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Outturn Ready for giving: Friday 13 November Issue 11, 2020

EXTRAORDINARY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

The Society is here for all your magical moments this Christmas, sharing joy and happiness with our unique selection of whisky and gift recommendations.

SHARING JOY AT SMWS.COM.AU


CONTENTS

3 GIF 5 +

TS GIVI FOR NG

OUR BOTTLINGS MALTS OF THE MONTH

6 Cask No 93.132............................. 10 Cask No 80.14...............................

YOUNG & SPRITELY

LIGHT & DELICATE

Cask No 26.140.................................. 13

JUICY, OAK & VANILLA

SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW

13 Cask No 51.18.................................... 13 Cask No 70.40................................... 14 Cask No 55.61...................................

SPICY & SWEET

20 Cask No 29.271............................. 30

Cask No 123.28................................. 19 Cask No 71.62................................... 19

THE VAULTS COLLECTION

Cask No 138.5................................... 19

14 Cask No 95.39............................... 24

Cask No 44.101................................. 28

Cask No 93.101................................. 28

Cask No 80.14................................... 6

Cask No 70.40...............................

Cask No 1.222................................... 28

OILY & COASTAL

SPECIAL RELEASES Cask No 5.72.................................

Cask No 100.20................................. 28

Cask No 96.23................................... 19

SPICY & DRY Cask No 5.72..................................... 20 Cask No 13.67................................... 21 Cask No 10.166................................. 21

LIGHTLY PEATED Cask No 93.132 ................................ 10

30 Cask No 53.278 ................................ 31 Cask No 29.271 ...............................

PEATED Cask No 53.328................................. 31 Cask No 134.6................................... 37

GIN

OLD & DIGNIFIED Cask No 66.172................................. 21

Cask No GN4.2................................

37

34

Cask No 95.39................................... 24

NOTES FROM OUR TEAM

Come & coorie in Madeleine Schmoll..........................

16

Epiphanies & experience Drew McKinnie................................

Thank you Matt Bailey.......................................

3

Browsing the shelves Murray Hassan................................

22

Strings to our bow Anthony Cowie................................

36

All in the journey Andrew Derbidge.............................

4

Single cask festivities Suzy shares a festive recipe.............

26

A jaunt through Campbeltown Matt Bailey....................................... 8

Raise a parting glass Scott Mansfield................................

A short history of an important label Alex Moores.....................................

38

32

Put a pin in 2020 Brooke Hayman...............................

45

Festive gifting Gifts for all.......................................

42

Society Advent calendar 25 casks for Christmas is back for 2020!..............................

44

Events Celebrate the close of 2020.............

46

YOUR SOCIETY Member Discovery Kit A stunning new release....................

12

The year that was Your Instagram Stories...................

18

Competition Win a Member Discovery Kit!.........

29

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THANK YOU It can’t be said enough. Thank you. A whisky club like the SMWS doesn’t exist without the passion, energy, and gratitude of our members. Gratitude is something I spoke about at length on one of our regular livestreams, and it’s something that I can’t emphasise enough. It’s been a hard year for everyone. An international pandemic, political turmoil, uncertainty, lockdowns, and families going through challenging times. It’s been quite a wild year, and that’s an understatement! Along with gratitude, another word that’s been underrated this year is ‘pivot’. Change this, change that, pivot and adapt. It’s something we’re very familiar with at the Society over the last 12 months. In fact, at the Society we’ve been hard at work in building our values, our overall membership benefit, and creating some seriously special experiences. Without as many in-person experiences this year, it’s given us a moment of breathing room to really evaluate and research our whole offering to members. I’m still in awe every single day that (a) a club like this can exist in Australia and be far and beyond above your ‘usual’ commercial offering, and (b) that I’m able to work with our team locally, internationally, and help shape that for members. We listen to your feedback and suggestions very closely and are constantly looking at how to fix even the small things to make the Society something you’re truly proud of.

CONNECT WITH MATT E: bailey@smws.com.au

@smws_matt

So with that said, how we’ve seen those experiences morph and change over the last 9-12 months has been nothing short of extraordinary. Locally produced tasting kits, an abundance of virtual tastings, great reads, diverse selection of malts and other spirits to enjoy at home, and more. As we grow we also look to how we can add more to the overall experience with in-home learning, industry association, extended offering, and more ways to enjoy the experience the way you want to. As for this issue of Outturn, this is our big one. Our yearly festive edition that is jam-packed full of tasty new releases, great articles, our new Membership Tasting Kit, our Single Cask Advent Calendar, our deluxe whisky & chocolate paired virtual tasting, and more. Designed to cover your dramming desires over November and December, this double issue also has two Malts of the Month, and a chance to win one of our new deluxe membership tasting kits. From me and the whole team at the Society, we wish you a very merry and relaxing festive season ahead with many Society single casks enjoyed responsibly. Slainté,

Matt Bailey ~ SMWS National Ambassador

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A NOTE FROM OUR CELLARMASTER

ALL IN THE JOURNEY Dear members, It was earlier in 2020 that marked 20 years since I first travelled to Scotland and visited my first whisky distilleries. Having enjoyed malt whisky for quite a few years by then, and despite being well-versed in the excellent books and literature on the subject that were around at the time, it was physically seeing and walking around the distilleries that really brought whisky to life for me. Whisky went from being beyond just a liquid to the people and the places that make the stuff. It was tangible, it was authentic, and it made up an invaluable segment of my whisky journey. When writing about whisky or hosting a tasting for a newer audience, I often refer to the whisky journey. We are each on our own whisky journey, and everyone’s journey is unique. Some move quickly; others slowly. Some progress through all of Scotland’s geography and whisky’s styles; others stay rooted in a smaller realm of flavour profiles. (We must remind ourselves that not everyone likes peat!) Some take the very traditional route of starting with blends and then moving on to single malts, while others dive straight into the deep end and immerse themselves in the world of cask-strength, single casks. Importantly, there is rarely a right or a wrong journey to take. As long as it’s your journey. I don’t believe it’s an accurate or useful “ism” anymore, but there used to be a notion that The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was something you worked up to on your whisky journey. In the years before cask-strength malts were widely available; in the years before single-cask expressions became passe, the Society’s offerings were seen as the last stop on the journey. I don’t think we within the Society ever held that belief, but it was certainly the perception – at least in Australia – that was conveyed 4

to me by many curious onlookers who had a mild interest in and a liking for malt whisky, but didn’t feel their level of interest merited a membership subscription. Today, of course, we see more and more members join the Society earlier in their journey. And earlier in their life! (The average age of Society members has been steadily dropping over the last few years). Of course, we can’t claim to be unique in this – the entire category is seeing growth in the number of consumers, sales, and a changing demographic from the stereotype that perhaps was entrenched 15 years ago and more. Here on our own shores, we’ve also seen tremendous change and growth in the local whisky scene. There’s now a healthy range of whisky bars in most of our cities and large towns; there is a range of different tasting events and experiences available; and – perhaps most importantly – there has been enormous growth in our own homegrown whisky. We now have a huge number of operating distilleries around the country, and a plethora of local offerings to choose from. Speaking of which… One of the questions I’ve been asked repeatedly for the last 15 years is, “When will the Society bottle an Australian whisky”. The question is increasingly asked with a tone of incredulity, or a suggestion that we’ve somehow been ignoring what’s on our own doorstep. If the Society can bottle casks from some smaller “craft” distilleries in the USA, Sweden, and other New World countries, why has Australia been overlooked? Of course, that’s not the case at all, but the mechanics and finances of such an arrangement are complex to say the least. For starters, when you’re dealing with single cask bottlings for a global club, you need to be talking to distilleries that mature their whisky in casks large enough to produce the requisite number of bottles.


As it happens, very few Australian distilleries have mature spirit in 200 litre casks, with many opting for small cask maturation which simply would not provide enough stock. We went close many times, but it was usually one or both of the two usual stumbling blocks that tripped up a local cask being bottled. The first was simply quality: Some of the distilleries we were speaking to would send samples that were sub-par, and they simply didn’t pass our local tasting panel. The tragedy here was that we knew the samples weren’t representative of what the distilleries were actually bottling under their own label, and some of them saw the Society as an opportunity to sell casks they didn’t feel were good enough to bottle for themselves. We also had the unfortunate situation a few times of passing samples locally, only for our UK Tasting Panel to turn them down. This was frustrating, naturally, but we understood the bar had to be set high. The second common stumbling block was coming to terms on price. Most distilleries we were dealing with placed a value on their spirit that far exceeded the commercial realities of the situation. As an example, there was the comical occasion when one particular local distillery put a price tag on its spirit that was more than what the Society had just paid for six rare casks of Karuizawa from Japan. So why am I sharing these historical bits and pieces with you? Because the time has at last come: We have closed the deal and the Society will soon be bottling its first Australian malt whisky. Matt Bailey and I recently approved the samples locally, and they were sent to Scotland where our Whisky Manager gave them a flying pass. (One cask, in particular, scored in the panel’s top tier). And, to round out the deal, the price is agreeable and we’ll shortly be bottling two casks. “Which distillery?” you ask. Stay tuned….we’ll reveal all when the time is right but, needless to say, I’m excited.

In the years before cask-strength malts were widely available; in the years before single-cask expressions became passe, the Society’s offerings were seen as the last stop on the journey. To state the bleeding obvious, 2020 has been a challenging year. We started with horrific bushfires, then confronted the mess of COVID-19 and all that that entails. And we’re not out of it yet. In a bleak year with little to smile about, the Society’s own whisky journey in Australia turned an important page. We look forward to starting new chapters in 2021. Thank you for your ongoing membership and for participating with us via the means that have been possible this year. On behalf of all the Society staff and State Managers here in Australia, may I wish you a safe, healthy, and joyous Christmas break as we close off the year. May all our journeys encounter wonderful malts in 2021. Sláinte,

Andrew Derbidge ~ Director, Cellarmaster & NSW Manager 5


MALT OF THE MONTH

NO. 1

80.14. Distillery 80, and only the 14th cask ever to have passed panel in nearly 40 years of the club, so seeing one not only offered up, but also as Malt of the Month, is something special indeed. This under-appreciated gem of a distillery doesn’t carry a core range, doesn’t have a cult-like status, and doesn’t get much of the spotlight. It does, however, sit nestled in Rothes, in the heart of Speyside, next door to Glen Grant and built in the same year as Glenrothes, 1878. For decades, distillery 80 has been the backbone of blends such as J&B, Spey Royal, and a smattering of others. The spirit character could be best characterised as light, delicate, and a pleasing oiliness to the base thanks to the purifier pipe in production. For Cask 80.14, the tasting notes suggest actual maple syrup (the real Canadian type), vanilla sponge cake, toffee, white chocolate, and brown sugar. Perhaps something for the table at Christmas lunch?

