be pleasantly surprised. After a very fun day, it is safe to say that everyone was a winner. A few very good Society drams at the Highlander Inn later, and it was back to Elgin for the Big Fat Whisky Quiz where I found myself on a team with the lovely people of the Cabrach Trust, so learned as much as I contributed talking all things whisky history over some ales at the Drouthy Cobbler.

TIP 5

Always check out a lot of different local watering holes not officially part of a festival, many are absolute gems. DAY 3 began with a tour of Tamnavulin, an otherwise locked up distillery, which is always a fascinating insight into the different production styles.


TIP 6

Try and book tours with distilleries that don’t have visitors centres, it’s a rare opportunity. This was followed by the Dufftown Whisky Fair or, as I like to call it, the beginning of the end. A full whisky fair consisting of hundreds of independent bottlings was a great place to meet like-minded whisky enthusiasts, and I ran into some members who had shouted me a few drams from their private cabinet at the Vaults not four days before. It’s a small whisky world. I spent a lovely couple of hours drinking Dram Fool bottlings with Bruce Farquhar before heading to Glen Moray distillery for the rest of the evening. After a sixteen dram tasting referred to as the World Cup (lots of different countries represented), and because it was May the Fourth, what better than an SMWS meets Star Wars night at Glen Moray. I think given that Iain Allan was involved in the planning, the date wouldn’t have mattered: Star Wars was always on the cards. Some fantastic Society drams from Distillery 35 and even better costumes.

TIP 7

Always go to Society events paired with something, especially Star Wars. DAY 4 it was the last SMWS event of the festival, and back with the famous Whisky Couple drinking boilermakers with Hans and Becky at A Game of Three Haufs. More wonderful Society whisky and good times spending an afternoon with Andrew Park of the Vaults and the Italian SMWS team. The day wrapped up with a whisky and donuts matched tasting before the closing ceilidh to dance out the finale to the SOS for 2019. Whisky festivals are more than just about drinking good spirit, they are about the sense of community that we all know is there but is brought into sharp focus when surrounded by people with a similar passion. One of my favourite things about the Society is that this sense of community is always present because we are first and foremost a members’ organisation, and the clue is in the name. However, there is something magical about the buzz at festivals which really makes you feel like you belong, whether you live down the road or at the antipode. So my biggest tip for festivals is this:

TIP 8

Introduce yourself and meet people, you will make some lifelong connections, and that is priceless.

Alex Moores ~ VIC State Manager

27


Asian Outting We often talk about the incredible whisky fairs and festivals in Scotland, and certainly also get excited by the whisky fairs in Australia, but what about elsewhere – such as in Hong Kong? We had a quick chat with Martin Eber from Time For Whisky recently about what that looks like:

“I didn’t quite know it at the time, but when I moved to Hong Kong in 2014, I did so at the start of an explosion in whisky appreciation which still continues today – not just in Hong Kong but all over Asia. That explosion has manifested itself in many ways over the past six years (new enthusiast bars, more tasting events, frequent international brand ambassador visits, new whisky clubs etc..) but has been particularly evident in the growth and increasing quality of whisky festivals. To be fair, whisky festivals have been in Asia for a long time - certainly a lot longer than six years, but it’s really the past few years which has seen enthusiast-focused festivals emerge – grass roots, somewhat no-frills shows which take the focus off the marketing and glitz, and place it squarely on the whisky. Shows which aren’t dominated by brands with big flashy booths 28

(although those are fun too), but by collectors, bars, auction houses and retailers, each typically with a simple table, (often overly) stuffed with incredible, sometimes vintage drams, available for tasting by the half-dram for a fee ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred depending on the whisky. Two festivals that particularly embody these traits are Whisky Fair Takao (held in Kaohsiung Taiwan, since 2017), and WhiskyNow! (held in Hong Kong, since 2019). These are shows with a nominal entry fee and a pay-per-dram system, and whilst they’re casual and welcoming to even the newest beginner, seasoned whisky lovers do need to spend a bit of time preparing to get the most out of them (for WhiskyNow 2020 for example, I spent the night before combing through the list of 750+ drams to pick my top 30, then split them up by those I’d taste on the day, and those I’d take home as a sample).