A MAPLE SYRUP MOUNTAIN SPRING SPICY & SWEET CASK NO. 80.14

$140.00

REDUCED FROM $160

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon hogshead

AGE

8 years

DATE DISTILLED

16 January 2012

OUTTURN

254 bottles

ABV

59.5%

AUS ALLOCATION 60 bottles Fresh aromas conjured images of springtime flower gardens and Alpine meadows with vanilla sponge cake and sultanas soaked in brandy. Like a mountain spring, the palate was clean and vibrant, delivering orange and strawberry alongside warming ginger and maple syrup. Herbaceous notes of thyme and nettles emerged after a few drops of water before nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar amalgamated in a spicy cake mix. Toffee and white chocolate could now be found on the palate and the flavours sweetened while still retaining rounded spice. The ginger warmth lasted onto the finish with notes of hot cross buns and cinnamon swirls joining bramble jam, tangerines and clean wood.

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MATT’S TOP TIPS FOR VISITING CAMPBELTOWN Tour both Springbank and Glen Scotia

A JAUNT THROUGH CAMPBELTOWN

Order the haggis nachos at the Black Sheep pub

Drams at the Ardshiel Hotel

Full Scottish Breakfast at the Bluebell Walk along the pier and gaze over at Arran

BY MATT BAILEY

Let’s rewind to 2019. Sounds like a long time ago when this year has felt so long and taxing. Whisky festivals, long haul flights, handshakes, hugs, and maybe even sharing a quaich around the room was the norm. The word ‘pandemic’ was more likely something you’d watch on Netflix when you’d exhausted all other shows.

T

he date is Wednesday 22 May 2019. I’ve woken up at the crack of dawn in the Vaults studio apartment to collect my budget rental car from a few blocks up the road. As I walk up to the Europcar window, my phone receives a text message from Helen Stewart on our UK marketing team, “Are you on your way?”. It’s 6:30am. I reply, “Sure”. I’m not sure tone of voice carries very well in a text message. Never mind. I’m now at the front desk of this little Europcar collapsible office in a yard in Leith and I’m greeted with a smile by the young lady at the counter. “Do you have a UK driver’s license?” “No.” “Do you have a driver’s license from anywhere else in the world? That’ll do.” “That’s a relief.”

Thus began my four and a half hour drive in an unfamiliar car, on unknown roads, in a mad rush to deliver 70-odd bottles of Society whisky, and to present a masterclass to a room full of punters at the Ardshiel Hotel, Campbeltown. Was I going to make it in time for Helen who needs me to be there around 10am? Not a chance in hell. But I did my best, planted the throttle of my little Astra filled to the brim with whisky, glassware, and my own luggage somehow, only missing a jacket I’d left in a bar a couple of nights earlier. 8

The journey to the Campbeltown Malts Festival was underway, and I was really looking forward to being a part of it all. After escaping Edinburgh, hitting the M8 highway through Glasgow, there was a moment approaching Campbeltown along a picturesque stretch of road where I wound my window down, and really started to take it in. This was real. To really paint this scene properly we need to look a bit closer at Campbeltown as a whisky region. Today, Campbeltown in Scotland represents literally just three distilleries. That’s it. Yet it occupies a certain romantic charm of old school spirit production, earthy and oily character, and a time and place that cannot be replicated. Rewind to the 1800’s and the region was booming for whisky production. Dozens of distilleries producing whisky that was the benchmark for export around the world. All the ingredients you needed to make great whisky were there: the rich barley fields of Kintyre, local peat bogs, water supply from the local Crosshill Loch and coal from Drumlemble mine to fuel the stills. The most important aspect however was the deep harbour which allowed shipping routes to access this great spirit and show the world what Scotch whisky was all about. As the late 1800’s rolled around, the word of the distillate would be known far and wide both locally and internationally. But this wasn’t to last. By the 1920’s as many as seventeen distilleries had closed and by 1929 only Rieclachan,


Glen Scotia, Springbank, and a small handful of others had survived. Demand increased, quality dropped, world wars, depression, prohibition, and other factors had slaughtered a once-great whisky making region. Today, there’s just three distilleries operating in Campbeltown, which have all enjoyed a modern resurgence of both quality and output, albeit small in numbers, but highly respected in expression. While I’m not personally a huge advocate for focussing too closely on regionality, especially in relation to spirit style, there is a fascinating history behind each region of Scotch whisky, and Campbeltown holds a special place in my heart. There’s quite often a savoury, earthy, greasydiesel-pump note in many of their malts. A taste of the land, a certain ‘terroir’ to the spirit, and an exciting sense of historical note in the story. The coastal air that flooded my olfactory system and people who I met along the way. You only have to wander around the old streets and spot old redbrick buildings and the remnants of yesteryear’s whisky production where the rise, fall, and subsequent modern rise has taken place. Visiting Glen Scotia distillery is both an experience in history, but also modernity. That sense of time, history, old-school production techniques, and focus on great wood is evident. My top tip? Politely ask to taste their new make, it’s bloody unreal. So back in 2019, with myself and our global ambassador, John McCheyne, presenting a special evening of Campbeltown malts to an engaged and excited audience both virtually and physically at the Ardshiel Hotel, there was a certain electricity in the air. My budget Astra had made it to Campbeltown in one piece, Helen didn’t strangle me, and I was totally engulfed in the smell, the place, the land, the people. A sense of place, of production, of flavour that you can’t replicate no matter what. John and I settled into the building next door to

the Ardshiel, a full film crew, and a struggling internet connection meant we could (almost) livestream this tasting to people of both Campbeltown, and the greater UK membership. That was fun, but the best part really was walking back into the Ardshiel straight after to a thunderous applause of members and guests who had really ‘coorie’d in’ and had a great night. This was a moment in modern whisky history in many ways. This was a real delight to host, to create part of, and build the Campbeltown whisky scene for members. That’s what our 93’s do for me. They transport me to a time and place of what used to be the hub of whisky production in Scotland. A unique spirit that takes a time and place in your hand and heart. Founded in 1832, distillery 93 is still one of the smallest whisky distilleries in Scotland. The distillery still maintains much of its original design, including the fermenters, the stillroom and the dunnage warehouse dating from the 1830s. Don’t miss this festive Malt of the Month with Cask 93.132 Burnt berries and scorched cherries. A single cask Campbeltown whisky that is utterly unique and will take your palate on a flavourful jaunt to Campbeltown. Matt Bailey ~ National Ambassador

BURNT BERRIES AND SCORCHED CHERRIES LIGHTLY PEATED CASK NO. 93.132

$169.00

REDUCED FROM $210 9


MALT OF THE MONTH

NO. 2

Distillery 93 is one of only 3 distilleries in the Campbeltown region, but is often unfairly less popular than its neighbour, distillery 27. Founded in 1832, this distillery has changed hands, closed, opened, and been an integral part of many blended whiskies for a long time. Still one of the smaller distilleries operating in Scotland today, their single set of stills, old-school cast iron mash tun, and varied spirit runs make for one of the more interesting outputs available. While we usually get those notes of diesel pumps, horse blankets, and coastal peat bricks, this Cask 93.132 Burnt berries and scorched cherries has distinct tasting notes of raspberries by a rock pool, ripe oranges, ripe mango, lobster tails and hints of tobacco.

BURNT BERRIES AND SCORCHED CHERRIES LIGHTLY PEATED CASK NO. 93.132

$169.00

REDUCED FROM $210

REGION

Campbeltown

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

11 years

DATE DISTILLED

5 September 2008

OUTTURN

231 bottles

ABV

54.4%

AUS ALLOCATION 72 bottles Clean aromas embraced sea buckthorn and raspberries on a beach beside rock pools and mussel shells. Fresh mint suggested mojito cocktails with a touch of sea spray and new oak. The palate prickled before scorched skins of orange and grapefruit took us on a path towards barbecued lobster and coal cellars. A drop of water released viscous notes of Brazil nuts and light engine oil before the raspberries returned, now scorched from naked flames, and were joined by singed cherry pie. Ripe mango and marmalade followed on the palate to combine with salty tones from seaweed and burnt sand. Elements of tobacco followed with liquorice and dry wood rounding out the finish.

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THE WAIT IS OVER,

OUR NEW MEMBERSHIP DISCOVERY KIT IS HERE!

$299

Behind the scenes, we’ve been hard at work building on what the future of the Society looks like. A big part of that is all about sharing, and that means a full redesign of the membership welcome pack. The existing green membership box has had a full redesign to make more sense to the ‘where’ and ‘what’ membership means. It’s about sharing. It’s about flavour discovery, it’s about sitting down with a partner, friend, family member, and enjoying a dram together. It’s about us being all together unique. This new kit represents our joy of discovery. Of adventure. Of taking it on your next beach holiday. The three 100ml sample bottles remain, but from next year onward we intend to offer up exclusive single cask samples to replace them as you enjoy and share them over time.

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+ MORE!


THE AMBASSADOR OF LAVENDER

CHALK AND ORE

SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW

YOUNG & SPRITELY CASK NO. 26.140

$180.00

CASK NO. 55.61

'S REW AND ECTION SEL

$180.00

REGION

Highland

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

first fill bourbon barrel

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

AGE

7 years

AGE

11 years

DATE DISTILLED

23 October 2012

DATE DISTILLED

29 September 2008

OUTTURN

230 bottles

OUTTURN

282 bottles

ABV

62.2%

ABV

56.9%

AUS ALLOCATION 42 bottles We found this to be a pretty textbook example of this great make. Sheep wool at first nosing was joined by waxed canvas, herbal infusions, limestone, white pepper, starched linens, white flowers, gorse and baking parchment. A floral pirouette of elderflower and lovage kept things fresh. Reduction offered waxed lemons, dried tarragon, boiled lime sweets, rolling tobacco, Thai basil, anthracite embers and lemongrass. On the palate we noted an earthy clay vibe initially, then mentholic, drying and showing notes of sunflower oil, herbal teas, milk bottle sweets, miso broth and sandalwood. Water enhanced the sweetness and brought citrus jellies, juniper, cough sweets, hawthorn a chalky mouthfeel and a sense of stony minerality. Faultless and classical.

AUS ALLOCATION 18 bottles A strongly perfumed start embraced fine cologne with complex notes of dried lavender, orange blossom and jasmine. Puffs of dust suggested scented talcum powder and Turkish delight dipped in icing sugar while soft oils emerged like melted butter on toast. A prickly palate brought wasabi and rum-soaked sultanas before sweetening to fudge, digestive biscuits and sticky toffee apples with flambéed banana. Greener nuances appeared with water as we foraged between hay bales and undergrowth to find blackberries and cranberries with new oak. Delicate wafts of jasmine tea once again joined lavender bushes but now with black cherries, liquorice sweets and dried apricots on a bed of dry oak and dark chocolate.

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT ENYA EACH KIT CONTAINS: ~ Three x 100ml single cask samples that you’ll be able to replace. ~ Your SMWS tasting note book ~ A deluxe tasting mat with dramming guide ~ Two new monogram whisky glasses ~ A Society water jug ~ A Society water pipette

All in a double-compartment sliding box with carry handle. Take it on your next whisky adventure and share the spirit of the Society!

Price includes GST and excludes shipping

SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW CASK NO. 51.18

T'S MATCTION SELE

$279.00 REGION

N.Ireland

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

18 years

DATE DISTILLED

16 October 2001

OUTTURN

165 bottles

ABV

54.8%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles The Panel found an immediately bright and playful nose. Full of green jellied fruits, canvas, herbal syrups, freshly baled hay, earthy potting sheds, sweet pollens and agave syrup. Plush, sweet, grassy, fat and inviting! With water it became slightly chalkier. More towards linen, young calvados, underripe pears, bubble-gum and tutti frutti. Some further notes of jasmine, cinnamon powder and trampled dandelions. The mouth was immediately strewn with pineapple in many forms. Also, marshmallow, pink grapefruit, pink wafer biscuits, pink peppercorns and pink lemonade - just generally very pink! Reduction brought out acid drops, lemon jelly, pineapple cubes, red kola, limoncello and tonic water and touches of strawberries and cream atop fresh scones.

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VAULTS COLLECTION When this whisky was first featured at the Sydney Gathering in September, he room fell into a veritable eloquent silence. Thirty years in a single cask, yet still so full of life and vigour! A true time capsule of this old school distillery oozing with antique character. There are only a small handful of distilleries that age like this, where instead of looking down into endless oak and dusty bookshelves, you’re greeted with tropical fruits, antiquated barley varietals, and slow graceful ageing. Welcome Cask 70.40 Eloquent silence, an extraordinarily rare snapshot of another era in distillation. The expert tasting panel notes of vintage Riesling, candied fruit, gingerbread and lemon are right on point. Only 18 bottles available and limited to one per member.

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ELOQUENT SILENCE SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW CASK NO. 70.40

$995.00

Limit of one bottle per Member

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE AGE

Refill bourbon barrel

DATE DISTILLED

10 May 1989

OUTTURN

174 bottles

ABV

50.2%

AUS ALLOCATION

18 bottles

30 years

TH COL E VAULT LECT S ION

Like a soft, sweet and sensual kiss – our bodies were flooded with oxytocin – the brain’s happy chemical! On the palate neat initially, as expected, well-mannered but this was soon followed by a surprisingly youthful liveliness, like an old wizard who still has that glint in his eye. With a small amount of water, it appeared to undergo a miraculous rejuvenation, reminding us of Riesling wine grown from old vines in a bumper year with those intense aromas of lemon and layers of minerals. The palate was complex and balanced with candied fruits, gingerbread and in the sneaky finish a delightful citrus freshness.

15


COME AND COORIE IN

BY MADELEINE SCHMOLL

It’s all about balance at this time of year – and if there’s anything that strikes that balance it’s the idea of coorie. 16


While the original Scots meaning ‘to stoop or crouch’ is more synonymous with bracing yourself against a gale, it’s more often used today as a verb meaning ‘to snuggle or nestle’. In the last few years, it’s evolved further as a noun to define a Scottish lifestyle that’s as much about energising walks in the brisk outdoors as it is about basking in the warmth of a cosy fire indoors afterwards with a dram in hand.

S

o how can you embrace coorie? First and foremost, it’s about creating a sense of contentment at the start of what are the darkest and dreichest months of the year. It’s that feeling of getting back indoors after the heavens open when you finish a hill walk – the replete feeling after a Sunday lunch when the fire is on and there’s nothing left to do but relax; the feeling when you’re wrapped up toasty warm under a blanket while the wind howls outside. This time of year cultivates potent flavour memories that are steeped with childhood notions of comfort. Fireworks, bonfires and toasted marshmallows round it out, creating a smell in the air that signals the shorter days and darker nights. This powerful recall links to some of the more evocative tasting notes in our flavour profile chart. There’s coorie in a Peated profile dram that takes you back to the smell of the campfire embers as you sang with friends under the stars that one summer. As the last gems from the garden make their way into the kitchen, apples, figs, pears and plums offer a feast of delectable options for an afternoon of baking. There’s a dram for every crumble, pie, scone and flapjack. Go like-for-like and add a Young & Spritely or Sweet Fruity & Mellow dram to your hill-walking hipflask and pair with a flapjack. Or capture the season with something altogether different and try a Lightly Peated dram with your apple crumble.

Equally, coorie is as much about taking time to get lost in a good book as it is in being spellbound in the beauty of the outdoors. Carve out some time for yourself in your armchair with a copy of The Founder’s Tale by Pip Hills, to discover the unlikely origins of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Delve into Unfiltered from some whisky education and entertainment. Or take on your household with a night of board games, soundtracked by our Coorie-In with the SMWS playlist on Spotify. Bonus points if you throw some Scots words into your Scrabble match! Of course, it’s also about the folk you share it with. A true coorie is shared with your most kindred spirits, the kind of bright and bold souls where an evening of sharing great drams flies by. There’s simply nothing quite like it. Madeleine Schmoll ~ Social Engagement Manager, SMWS UK

PETITION! M O C Share your best coorie image on Instagram for the chance to win a $30 voucher. Tag your photo with @smws_aus and use #smwscooriein to be in with a chance. We’ll share our favourites and pick one lucky winner by the end of November.

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THE YEAR THAT WAS WHAT A ROLLERCOASTER OF A YEAR... THIS ONE IS FOR YOU. THIS IS OUR YEAR THAT WAS 2020. THANK YOU! TAG US @SMWS_AUS


A FROLIC IN THE CLOVER SPICY & SWEET

MAGNIFICENTLY MOREISH SPICY & SWEET

CASK NO. 123.28

$185.00

CASK NO. 71.62

$190.00

REGION

Highland

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

9 years

AGE

12 years

DATE DISTILLED

29 August 2008

DATE DISTILLED

22 February 2007

OUTTURN

206 bottles

OUTTURN

199 bottles

ABV

61.7%

ABV

61.2%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles

AUS ALLOCATION 18 bottles

The Panel found themselves in a carpenter’s workshop to begin with, one with a brylcreem machine on the wall. There followed notes of orange icing, rhubarb and custard, pollen, dandelions, wild garlic and carrot cake. A lick of eucalyptus resin also reared its head. Water rustled up some pink grapefruit, jasmine, iced party rings, violets, star fruit and bourbon biscuits. The palate brought honey glazed barley, limoncello drizzled strawberry granita, lime jelly, pink wafers and rye spice. A little reduction also added jaffa cakes, mojitos and a wonderful green malt note of pure pot still Irish Whiskey. A hastily assembled bouquet of wildflowers was presented in the finish.

An interesting dram – teasing in its individuality. The nose combined dry cereal notes (muesli) with polished wood and the fresh fruitiness of dried raspberry, blackcurrant, citrus, Williams and kids’ bubble-bath. The palate was full of character – bubblegum, Pimms and Tooty Frooties, ice-cream cones and flapjacks and a concluding coda of cinnamon, ginger and chilli. The reduced nose – golden syrup on porridge and treacle tarts, cigar box and scented pencils. The reduced palate became magnificently moreish, mouth-filling and yummy – lemon and lime, lychee and toffee while the finish furnished floods of genial warmth and satisfaction – sour apple sweets, tobacco and chilli.

TEUCHTER HUMMUS

DELICATE MASCULINITY

SPICY & SWEET

SPICY & SWEET

CASK NO. 96.23

$205.00

CASK NO. 138.5

$250.00

REGION

Speyside

REGION

Taiwan

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon barrel

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon barrel

AGE

12 years

AGE

5 years

DATE DISTILLED

8 June 2006

DATE DISTILLED

31 May 2014

OUTTURN

202 bottles

OUTTURN

208 bottles

ABV

58.8%

ABV

55.5%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles Things open up with unusual notes of butterbean hummus, apple pie and pear drops. There follows rosewater, lemon meringue pie, vanilla pods and cream soda. A whiff of airfix glue and marker pens with some old photocopier paper thrown in for good measure. Fascinating stuff. Water brings a more classical earthiness along with pink candyfloss, strawberry wine, potpourri, cooking sherry and almond milk. This sweetness continues to the palate with notes of ice cream cola floats, spearmint chewing gum, oreo cookies and battenberg cake. With water the spicier aspects are heightened. Notes of cocoa and bitter chocolate alongside curry leaf, star anise, blackjack chews and brazil nuts.

AUS ALLOCATION 18 bottles The nose delivers light, delicate smoke (long-emptied ashtrays, abandoned kilns) pleasantly balanced by creamy toffee sweetness. Rich sweet notes also run through the palate – toffee, dark chocolate and fig; hints of fino sherry and Marmite leave a dry sensation on the finish. The reduced nose balances sweet cocoa, brown sugar and golden syrup on toast with slightly more stereotypically masculine suggestions of gun powder, old wooden chests and bacon butties. The palate still finds toffee and buttered toast but there is now also a more medicinal sweetness, like throat lozenges or Fisherman’s Friends and after-traces of tarry ropes, putty and grilled sardines.

19


SPECIAL RELEASE CASK 5.72 SCARAMANGO Scaramango! When was the last time you saw an expression from distillery 5 with this much age on it? Bottled when it was perfectly ready after 29 years of maturation, Cask 5.72 Scaramango is the oft-overlooked, triple distilled Lowland distillery that at younger age is all citric, but older age develops a lovely cereal note and hints of brown toast, brazil nuts and butterscotch. Quite out of the ordinary!