“The incredible drams aren’t even the best part about these shows. By far the best part is how they bring together the whisky community.” You might be wondering what sort of bottles we’re talking about. Looking back through my photos brings back memories of some great highlights including: SMWS 1.3, 1957 Moon Import Bowmore, 50yo Talisker, Two(!) 50yo Springbanks, including one distilled in 1919, 1959 Highland Park, at least a few 1960s Springbanks (including SMWS 27.9) …and more Brora’s, Karuizawas, Chichibu’s etc. than you can poke a stick at. Whilst some of these whiskies aren’t exactly cheap, they’re typically significantly cheaper than the per-dram cost if you were to buy a bottle today – assuming you can even find them! At least a few of the above were poured gratis too, highlighting the generosity of whisky lovers who just wanted to share their love of the liquid.

But you know what? The incredible drams aren’t even the best part about these shows. By far the best part is how they bring together the whisky community, not just from Asia but all around the world. At WhiskyNow in 2020 (thankfully held just before COVID turned everything inside out) there were whisky fans from Australia, Japan, UK, USA, Taiwan, Singapore and Europe, all gathered on one Sunday to share some incredible drams, swap some stories and just generally contribute to making the whisky scene the awesome place it is. No egos, no BS, just great whisky and great people. As fun as Zoom tastings are at filling the gap COVID has left, I for one can’t bloody wait to get back to in-person festivals, and share a few drams with some like-minded whisky folk. Cheers.

Martin Eber ~ @timeforwhisky

RIGHT: L-R: Toru Suzuki (Owner of The Mash Tun Tokyo), Martin Eber, Aaron.K (Alligator Char), Kelvin Low (The Elysian) 29


A Guide to a

Whisky Expo After a terrible year we are starting to see whisky festivals return. Here are my top tips for attending one!

01

CHECK OUT THE FESTIVAL WEBSITE BEFORE YOU GO.

02

AVOID ‘FEAR OF MISSING OUT’ (AKA ‘FOMO’).

03

HAVE A HEARTY MEAL BEFORE GOING.

04

AFTER YOU’VE SCOPED OUT THE ROOM, MAKE A PLAN OF WHAT YOU WANT TO TASTE.

30

Write a list of the exhibitors you want to go see. When you get in the room there may be so much going on that as you enjoy your day you might forget that whisky you wanted to try. Check off your list as you go.

Get in early and book those festival special events you’ve been eyeing off. There are a whole bunch of whisky ambassadors and writers who have been sitting on stellar whiskies and stories just waiting to share them with you. Get booking before you go because you’ll regret when your friend tells you how great it was later.

But nothing too spicy, you want your palate in tip-top shape.

Think about how SMWS tastings are ordered - leave the heavily peated drams to last. Those folks who make a beeline at the start for the heavy hitting Islays are wasting their money and palate. Allow your palate the opportunity to savour the whisky for what it is. Don’t be concerned about saying to the exhibitor that you’ll be back to try their peated whiskies. They’ll appreciate you respecting their whiskies.


05

THERE MAY BE MANY HUNDREDS OF WHISKIES THERE.

Heighten your enjoyment of the experience by trying new and different whiskies. Save your old favourites for another time.

06

FESTIVAL TABLES CAN BE VERY BUSY SO THERE MAY BE LITTLE CHANCE TO ENGAGE IN AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION.

Use your questions to show your whisky knowledge, e.g. ask about the cask type. You’re the kind of festival goer exhibitors will want to invest time in engaging. If it’s too busy, come back later.

07

THE NEXT ONE IS A HARD ONE: DON’T GET DRUNK.

08

DRAW ON THE EXPERTISE OF THE EXHIBITORS.

09

DON’T BE SHY IN LETTING THEM KNOW YOU’RE A MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY.

10

AVOID BEING THAT PERSON WHOSE FIRST QUESTION TO THE EXHIBITOR IS, “WHAT’S THE OLDEST AND MOST EXPENSIVE WHISKY YOU’VE GOT?”.

Take your time, drink lots of water, eat the food going around, take regular breaks and yes, as wrong as it may seem, use the spittoons.