20


GENTIAN COCKTAIL

SCARAMANGO

SPICY & DRY

SPICY & DRY CASK NO. 5.72

$750.00

PR BOT EMIUM TLIN G

CASK NO. 13.67

$199.00

REGION

Lowland

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

CASK TYPE

2nd fill bourbon barrel

AGE

29 years

AGE

11 years

DATE DISTILLED

3 September 1990

DATE DISTILLED

31 May 2007

OUTTURN

232 bottles

OUTTURN

169 bottles

ABV

57.1%

ABV

58.2%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles

AUS ALLOCATION 18 bottles

We discovered a totally fascinating nose - much 'out of sync' with what you would ordinarily expect from this distillery. Immediate notes of curry leaf, pastis, brown toast, mint tea, eucalyptus oils, menthol tobacco and petrichor. Extremely earthy and full of deep, tertiary complexities, with further notes of roasted Brazil nuts and medical vapour rubs. You'd never guess it was triple distilled! Reduction brought toasty cereals, butterscotch, softly medical demerara rum and the aroma of very old Irish pure pot still whiskey. Sooty, vegetal and full of metal polish. The palate sang with tea tree oils, canvas, agave syrup, tiger balm, lemon drops and lanolin. Extremely vaporous, aromatic and medical. Reduction offers cloves, green malt, metal coins, rum cocktails, spicy malt extracts and dried herb encrusted cured meats. Fascinating and brilliant stuff!

The aroma neat lead to a variety of associations starting from resin dripping from an almond tree, over stuffed vine leaves with tzatziki (yoghurt sauce mixed with garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and a variety of herbs like dill, mint and parsley) to a smoothie from frozen blackcurrants. The perfect aperitif neat with that bitter dryness of a cocktail called Gen’tonique, mixing Suze (bittersweet herbal gentian), Byrrh and tonic water – ‘mouth-salivating!’ Water added toasted cinnamon bagels, golden syrup and freshly roasted coffee beans whilst on the palate chocolate caramel crackers with plenty of molasses, cinnamon and cocoa.

IT'S COCKTAIL THYME

WE HAVE MADE IT!

SPICY & DRY

OLD & DIGNIFIED

CASK NO. 10.166

$225.00

CASK NO. 66.172

DO SELENELLE'S CTIO N

$340.00

REGION

Islay

REGION

Highland

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon barrel

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

AGE

11 years

AGE

22 years

DATE DISTILLED

6 October 2006

DATE DISTILLED

23 October 1997

OUTTURN

188 bottles

OUTTURN

252 bottles

ABV

61.8%

ABV

55.1%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles With a garnish of lemon and lime we encountered a strong herbal vermouth character that became shaken, not stirred, with coconut, mango and pineapple chunks. The stone fruit dryness of ripe apricots moved into wood shavings and a touch of spice from red onion chutney before we encountered sweet malty notes. A clean and mineralic nature integrated the aromas with the taste as the palate rewarded us with minty hues that combined fennel with tarragon. Juicy fruit returned with pineapple, pomegranate and passion fruit as herbal realms introduced thyme and marjoram before the finish concluded with liquorice and a touch of spearmint.

AUS ALLOCATION 30 bottles We have made it! We felt like pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago having reached our final destination Santiago de Compostela after walking nearly 500 miles. Now we were sitting in the cathedral as the huge thurible (incense burner) swung from the ceiling, soaring to amazing lofty heights. The sweet aroma surrounded us and the mystical charm filled us with wonder. Warning, you might even shed a tear or two when tasting neat as it is simply sublime! We all agreed it did not need water however with a drop you still have that perfect balance of light smoke, sweetness, citrus and vanilla.

21


BROWSING THE SHELVES BY MURRAY HASSAN

Like many of us over this past year, I’ve found myself at home and unable to catch up in person with friends. There is only so much staring at a screen I can do, so I began digging through my collection of whisky books. It has been a fascinating and enjoyable journey to look back at the writings of a different time, how whisky was viewed, what people knew and wanted to know about it. Much like opening an old bottle, a book on the subject of whisky is a time capsule. When this article was suggested, I thought of writing up a Top 5 list of classic whisky books, and a Top 5 list of modern classics or recent books of note…but then I realised that lists of titles aren’t much help to anyone. Perhaps in a later article I might explore some of these classics of whisky literature, and explore why they have been so influential. But as we’re in that season of gifting, presents and the like, I thought it might be worth covering some of the releases in the last few months. These may be helpful, should you need to drop hints to significant others, or looking for gift ideas, or even just to explore yourself. Whisky, like any other field of interest, has its own jargon, terms and phrases. All of these can be quite confusing, both to those new to whisky or those further along the road. I often find that I need an explanation of something new I haven’t heard of before. The Whisky Dictionary, by noted writer Ian Wisniewski, is a book that aims to cover this territory. As you’d expect from a book with “dictionary” in the title, it is arranged alphabetically, with many terms used in whisky drinking and appreciation, as well as terms used in whisky production. Ian is a writer whose articles have largely been explaining the production and making of whisky, and he has a clear and concise way of explaining terms and phrases that we’re all likely 22

to encounter. It’s certainly a great reference to have on the shelves, for novice and more advanced whisky lovers, that can be reached for when stumped by a word or term. As we’re all unable to travel much, armchair travel is our best option. It can be made better with a book in hand, and in particular a travel around the famed island of Islay. Andrew Jefford is a noted wine writer, but his first foray into spirits writing was a book titled Peat, Smoke and Spirit, originally released in 2005. It has been reissued this year with a new title, Whisky Island. This book is structured like a tour of Islay. Each distillery is given a chapter that covers history, the people and the operations, with some tasting notes and descriptors of the distillery’s main or consistent character. But these distillery stories are alternately woven with chapters that tell the wider story of this ancient island, of Pictish settlements, Gaelic peoples, powerful clans and their battles for supremacy. This all makes for a most enjoyable read, and while it is dated, given recent developments in new and existing distilleries, Whisky Island makes for one of the best armchair travel journeys I’ve experienced. My drinking suggestion: pick a favourite Islay whisky, and see if the words on the page come to life in the glass.


RECENT RELEASES The Whisky Dictionary by Ian Wisniewski Whisky Island by Andrew Jefford The Malt Whisky Yearbook A Long Stride by Dr Nick Morgan The Science and Commerce of Whisky Whisky Science: A Condensed Distillation

The last book to mention is a staple of many a whisky ambassador: The Malt Whisky Yearbook is now up to the 2021 edition, and has been published each year for the last 16 years. It is considered by many as one of the most useful and accessible resources on whisky production in publication. With a focus on Scottish distilleries, it lays out a one-page history of each distillery, recent activity including upgrades or expansions, production details and capacity, and recent bottlings or releases of note. There are later sections on distilleries outside Scotland, and some insightful articles written by the most noted writers in whisky today. Although I haven’t received my copy as at time of writing, I have always found it to be a credible and valuable reference. To quote our Cellarmaster, Andrew Derbidge, it is the next best thing to visiting the distilleries themselves. There are a few other books worth noting that are due out in the coming months, that I think will be greatly worth looking at. 2020 is the 200th anniversary of Johnnie Walker, and a book has been written by Dr Nick Morgan of Diageo, the parent company of Johnnie Walker. It promises to be quite an interesting insight into arguably the world’s best-known Scotch whisky brand.

For the serious whisky nerds (I know some of you out there!), two books have just been released: the second edition of The Science and Commerce of Whisky, and Whisky Science: A Condensed Distillation. Both are science-heavy, essentially academic texts on the production of whisky, but ideal for those who would like to peek behind the curtain. I’m always keen to know what whisky books you’ve found useful or worth reading, so by all means get in touch with me on social media, @MuzzMan78, or send Matt an email and we’ll find time to discuss them on a livestream. Happy dramming and reading to everyone!

Murray Hassan ~ Member since 2007 23


VAULTS COLLECTION 1982. E.T. hits the cinemas, the first CD player is sold, and Malcolm Fraser is our Prime Minister. What a time to be alive! It's also the same year Cask 95.39 was distilled. Putting that into perspective sometimes helps get a grasp on how truly old this whisky is. 38 years of continual maturation in a single refill sherry butt from one of the most underrated distilleries in Scotland.

Distillery 95 used to be known under the brand 'Singleton' because no one could say the distillery name properly. Cask 95.39 is just the 39th cask from the distillery to pass tasting panel, and this release will transport you to another era of luxurious sherried maturation like no other. Earthy dunnage flooors, plum wine, and delicate distillate make for a truly out of body experience (to quote our ACT State Manager Drew McKinnie, who loved it so much he's buying one).

24


INDIAN SUMMER IN A JAPANESE GARDEN OLD & DIGNIFIED CASK NO. 95.39

$1295.00 REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE AGE

Refill sherry butt

DATE DISTILLED

15 January 1982

OUTTURN

477 bottles

ABV

53.0%

AUS ALLOCATION

42 bottles

38 years

TH COL E VAULT LECT S ION

Imagine an early afternoon walk during a beautiful ‘Indian summer’ through a forest collecting mushrooms as well as searching for, with the help of your best friend the truffle-hunting dog, this highly prized fungus. On the palate neat we found a Waldorf salad made with fruits and nuts all served on a bed of lettuce and this time perfectly dressed in vinaigrette made from Pedro Ximénez grapes that have been aged for many years in an oak Solera system. The soft, round sweetness perfectly balanced the sharpness. With a tiny drop of water, a delicate, woody perfumed aroma was released, and we finished in an oriental Japanese garden with plum wine.

25


SINGLE CASK FESTIVITIES

BY SUZY TAWSE

Let’s look to close this year with family and friends, sharing and enjoyment, and a spirit of community that we’ve seen grow into something amazing amidst the current global calamity.

A

massive thank you to all our Members for sticking with us (we wouldn’t be here without you!) And a huge shout out to all our friends and colleagues in the hospitality industry and beyond, who are doing it tough.

A divine distillery 53 – or live on the edge with a 93. This is the wow factor dessert that will bring silence to your dinner table, barring the clink of cutlery against plate, and the ooohs and aaahs of shared enjoyment.

In the spirit of communal decadence, here is a recipe that is perfect for bringing people together in a state of dessert heaven – made even more celestial with the key ingredients of whisky and chocolate. Full disclosure, I had a bit of help (again) from the inimitable Jamie Oliver. The original recipe features Vin Santo or sherry, but this is where your Society bottlings can come into their own – heresy bottlings, single cask, sherried cask, bourbon cask, whatever floats your tastebud boat. I have not yet tried a peated whisky with this one, but why not?

Wishing you and yours a safe, happy and healthy festive season.

26

Suzy Tawse ~ Member Service & Operations Director


Suzy’s

FESTIVE WHISKY BOMBE INGREDIENTS 1 litre of vanilla ice cream 1 kg panettone 125 ml whisky 3 heaped tablespoons raspberry jam 100 g tinned cherries, in juice 75 g glacé cherries (or other glacé fruit) 1 seedless mandarin 50 g shelled pistachios 300 g quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa) 25 g unsalted butter 1 sparkler and a Society dram per person

METHOD 1.

Take the ice cream out of the freezer so it can soften a little while you get things ready. My personal preference is Häagen-Dazs or Connoisseur vanilla ice cream. Maybe Covid has got you into making your own – or support your local ice cream parlour!

2. Line a 2 litre pudding bowl with three layers of clingfilm. Then slice four 2cm-thick rounds off your panettone and cut them in half. You’ll have a little panettone left over, great for festive snacking. There are all kinds of exotic panettone out there that you can experiment with but for this recipe, the classic version is perfect. 3. Arrange six of your eight panettone slices in a single layer around the inside of the bowl, pushing them down if they overlap. Drizzle about half of your whisky on to the panettone so it soaks in, then use the back of a spoon to spread the jam all over it. 4. Drain the tinned cherries, and halve the glacé cherries. Finely grate the fresh mandarin zest and put aside, then peel and finely slice the mandarin into rounds. 5. Spoon half the ice cream into the bowl, spreading it around in a thick layer. Sprinkle in the pistachios, cherries and glacé fruit, then layer on the mandarin slices. 6. Add the rest of the ice cream. Spread it out, working quickly so it doesn’t completely melt. Put the remaining two panettone slices on top of the ice cream. 7. Drizzle over the rest of the whisky, then cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm. Press a plate down on top to compact everything down, put a weight on top, then freeze overnight, or until needed.

SERVES 10

8. Around 20 minutes before you want to serve it, place your serving dish/plate on top of the bowl and flip it over. Remove the bowl and unwrap your amazing festive bombe. Then leave to thaw slightly.

20 MINUTES PREP TIME PLUS FREEZING

9. Break up the chocolate into pieces, place in a heatproof bowl with the butter over a pan of gently simmering water on a low heat and leave to melt. Lindt chocolate is great for this and there are so many different types that you can experiment with – I use 70% Cocoa Smooth Dark, Lindt Excellence Orange Intense works especially well too. Or why not try the Chilli or Raspberry version.

SUPER EASY!

10. Once melted, stir in the reserved mandarin zest, then pour the chocolate over the bombe so it oozes down the sides and looks amazing and delicious. Serve up any extra sauce in a little (Society) jug. Then insert sparkler, light and enjoy with friends/family, of course not forgetting an accompanying Society dram!

27


TARTE TATIN AND ETON MESS

KERMIT’S KALE KNACKWURST

JUICY, OAK & VANILLA

LIGHT & DELICATE CASK NO. 100.20

CASK NO. 1.222

$190.00

$170.00

REGION

Speyside

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

AGE

11 years

AGE

8 years

DATE DISTILLED

21 March 2007

DATE DISTILLED

6 April 2011

OUTTURN

305 bottles

OUTTURN

241 bottles

ABV

57.8%

ABV

59.1%

AUS ALLOCATION 18 bottles

AUS ALLOCATION 42 bottles

Chopped parsley in abundance at first. Then blackberry bushes, trodden dandelions, toasted seeds, tomato plants and dry cereals. An intriguing aroma of vase water and Turkish delight intrudes upon proceedings. A little water and there is hessian sackcloth, frying pork and apple sausages, sour cherry kriek beer and fresh rhubarb. The arrival on the palate is riddled with wild flowers, kale toasted in paprika, sunflower oil, lanolin and a sweet flapjack note. Lingering chilli heat commands the addition of water... with dilution comes herbal sweetness, salty liquorice, salami, white asparagus and a grating of fruity pink peppercorns. Some sooty wood notes in the aftertaste rounds everything off nicely.

JUICY FRUIT AND JELLY SWEETS

GRAND CRU COD LIVER OIL

JUICY, OAK & VANILLA CASK NO. 44.101

$225.00

We found a clean, attractive nose of vanilla icecream with toffee sauce, raspberry pavlova, cookie dough, white chocolate and lemon cup-cakes – also hints of meadowsweet and elderflower. The palate delivered zesty notes (cranberry, lemon with white rum), bubble-gum, chocolate toffee éclair sweetness and wood-derived flavours of oak shavings, ground ginger, pepper and liquorice. The reduced nose had subtle intimations of apple tarte tatin, sherbet straws, Starburst, marmalade and jasmine. The palate became a softer sweet and sour experience – Haribos, pear-drops, soft mints, bramble cheesecake and tinned peach Eton mess before wood and charred green pepper to finish.

SPE FINI CIAL SH

OILY & COASTAL CASK NO. 93.101

$225.00

REGION

Speyside

CASK TYPE

2nd fill heavy toast medium char hogshead

REGION

Campbeltown

AGE

15 years

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

DATE DISTILLED

6 November 2002

AGE

14 years

OUTTURN

247 bottles

DATE DISTILLED

20 February 2004

ABV

59.7%

OUTTURN

293 bottles

ABV

55.1%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles A tickle from white pepper and a touch of tart fruit quickly sweetened to tinned fruit cocktail and jelly sweets. Biscuity and malty notes embraced elements of coconut and vanilla as we approached thick ice cream with fudge and slices of kiwi fruit. A sticky floral note delivered Turkish delight with the promise of spicy sandalwood as we proceeded towards the ginger biscuit palate. Dried apricots married with toasty and nutty notes with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Soft spice became shrouded in a silky texture as vanilla and cream soda rounded out the finish. After spending 14 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead this was transferred to a 2nd fill toasted oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.

28

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles The aroma reminded some of The Panel of roast beef tenderloin with a cranberry-red wine sauce whilst others got seared duck breast with blood orange sauce. Very (and I mean very) different on the palate neat; pickled and smoked herring, marinated anchovies with sherry vinegar and parsley as well as goats’ cheese rolled in ash. Water added all sorts of things on the nose starting with carbolic soap, oily rags and fish boxes to poster paint and aniseed. On the palate, like on the nose neat, we diverged with plenty of ripe dark fruits like in a full-bodied red wine on the one hand and cod liver oil on the other!


WIN A NEW SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP DISCOVERY KIT OUR INCREDIBLE NEW SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP DISCOVERY KITS HAVE LANDED AND ARE READY TO SHARE AROUND TO OUR MEMBERS! To celebrate, we’re giving one away! The full kit, valued at $299, can be yours one of three ways: 1

REFER A FRIEND

Refer a friend to join the Society, or

2

BECOME A MEMBER

If you’re reading this and not currently a member, join the Society and you’re in the draw, or

3

BUY A MEMBERSHIP KIT

Buy one of our new membership discovery kits, and you’ll go in the draw to win another one, which would make an amazing gift this festive season to someone!

Entries close 5pm AEDT, Sunday 13 December 2020. Winner will be drawn live on our Society Livestream at 7pm AEDT, Monday 14 December 2020.

29


SPECIAL RELEASE CASK 29.271 TALL, DARK AND MYSTERIOUS Age does wondrous things to Islay spirit. Where it may lose a bit of that immediate smoke punch, it gains spades of complexity and delicate oak characteristics. In the case of Cask 29.271 Tall, dark and mysterious, there is also the interplay of port cask maturation that layers this delightful Islay rarity with a sweet subtle note with the panel exclaiming notes of blackcurrant jam, Turkish coffee and heather honey. A must have for any Islay fan.

TALL, DARK AND MYSTERIOUS LIGHTLY PEATED CASK NO. 29.271

SPE FINI CIAL SH PR B OTE M I U M TLIN G

$599.00 REGION

Islay

CASK TYPE

2nd fill Port barrique

AGE

21 years

DATE DISTILLED

13 May 1998

OUTTURN

230 bottles

ABV

55.5%

AUS ALLOCATION

54 bottles

The nose is deep, dark and mysterious – shaved creosoted wood, burnt fruit cake, wood-fired pizza, Turkish coffee and char-grilled lobster. The palate has controlled smoke drifting over equally heavy flavours of liquorice, Fernet Branca, black bun, molasses cake, blackcurrant jam, treacle toffee and Szechuan peppercorns – it’s an intense tongue experience. The reduced nose finds slate and pencil leads, fruity shisha pipes, burned lavender sprigs and cordite. The palate moves on to Black Jack chews, tarry driftwood, rye bread, cracked pepper crisps and Lapsang Souchong with heather honey. After 19 years in ex-bourbon wood we transferred this into a first-fill port barrique.

30


LA VITA BELLA!

S SELEUZY'S CTIO N

LIGHTLY PEATED CASK NO. 53.278

$225.00 REGION

Islay

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

AGE

10 years

DATE DISTILLED

24 September 2007

OUTTURN

244 bottles

ABV

59.5%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles We were transported to a seaside town in Tuscany, sitting in a restaurant overlooking the beach and being served fettucine with sweet peat smoked mussels, clams and scallops in a white wine sauce. On the palate we added some freshly ground white pepper and ‘clinked glasses’ with a Vernaccia di Oristano. A sherry like wine (not fortified) from Sardinia, dry and full of flavours, candied peel, roasted walnuts with a hint of smoke – so gracious and so seductive. Add a little acqua, and a warming salty sea breeze caressed the noses and on the tongue, it melted away like malted hazelnut gelato in the sun – bellissimo!

HAPPY DAYDREAMING PEATED CASK NO. 53.328

$220.00 REGION

Islay

CASK TYPE

Refill bourbon hogshead

AGE

15 years

DATE DISTILLED

18 July 2006

OUTTURN

256 bottles

ABV

58.9%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles A wisp of clean sweet peat smoke followed by rich and creamy lobster bisque with pure sea salt seasoning was spiralling up from the glass – we were all happily daydreaming. The taste neat brought us back to reality (in a good way). Cullen skink with peat smoked haddock, vanilla curry and anchovy straws gave this an enthralling sweet and salty twist. Even more foodie with a drop of water, aromas of whelks with garlic butter, smoked mussels and stir-fried greens with oyster sauce were followed on the palate by sweet creamy lemon mint cake and lime blossom honey on salted buttered toast.

31


RAISE A PARTING GLASS BY SCOTT MANSFIELD

We can all clearly recall the sweet melancholy of letting go of that last drop of a treasured Society Cask. ‘Goodbye old friend, thanks for the memories.’