After appreciating their wares ask them whose table they’d recommend. People who work in the industry have a vested interest in making sure you’re experiencing great whisky, not just theirs. They want you to trust their advice. Don’t forget they’re whisky fans too, or at the very least should be!

This signals you seek the finest drams and have a sound knowledge of all things whisky.

Exhibitors are friendly folk who will answer in the affirmative but they’re going to be wary of such a punter and they certainly won’t willingly share the topic of the next point.

11

EXHIBITORS REALLY LIKE TO SHOW OFF THEIR WARES TO THOSE WHO CLEARLY UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE THE QUALITIES OF A GREAT WHISKY.

Often they will have ‘something special’ under the table, reserved for those on the inside, i.e. whisky aficionados and other exhibitors. Show your love and knowledge of whisky and you might be surprised what appears, like the time a 32 year old Laphroaig appeared at Dramfest. Wow!

12

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, ENJOY YOURSELF.

Savour great whiskies and share good company.

Scott Mansfield ~ Queensland Manager

31


Festival Bottlings Festival Bottling Release Dates WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

HIGHLAND FESTIVAL & MALT OF THE MONTH

SPEYSIDE FESTIVAL

CAMPBELTOWN & ISLAY FESTIVAL

FRI 7 MAY 12PM AEST

32

FRI 14 MAY 12PM AEST

FRI 21 MAY 12PM AEST


L IVA GS ST IN FE TTL BO

BOOZY CHERRY CAKE SPICY & SWEET CASK NO. 82.32

$190.00

Limit of one bottle per Member

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon hogshead

AGE

8 years

DATE DISTILLED

6 November 2012

OUTTURN

144 bottles

ABV

63.0%

AUS ALLOCATION

60 bottles

A whole world of baker’s treats; dark honey on rye bread, lye roll with butter and strawberry jam, marzipan croissants and blueberry muffins dusted with icing sugar. On the palate neat; a double espresso – sweet, viscous and it perks you right up! With the coffee we were served a key lime pie, ginger snap biscuits and a lightly salted caramel sauce. With water we sat in a coffee shop and a freshly baked boozy cherry cake was placed on our table. The taste was of orange-flavoured chocolates, bourbon biscuits and balsamic, thyme and pepper meringues with strawberries.

ND HLAVAL G I H ST I FE

E NLIN LE O B A L AVAI T AES 12PM

MAY 7 I R F

33


BO FEST TT IVA LIN L GS

SWEET COQUETRY WITH WHISPERS OF OAK SPICY & SWEET CASK NO. 68.55

$190.00

Limit of one bottle per Member

ND HLA HIG STIVAL FE INE ONL BLE A L I AVA T AES 12PM

MAY 7 I FR

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE

Recharred hogshead

AGE

9 years

DATE DISTILLED

13 October 2011

OUTTURN

174 bottles

ABV

57.5%

AUS ALLOCATION

60 bottles

The nose teased us with coquettish sweetness – demerara, toffee, salted caramel, raisins and dark chocolate orange. Sweet on the palate too (honey, sweet vanilla), before ginger and chilli chocolate heat appeared –– but throughout the whole experience the re-charred cask left ghostly whispers – dry sherry astringency, polished oak, treacle on toast and burnt wood. The reduced nose picked up candied violets and incense, banoffee ice-cream and clotted cream fudge. The palate combined that floral element with cereals, tangerines, cherry liqueurs, Earl Grey tea and rich tea biscuits – the spiciness now unmistakable pink peppercorns and still that persistent reminder of sawdust and wood.

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

2nd fill Oloroso butt

AGE

12 years

DATE DISTILLED

7 October 2008

OUTTURN

560 bottles

CASK NO. 63.73

ABV

62.3%

$210.00

AUS ALLOCATION

42 bottles

Limit of one bottle per Member

Intense and captivating aromas led us into a melody of chilli chocolate, orange marmalade and butterscotch as brazil nuts and hazelnuts crumbled on top of carrot cake. On the palate we found cloves, ginger and coffee joyfully jigging with roasted figs and brandy butter as blackcurrants merged with dark chocolate in the corner. With water a celebration of party sparklers fizzed with cinnamon before orange sponge cake and banana loaf shook their thing with vanilla ice cream and a glass of port. Then stewed apples arrived in a salted caramel jumpsuit to dance alongside roasted bananas, cocoa nibs and pear tarts dressed with star anise and orange peel.