T

his festive time of year heightens our awareness of the year gone by. Good riddance 2020 eh?! Maybe in this, of all years, we need to remember what is good in life, to honour what we have lost and to celebrate what we cherish. No better way to do this than with a fine whisky. After all, the science backs us up. Dr. Natalie Dattilo is a psychologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, specialising in how memories are formed. She argues that all too often we choose to let negative experiences create the strongest memories. Dattilo advocates we stop to take in the happy moments, give your attention the sights, sounds and aromas and lock in those positive memories. “We are more likely to recall emotionally vivid or emotionally charged memories when that is a heightened sensory experience,” she says. 32

Powerful memories? Celebrating life? Ah ha, a unique cask strength whisky would fit that bill! Consider how often talk turns to casks gone by at Society gatherings. Wistful musings of G13.1, What a Revelation indeed! Who would have thought, a 4 year old Japanese grain aged in a port puncheon; so young and yet so in the pink. I wish I could … ah well, its gone now. That’s the paradox of enjoying Society casks, there’s a panoply of new aromas and flavours to explore, but we know that our time together is fleeting. This is what sets the SMWS apart, each unique expression is another marker on our whisky journey. We wind our way through new distilleries, new casks, new memories; each different but so often so familiar.


I love that spark of excitement on receiving the next Outturn. Where shall we go next? Sensing the stomping of a rumba dancer, elegant and beautiful with a A Belter of a Dram Cask No 6.39. Or warming yourself next the embers of beach bonfire with Storm-tossed Kelp on an Islay Beach Cask No 53.332. Sometimes realms fantastical lie on the horizon. Imagine Riding a Duck Bareback up Mt Etna Cask 30.94. “We stood at the foot of the volcano; a towering eminence of tightly packed fruitcake and sticky toffee pudding, and gazed up towards the bellowing clouds of pork crackling infused smoke. Climbing onto the back of a giant duck and gripping the leather reins we began our ascent with the spicy smell of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon becoming heavier as we advanced. The ground shook as figs, dates and roasted chestnuts were blasted high into the sky and rivers of molten toffee passed nearby.” Unforgettable. Whisky has so often the perfect accompaniment to life’s significant celebrations. It always has been. A new year; a new addition to the family, sealing the deal or the passing of a loved one. Stretching back in time immemorial, whisky often lifted spirits and warmed the heart of those looking to mark an occasion. Highland crofters (small farm holders) would spirit away uisge-beatha distilled from the last of the harvest, to ward off the dark chills of winter. Hogmanay (aka New Year’s Eve) marked the lengthening of the days. To this day there is the grand Scottish tradition of “First Footing” when at midnight a household would welcome its first guest who crossed their threshold. It is said that should that guest be tall, dark haired and good looking the year will be good. Some believe that blond haired folk brought ill tidings, a long distant echo of ancient fears of Viking invaders. More fortuitous yet, should this guest bring a dram of whisky, hopefully someone to share, Tall, Dark and Mysterious Cask No. 29.271 will do, the year ahead would be prosperous. New seasons and new life often give us pause to celebrate the future unknown. A new hope is born with that little ray of sunshine. Long have new fathers taken to wetting the baby’s head through imbibing of few drams with friends. Imagine toasting future glories with Cask 41.83 Sherry, Sherry Baby. As a father of daughters, five and eleven, I scan Outturn’s looking for that cask distilled on the same day as their births. What better way for a newly minted 21 year old (plus a significant relative) to celebrate the big occasion with some special which came into the world on the same day as they did. Indeed, those of you with youth on your side and preternatural patience could mark a long distant 40th or 60th with such a dram. As the seasons turn and love matches made, a dram or two binds us in celebration of a life together. Rewarding Long Lasting Romance Cask No. 72.58 and Scent With Love Cask No. 71.76 would perfectly partner any tying of the knot. You may have come across a quaich, a two handled cup, in your whisky journeys. A symbol of unity, the quaich, sometimes known as the ‘love cup’, would be held by the bride and groom who would drink to mark their union and toast their future. Alternatively, drinking whisky from a quaich solemnised the peace between two clans. The Clan Chieftains would each pour a whisky into the quaich to blend their spirits. Each in turn would drink from the quaich, holding it with both hands (you can’t hold a dagger this way) and pass it to their new ally. Stand up The Ambassador of Lavender Cask No. 55.61.

THE PARTING GLASS SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL SONG Of all the money that e’er I had I spent it in good company And all the harm I’ve ever done Alas it was to none but me And all I’ve done for want of wit To mem’ry now I can’t recall So fill to me the parting glass Good night and joy be to you all So fill to me the parting glass And drink a health whate’er befall And gently rise and softly call Good night and joy be to you all Of all the comrades that e’er I had They’re sorry for my going away And all the sweethearts that e’er I had They’d wish me one more day to stay But since it fell unto my lot That I should rise and you should not I gently rise and softly call Good night and joy be to you all A man may drink and not be drunk A man may fight and not be slain A man may court a pretty girl And perhaps be welcomed back again But since it has so ought to be By a time to rise and a time to fall Come fill to me the parting glass Good night and joy be with you all Good night and joy be with you all.

WATCH THE HIGH KINGS PERFORM 'THE PARTING GLASS' bit.ly/smwshighkings

Now the seasons have turned to high summer and this cursed year draws to an end. It would be all too easy let 2020 linger long in our thoughts. A year of isolation and loss and we are left to hold up in its wake. For all that, let us choose to celebrate what is good in life. Choose to remember new life and honour the good times with had with those with whom we have parted. Hark the call to the gathering, family and friends await you. Mind to have that whisky with you, ready for the midnight crossing of the threshold. Raise a parting glass to a year to remember. Good night and joy be with you all.

Scott Mansfield ~ State Manager, Queensland

Our Queensland Manager Scott Mansfield celebrated his 50th birthday on the 4th of November. He is tall, dark haired and questionably good looking.

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EPIPHANIES & EXPERIENCE

BY DREW McKINNIE

Please allow me to wear my heart on my sleeve for a little while. I wish to share some thoughts about feelings, and friendship, and community. “Whoah, feelings? Isn’t that a bit serious?” you may ask. Yes, there are some deeper issues raised here, yet this is also about whisky and joy in life...

A

s I am writing this, I am sipping on a magnificent 47yo whisky, SMWS 35.50 Something Special while preparing for a SMWS Gathering event tonight in Courgette Restaurant, Canberra. It’s really exciting; our first SMWS tasting in a group for over a year, at a top class, superbly innovative restaurant, with a brilliant line-up of whiskies. I know that chef James Mussillon will do a fantastic job in matching the flavours. It’s also a night where I will reconnect with wonderful whisky friends in person, co-host with the irrepressible Matt Bailey, and celebrate with so many good people the positive changes in our circumstances. Matt’s a great friend. Extrovert, energetic, passionate about whisky, and that passion is infectious. While Australia and the world has gone bonkers with Covid, Matt has ramped up his efforts, pouring huge amounts of time and energy into keeping our whisky community alive and active, relevant and refreshing. His online efforts have been stupendous, and I know many whisky friends who have highly valued that sense of connection and community in times of physical isolation. I have also valued his friendship when my personal world was upended. I have had cause to consider the nature, meaning and value of friendship over the last fifteen months. The last live SMWS tasting in Canberra, in mid 2019 at the National Press Club, I missed due to illness. Our Cellarmaster Andrew Derbidge did a sterling job. He’s a wonderful character, a great friend, someone I respect deeply. We have shared some exceptional tastings and events, and just as important, worked 34

together to build the inclusive whisky community we value so much. I have admired the way he has tackled tough times and maintained positivity and purpose. Like a bolt from the blue, last September I found myself in an ambulance, then ER and intensive care, then a cancer ward. This was serious! Tests and scans, more scans, more tests, and bad news. Oh crap; the emotional cascade started. Brief moments of being overwhelmed, disbelief and denial, then the stark face of fear itself, the brutal yawning chasm of realisation that plans for my family and myself were being ripped apart, the worry and uncertainties of so many unknowns, the dread of waiting for more test results and news, anxiety about more bad news, and immense sadness about the implications. Suddenly so many things of value in my life, relationships, activities, places, experiences, seemed to be endangered. This was not a good place to be. I looked within, shared thoughts fears and feelings with my wife and son, resolved to bring every strength possible to the fore. I was going to be the most cooperative patient these medical staff and doctors had ever seen. Say yes to every test and procedure. Take every chance to get better. Build strength and resilience. Draw strength from others, from family and friends. Andrew’s example of resolve and good cheer energised me, among others. One of the most positive, joyful aspects of unexpected adversity is seeing so many friends emerge, from all corners of life. Seeing, hearing, touching, feeling the amazing support of so many friends was both uplifting and humbling.


They all conveyed care and hope, talked about the good times we were yet to experience, the positive things we could enjoy in future. Whisky, food, flying, gliding, travel, gatherings, reuniting with communities of interest with a glass and dram in hand; these featured in our discussions, helped reinforce the goal of recovery and reuniting with friends again in better settings. So, dear members, I am grateful for the supportive role of so many friends. There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting friends up. Some reached out with personal visits. Others reached out by Zoom and Skype, by email, Facebook, Twitter, phone calls, with friendly voices. After my chemotherapy didn’t take and my scans lit up like a Christmas tree, I found myself in a large room full of my most dear whisky friends, sharing wonderful drams. It was an important occasion for me, with so much fun and warmth, encouragement and elation. At that gathering I reflected upon the generosity that goes with true friendship. That kind of friendship is strengthened by the mutual act of giving of ourselves to the other. Our exceptional General Manager, Suzy Tawse, has been such a generous friend for so many years, giving of her time and effort, her expertise and cheerful humour, her infectious positive spirit. She has helped us make the ACT chapter of SMWS a real success, a lively and inclusive whisky community with lots of energy. She was at that wonderful whisky gathering, with so many other friends too numerous to name, sharing drams and whisky tiramisu with her sparkling laughter and energy. That was so motivating to me.

Time has passed. I have recovered well from surgery. Last night we had a wonderful SMWS Gathering tasting at Courgette. It was beyond brilliant, just incredibly magnificent and enjoyable. We had nineteen lucky souls at Courgette, and the Canberra crowd there were enthusiastic, excited and amazingly warm. So many happy souls, who revelled in our mutual friendships and the sense of really belonging to a valued community. The classy sophistication of the venue was amplified by the stellar quality of our drams and dining. I tasted and then ordered the very best whisky I have tasted since a wonderful visit to Scotland. To all who attended, you gave me great joy. People ask, what’s the best thing about being an SMWS State Manager and Ambassador? It’s two things; witnessing the moments of whisky epiphany when people discover an incredibly pleasurable dram is one. The other is the amazing, warm, diverse and generous friendships we enjoy, in building a lively whisky community. Thank you for listening. I hope this helps you also to reflect on the value of these friendships, our community. SMWS Australia rocks!!! Drew McKinnie ~ State Manager, ACT

35


STRINGS TO OUR BOW BY ANTHONY COWIE

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is well known for driving innovation within the industry and creating a community of whisky enthusiasts, both Australia and worldwide. Locally there is much to be discovered about its involvement in the broader community. A passionate Scot and an original member of our Local Tasting Panel, I found a way to combine my passion for whisky and philanthropic giving. It all started with Youngcare here in Sydney. An organisation which aims to take young Australians with high care needs out of aged care facilities and improve the lives of those in disability housing. As a keen runner and amateur triathlete, back in 2013 I had this mad idea to participate in a 300km walking adventure through the scorching Simpson desert to raise money for Youngcare. Yes, a Scotsman in the desert! Upon returning from this epic trek, I attended a fundraising lunch, but wondered how I ultimately could contribute further. The following year, with the generosity of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, I was able to donate a full whisky tasting with myself as host and the Society’s malts as the whiskies on offer. It was such a success, that it has been offered every year since and on two occasions, I offered the underbidder their own tasting if they matched the winning bid, and therefore, doubled the funds raised. As a director of Ray White Lower North Shore, I like to be very involved in the local community and have subsequently donated this experience to schools, sporting groups and charities such as Cammeray Public School, Mosman Rugby club and The Fred Hollows Foundation. With my background in auctioneering houses and apartments, I’m often the one on the stage again hosting the live auction and subsequent tasting experience! 36

The whisky tasting experiences are usually for 10 people and hosted in either private homes or venues of the prize winner’s choice. The group can be anywhere from corporate team building nights to friends just catching up. Because the numbers are small, it allows for a lot of laughs and an active Q&A session. Questions vary depending on the audience and their existing knowledge, for example, those who work in the finance sector are interested in the business side of the industry, while engineers are often curious about equipment and production, but are all united by the sensory journey, the flavours in the glass, and walk away with a new appreciation for Scotland’s gift to the world. To date, thanks to the support of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society here in Australia, we’ve managed to donate nearly $40,000 to various worthy causes. An achievement worth raising a dram to? The Society is ultimately a community, and if that community can also give back in a charitable level, then it’s a noteworthy achievement for the club, for Youngcare, and for myself. Slainté, Anthony Cowie ~ Member since 2007


HAPPINESS IS A WARM GOA PEATED CASK NO. 134.6

PR B OTE M I U M TLIN G

$349.00 REGION

Goa, India

CASK TYPE

2nd fill bourbon barrel

AGE

5 years

DATE DISTILLED

28 February 2014

OUTTURN

207 bottles

ABV

58.5%

AUS ALLOCATION 36 bottles Clean and punchy! Full of freshly ground green peppercorns, spiced lentil soup, honey roast parsnips, smoked paprika, dry earthiness, TCP and medical vapour rubs. Also, some dried herbs such as oregano and bay leaf. A rather raw peat profile bubbling away beneath it all... Water brings out ripe melon, star fruit, kiwi and jasmine tea. Also hints of exotic spices, Darjeeling tea and cloves. Some pollens and bonfire smoke in the background too. A wonderfully syrupy texture on arrival in the mouth. Like a smoothie of soot and condensed milk with smoked lemongrass, elderflower cordial, eucalyptus medical balms, lime zest and coriander seed. Sumptuous and silky - like peat cordial! After dilution there's touches of cordite and flint smoke. Wood char embers, peat smoke, mechanical oils and concentrated wood spices. Warming, fat, syrupy and luxurious!

NETTLE SMOOCH GIN CASK NO. GN4.2

$129.00 REGION

Northern Ireland

CASK TYPE

1st fill bourbon barrel

DATE DISTILLED

9 May 2019

OUTTURN

237 bottles

ABV

48.1%

AUS ALLOCATION 24 bottles The nose opened with tangy white fruits, acid drops, tart grapefruit and concentrated juniper heat. Nettles, lemongrass, gooseberry juice and wild garlic were all noted. With water it became superbly aromatic. Lots of fresh herbs, menthol tones and a kiss of medicine. Evolved towards embrocations, eucalyptus drops, vapour rubs, exotic spice markets and green olives in lemon water. The neat palate opened with citrus jellies, under ripe orchard fruits and cider apple. The kiss of green acidity with flinty minerals, blood orange, Herbes de Provence and orange Curaรงao. Reduction brought a nice, lean bitterness with yellow flowers, warming winter spices, bay leaf and bouquet garni.

37


A SHORT HISTORY OF AN IMPORTANT LABEL BY ALEX MOORES

There has been much discussion around the components that make up the label of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. The key elements have such rich histories of their own: the little picture of the Vaults, the spiritual home of the Society; the cask code, a much-debated development; transparency in details, so drinkers know what they are getting; and panel tasting notes, a fun and informative guide to flavour. There have been some changes in the label since it was first affixed to a bottle of whisky, but some members may not know how many there have been‌

T

he first iteration of the iconic 1983 full bottle label appeared with all details and cask code hand written in red ink, I like to think by Pip himself. This lasted for under a year before the details and cask code were printed, first with a big separating dot in the centre before being replaced with a standard full stop in August 1984. The celebratory 5th Anniversary bottlings added some banner text across the top and bottom to celebrate the occasion, in a bold font reminiscent of the American military stencil.

38


These labels had "The Whisky Museum Est 1983" and "The Vaults Leith" written in scrawl across the front of the building, which was removed in around August 1993. I cannot find an historical reference for if this was ever a real sign, other than images of the beautiful Thomson & Co original building with "The Vaults Leith" emblazoned on the front. Perhaps the whisky museum concept was somewhat of an homage to the sign Pip would have seen walking up the steps to buy the building. The dates blur slightly in terms of the phasing out of this label, in what I can only imagine was a 'waste not, want not' approach to a big print run. When the code circle shrunk and moved up to make way for the name of the bottling in 1996, so too was "No." added to above the code rather than in the ring and the logo changed in some touching minor ways. The sun dipped lower parting the clouds, a small boat sailed into view on the right, and the building morphed to have slightly straighter lines, possibly as a result of some repairs to the facade. Personally, the original design reminds me more of the ubiquitous Bob Dewar artwork of which I am hugely enamoured. On some bottles of the original label, the words "single malt scotch whisky" appeared in the ring containing the cask code, and were relocated to above the main details (which now spelled out the age statement, rather than relying on drinkers to do the maths) where they remained as "single cask single malt whisky". The change was clearly motivated by needing to make room for the unique bottling

name, but not all bottles had names, and there are even examples of some with hand written titles. It is unclear whether this was official, or the actions of an enthusiastic third party at the end of a tasting event. Perhaps an enthusiastic panel member. There were some anomalies under this label, including the "L" casks with the centre oval code for the French market, the X.100 casks getting adorned with gold trimming (I have only found two examples of distilleries reaching 100 releases at the right time), and special labels for the first Japanese whisky releases, all in the 2000s. There was also a commemorative bottling for the Swiss Members’ Room, where the familiar vista of the Vaults was replaced by the Society’s headquarters in SchÜnenwerd, but this same cask code was also done with the classic sailing ship label so it is unclear how many may exist. Enter the Society's most significant label change in August 2008. The cask type was specified, tasting notes provided, the logo embossed onto the brand new bottle (still iconically green) rather than on the label itself, and importantly the heightened prominence of the big red code. This was all announced to members in the first ever Unfiltered around four months later. Skip ahead a mere two years after that, more detail was included, with the distillation date added for further transparency. This label also adorned the bottle containing the oldest whisky the Society has ever bottled. 39


There was a very subtle early variation if you look closely, as the cask indicator generally divided cask type and previous contents with a little line through the middle, but some very limited examples combined the two. There is at least one example of a small additional custom sticker being applied to cover the normal placement of the cask indicator and provide new details, most likely the result of a misprint on the original label. This was also the era of the special editions with custom artwork. The Society played with both a vertical and horizontal layout for these images, with the vertical having several iterations, as well as a full picture label for the various and highly sought-after art series. Mainly used for commemorating branch anniversaries (a lot of these are seen in Japanese and Hong Kong market exclusives), there are some for special events. In 2013, to coincide with when the Society turned 30, a bespoke green version of the bold code label was released for certain special bottlings distilled in 1983. The now highly sought after Festival bottlings began in this period with a single release for Fèis Ìle 2015, which would continue and grow as time went on. The same layout was also used to highlight the tasting notes on the "Tasting Panel Choice" bottlings, which had a Japanese edition, and also the Danish Festival release in early 2017. Just a bit later in 2017, the full whisky with character re-brand occurred, and the flavour profiles came to the fore with a colour stripe and cap to brighten up the bottles. The age statement got pride of place, and the tasting notes were shortened slightly, perhaps to make room for some longer and more entertaining names, maybe representing the panel taking on more drams in one session and seeing the creativity flow (peaty drams do tend to have more bizarre titles...). Two versions of the layout were trialled, one for the North American market and one for the rest of the world, with a single line and a double line for the “Society Cask No.” respectively. There were also some limited cases of older bottles being re-labelled under the new livery, including some from as early 2015. The character era also saw the introduction of premium livery, or more affectionately and colloquially known as the 'black labels'. This included more general premium cask releases, and the more limited Vaults Collection. While the labels for each were the same, with the green 40

bottle receiving some bedazzling in gold, the Vaults Collection had a little extra ribbon under the seal. The Jazz Trio was also launched under premium livery and with custom artwork, but while keeping the flavour profile colour in the age statement and bottle cap, lost the characteristic stripe. Some labels throughout the bold code and character eras had various small additions when they were chosen for a specific campaign or had a particular characteristic. Several celebratory stamps were also used to indicate the 35th Anniversary bottlings and Burns Night releases. Bottles provided exclusively for certain bottle shop outlets in the USA, notably K&L Wines, had a “rare release” watermark across the bold code label. When the relationship with duty free at Changi Airport commenced, a horizontal gold strip was added to the middle of the label saying “DFS Exclusive” and the character labels had a “DFS travel retail” stamp. In a lovely homage to the original look, one bottling received a throwback label, just with minor modern twists but enough to make older bottle seekers doubletake when it is sitting on a back bar. All this is considering the green bottle only, and does not account for the one-off styles such as 26 Malts and in celebration of Queen Street which had smaller clear bottles, the dumpy still-shaped bottles to celebrate the Millennium Malt and 18th Anniversary, and the clear version of the classic shape to showcase the Heresy series. There was also one previous vatted malt, which did in fact have a custom label, but was only ever available in 100 ml tasting bottles. On the topic of smaller expressions, there are various labels used for these tasting size bottles and for the 30 ml to 50 ml miniatures created over the years, primarily appearing in tasting kits and member welcome packs. They began very simply as the original logo with a few snippets of information, limited to the distillery number and region, with some being closer replicas of the large format bottle. There were some fun variations, such as the 50 ml miniature that accompanied the Society’s publication of Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie, where the label echoed the front cover of the book. The 100 ml vessel, dominantly used for member packs, have generally followed the look and feel of the large format contemporary. This size was harder to come by in the original and sailing ship eras, but became commonplace in the bold code and character eras. Some were exclusive to the smaller format and others made it to both large and small format bottles. The previous vatted malt referred to as the “The Last Drop” had such a label, as did the infamous HotScotch devilishly good cooking spirit.