SHAKE YOUR BUTT DEEP, RICH & DRIED FRUITS

E YSIDAL E P S ST I V FE E NLIN LE O B A L AVAI T AES 12PM

MAY 4 1 I FR

34


L IVA GS ST IN FE TTL BO

CHERRY POSSETS WITH FRUIT MARSHMALLOWS SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW CASK NO. 9.200

$250.00

Limit of one bottle per Member

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

17 years

DATE DISTILLED

11 September 2003

OUTTURN

223 bottles

ABV

52.7%

AUS ALLOCATION

60 bottles

We imagined standing in the kitchen cooking sweet and sour cherries in a red wine sauce as a warm sea salt spray came through the open window. Hang on - was our neighbour cooking biriyani – chicken marinated in yogurt, chilli powder and garam masala layered with fragrant spiced basmati rice and caramelised onions? With a splash of water, the aroma of vanilla panna cotta and cherries poached in pastis next to Bircher muesli with apple juice, dried fruits, honey cinnamon and strawberries came to mind. On the palate deliciously sweet and creamy reminding us of lemon and cherry possets with fruit marshmallows, Chantilly cream and vanilla custard.

E YS I D SPE STIVAL FE

INE ONL BLE A L I AVA T AES 12PM

AY M 4 1 FRI

35


BO FEST TT IVA LIN L GS

DESPICABLY FRUITED PIZZA OILY & COASTAL CASK NO. 93.155

$215.00

Limit of one bottle per Member

P CA M

N TOW BEL AL

FES

TIV

E NLIN LE O B A L AVAI T AES 12PM

AY M 1 2 FRI

EXOTIC MISOGLAZED OCTOPUS LIGHTLY PEATED CASK NO. 3.318

$335.00

Limit of one bottle per Member

Y ISLAIVAL T FES E NLIN LE O B A L AVAI T AES 12PM

Y 1 MA 2 I FR

36

REGION

Campbeltown

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

11 years

DATE DISTILLED

15 July 2009

OUTTURN

222 bottles

ABV

58.0%

AUS ALLOCATION

60 bottles

We found an initial aroma of coffee grounds with a touch of smoke, some coconut, sweet autumnal leaf mulch and burnt toffee. Next up, crystallised sugar, toasted banana bread and stem ginger. Some coastal edge in the background like fresh prawns splashed with tabasco. Reduction gave savoury hoisin and brown sauce aromas with heather flowers, frosted bran flakes, linen paper, cardamom and milky chai tea. The neat palate was initially full of honey and vanilla, some dried mint and gentle medicinal tones with wafts of smoke. Water added brown sugar cubes, orange fruit jellies, tangy pineapple and chocolate-dipped gingers.

REGION

Islay

CASK TYPE

2nd fill bourbon barrel

AGE

16 years

DATE DISTILLED

6 February 2004

OUTTURN

195 bottles

ABV

57.1%

AUS ALLOCATION

36 bottles

The sweetness of the initially smoky aroma was incredible – a potpourri of heather, lavender, roses and violets. This was followed by scorched juicy raisins and the scent of crushed pink and white seashells. When we tried it, just like ‘Hazy Sunset’ – a cocktail made from smoked ice, pineapple and lime juice, light rum and two dashes of Angostura bitters garnished with a fresh cherry and mint sprig. With a small amount of water, we made duck breast a l’orange with sweet oven roasted new potatoes, while on the palate we went Japanese enjoying sticky miso and lime-glazed octopus with crispy matcha tempura batter.


L IVA GS ST IN FE TTL BO

FISH LIQUORICE PEATED CASK NO. 53.369

$215.00

Limit of one bottle per Member

REGION

Islay

CASK TYPE

1st fill STR barrique

AGE

10 years

DATE DISTILLED

1 June 2010

OUTTURN

279 bottles

ABV

57.7%

AUS ALLOCATION

60 bottles

A funky and ‘sit up straight’ kind of nose greeted us initially. Butter icing on a peat log, poster paints and some kind of smoked fig syrup. Rosemary leaves singed on a barbecue, candied orange segments, iodine drops and lots of elegant pipe smoke. With water we found dark chocolate and an abundance of salted caramel sauce. Then chipotle, mouthwash, barbecued meats, burnt ends and tamarind paste. The palate was full of liqueur chocolates, malt extract, smoked eucalyptus, hoisin sauce, damp floral smoke and bags of hot pepper and spice. Reduction brought deeper and earthier tones; softer spices, aniseed balls, Pontefract liquorice cake, Fisherman’s Friends, garam masala, sumac and the waft of a petrol forecourt. Matured for seven years in a bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a first fill STR barrique.

Y ISLAIVAL T S FE

CIAL SPE NISH FI

INE ONL BLE A L I AVA T AES 12PM

Y 1 MA 2 I FR 37


Events SYDNEY

MELBOURNE

SCOTLAND TO SYDNEY: FESTIVAL CASKS

SCOTLAND TO MELBOURNE: FESTIVAL CASKS

It’s festival month in Scotland and we’re bringing the festival to you yet again! Special bottlings, special company, and an amazing night of shared magic in the mighty Victoria Room in the Royal Automobile Club.

Festival month in Scotland is here and we’re bringing the festivals to Melbourne right in the heart of the city back at the iconic Kelvin Club. All whiskies, camaraderie and hosting provided.

FRIDAY 28 MAY, 6.30 FOR 7.00PM

FRIDAY 28 MAY, 6.30 FOR 7.00PM

The Royal Automobile Club, 89 Macquarie St, Sydney Host: Andrew Derbidge, NSW Manager

The Kelvin Club 14-30 Melbourne Pl, Melbourne Host: Alex Moores, VIC Manager

To book in for an event, please visit our website or contact our office

SMWS.COM.AU/EVENTS

Please check the website for our latest event listings.

The Whisky Champs are back! The Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship is back for 2021! Come tempt and test your senses for a huge night of entertainment and guessing what the whiskies are! Someone will be crowned the Malt Whisky Tasting Champion of 2021 and take home the grand prize! Then we party into the night with the SMWS bar & more, all included in your ticket.

SATURDAY 24 JULY 2021 Earlybird tickets available to SMWS Members from 30th April | General Release from 7th May

JUMP ONLINE AND BOOK IN NOW! AMWTC-SMWS.COM 38


Scotland Festivals

Virtual Tasting JOIN US LIVE! FRIDAY 21 MAY, 7:30PM AEST Andrew Derbidge & Matt Bailey are back for our massive monthly virtual tasting where we’ll taste through a selection of the festival bottlings this month in a new at-home tasting pack, hosted virtually. Experience the tastes and tales of the iconic whisky festivals around Scotland in May each year, right in your living room!

SINGLE MALT 10 | SWEET, SMOKED SALMON JERKY Special Festival Malt of the Month

CASK 82.32 | BOOZY CHERRY CAKE Spicy & Sweet

CASK 63.73 | SHAKE YOUR BUTT Deep, rich & dried fruits

CASK 93.155 | DESPICABLY FRUITED PIZZA Oily & coastal

CASK 53.369 | FISH LIQUORICE Peated

Join us live on Friday 21 May at 7:30pm AEST, or anytime later at your own leisure. Follow along on our YouTube channel or Facebook group, and bring your questions and comments!

UAL VIRTING SET TAST $99*

GRAB YOUR VIRTUAL TASTING KIT AND JOIN IN THE FUN! SMWS.COM.AU/SHOP *Includes 5 x 30ml drams of the above bottlings, two tasting mats and full tasting notes. 39


SHARE THE FESTIVE JOY AT

SMWS.COM.AU

02 9974 3046 Mon-Fri 9.00am - 5.00pm AEST

@SMWS_AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIANSMWS

SMWS_AUS

Society bottlings are offered and sold through The Artisanal Spirits Company Pty Ltd, Liquor Licence LIQP770017428.