This brings us up to speed with the launch of the new monogram, and the current version of the label, which has continued the premium livery and artwork for special releases in the style of the character era. The only notable change at the time of writing is that the monogram era introduced increased transparency for the initial cask and final cask. As such, if a bottling had been in one cask only, it would only say “cask” but if it had been transferred during maturation it would state “initial cask” and “final cask”. We have seen a few stamps and additions already, including Global Gathering and Burns Nights stamps, and indications when the bottles are exclusive to particular branches. Finally and appropriate for this year, the “Together In Lockdown” sticker was applied to two special releases for members. For those of you still reading at this stage of our journey, it is worth a pit stop to summarise this short history of a very important label. I would categorise the labels by the following eras:

It should also be said that all of the above is just for the whisky, and along the way the Society has bottled a range of other spirits. In more recent times, the label has mirrored that of the malts, without as much detail such as the flavour profile. Early examples of the Bourbons, Rums, Cognacs and Armagnacs were more detailed as to the distillery and less consistent with coding. So when people refer to just paper labels or confuse modern iterations to say the SMWS has seen a couple of changes to the label over time, I would reply that we are at 42 Society labels and counting... Alex Moores ~ State Manager, Victoria & Tasmania

THE ORIGINAL LABEL

which had 6 variations;

THE SAILING SHIP LABEL which had 6 variations;

THE BIG CODE LABEL

which had 14 variations;

THE CHARACTER LABEL

which had 10 variations; and

THE MONOGRAM LABEL

which (currently) has 6 variations,

Alex is the State Manager for Victoria & Tasmania, and is very passionate about Society history. He would love to hear from any members who believe there are other variations or “misstrikes” that he has not included. Please feel free to email him at moores@smws.com.au with examples or pictures.

and the variations do not include the little additions like stamps and stickers. 41


FESTIVE GIFTING SOCIETY WATER JUG

$35

An elegant 250ml glass water jug with Society monogram for your home tasting enjoyment. You’ve got the whisky, the glasses, now complete the set for your ultimate Society set-up!

DRESS TO IMPRESS

TSHIRT $35 HOODIE $70

Grab yourself one of our amazing new Society T-shirts and Society hoodies with the Society monogram and unique design. Regular fit. Dress to impress at your next Society home tasting / gathering!

HOLIDAY READING A good idea and a glass of malt started the world’s largest whisky club as we know it today. Founder of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Pip Hills shares his adventures about how he and his friends brought Scotland’s finest product to a waiting world. Enjoy this maverick tale over a dram or two.

$35

GIFT IT WITH STYLE Give your $15 gift bottle the presentation it deserves with a luxurious bespoke Society gift box. 42

Available in sizes S – 3XL


$349

GIVE THE GIFT OF MEMBERSHIP

SAVE $30 UNTIL 31/12/20

The Society is all about its Members and this time of year is a great way to introduce people to the world’s leading whisky club. Give the gift of 12 months Society membership plus our brand new ultimate Society Tasting Kit this Christmas to a friend or family member! Two Society tasting glasses, a water jug, pipette, whisky notebook and 3 x 10cl Society miniatures all beautifully packaged in a box with drawers and a carry handle, ready to go. At home. Camping. On the beach. And hopefully they’ll share!

$99

SPIRIT & WHISKY TASTING GLASSES The Society’s stylish spirit and whisky tasting glasses are the perfect companion for your festive season dramming. These elegant glasses have been specifically designed to maximise your nosing and tasting experience. Both styles of glass come in a black presentation box with Society monogram.

THE GATHERING DISCOVERY PACK

WHISKY GLASS

$20

Five 25ml celebratory drams specially curated by the Tasting Panel across a wide range of flavour profiles. Watch the accompanying video on the Society’s Facebook Group page or on YouTube. Makes a great gift – buy two packs and share the experience at home or online with a fellow whisky lover.

SMWS.COM.AU/SHOP All prices are including GST and excluding shipping

SPIRIT GLASS

$30

43


CK IT'S BA020! FOR 2

$399

25 CASKS OF CHRISTMAS

ADVENT CALENDAR Do you remember getting one of those Christmas Advent calendars as a kid and being more excited than anything to open the door on each new day? Maybe it was a fun message, maybe a piece of chocolate, but it sure was fun either way. Why stop having fun just because you’ve grown up? The most diverse whisky Advent calendar available in Australia (or indeed the world) is available in limited supply for members to enjoy a new single cask every day of December leading up to Christmas Day. 25 x unique single cask samples with a full 25ml dram of each in a fun and exciting box of flavours for you to enjoy. Jump in, pop a dram each day, and enjoy the world’s most unique Advent calendar. Stocks are limited so don't delay!

44


PUT A PIN IN 2020

2020 has been a tough year for our Partner Bars, especially those in Melbourne where the lockdowns have extended far longer than any other city. How do you look to adapt and grow as a whisky bar when you can’t have people actually in the bar? Matt Bailey sat down, virtually, with Brooke Hayman from Whisky & Alement (Winner of the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship, 2018) to talk about what’s been happening and what to look forward to... The virtual space for us (and the wider whisky community) has boomed since the arrival of Covid back in March, and what an incredible ride it has been! From learning how to produce small virtual events from behind the lens, to a crash course in product design (did you know our first juice bags were made of paper and leaked?) to connecting with Scotland, Japan and the world to launch some of the biggest whisky releases of 2020, it’s been one hell of a ride! We love a good rollercoaster and we’re thankful to every Melbournian that has joined us for the ride thus far! While the toughest days are yet to come, hardship births creativity and we have some fun projects in the woodwork. We’re currently working with Melbourne designer Anna Conrick on the design & creation of an epic outdoor area facing Russell Street (thank gosh Melbourne delivers some true Scottish weather, we’ll feel right at home dreaming outside), we’re also working on a new whisky project that’s set to be announced in December. Who else has been writing their whisky travel itinerary for the day we can take to the skies again!? Being confined to your 5km radius at home has brought new-found appreciation for the opportunity the bar brings for travelling abroad and we can’t wait to return “home” to Scotland one day soon. I honestly can’t wait to take a seat at the Society Vaults, Queen Street, and the new Glasgow Bath St venues to relax for a dram in front of that deliciously warm fireplace or modern Glaswegian setting! Covid has brought our team together closer than we’ve ever been. I always called our team ‘family’ but now more than ever we are sticking together, working through problems and are determined to get through these days of closure with a dram in hand. In 2020 we celebrated our 10th anniversary virtually, but 2021 will be when we party with our friends in-person. 2021 is looking like when we’ll really celebrate!" Slainté from the whole team at Whisky & Alement, Brooke, Jules, Lachlan, Miranda, Emma, Evan & Shane

45


EVENTS SYDNEY

ADELAIDE

THE DOT ONES

FAREWELL 2020 PARTY

A taste through some true Society rarities of the 'dot one' recent archive bottlings representing the first era for many distilleries from Japan, Taiwan, America, India & Scotland.

Let's leave 2020 behind us and celebrate with some whisky, food, banter!

FRIDAY 20 NOVEMBER, 6.00 FOR 6.30PM The Gilbert Street Hotel 88 Gilbert St, Adelaide

FRIDAY 6 NOVEMBER, 6.30 FOR 7.00PM

Host: Jenny Forrest

Royal Automobile Club 89 Macquarie Street Sydney

WOLLONGONG

Host: Matt Bailey

FESTIVE FLAVOURS PARTY

SYDNEY GARDEN PARTY

Let’s end the year with a Gong gathering and celebrate with wonderful whisky, delicious food and some good old-fashioned community spirit!

Join us for our outdoor whisky picnic / festive end of year party!

SATURDAY 12 DECEMBER, 2PM ONWARDS

FRIDAY 4 DECEMBER, 6.30 FOR 7.00PM

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Rose Pavilion Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney Hosts: Your SMWS team!

The Fraternity Club 11 Bourke St, Fairy Meadow

CANBERRA

VIRTUAL TASTING

FESTIVE DRAMMING PARTY!

THE ULTIMATE WHISKY & CHOCOLATE PAIRING

Host: Fred Apolloni

A fun evening to round out a rough year. Come join us for light supper, lots of great whisky and your host Drew McKinnie!

THURSDAY 19 NOVEMBER, 6.30 FOR 7.00PM Hippo Co 1/17 Garema Pl, Canberra Host: Drew McKinnie

The Society returns to our full virtual tasting experience for a special single cask & artisanal chocolate pairing like no other in Australia.

FRIDAY 4 DECEMBER, 7.30PM Live on YouTube and Facebook Hosts: Matt Bailey, Andrew Derbidge and Krsna Rajalingam

OTHER STATES Keep an eye on our website and socials for further event details as they are confirmed and released.

TO BOOK To book in for an event, please visit our website or contact our office. 46

SMWS.COM.AU/EVENTS


THE ULTIMATE WHISKY & CHOCOLATE PAIRING THE SOCIETY RETURNS TO OUR FULL VIRTUAL TASTING EXPERIENCE FOR A SPECIAL SINGLE CASK & ARTISANAL CHOCOLATE PAIRING LIKE NO OTHER IN AUSTRALIA

FRIDAY 4 DECEMBER, 7.30PM AEDT

Grab a pack, share with a friend, and join Krsna, Matt & Andrew live on Friday 4 December, 7.30pm AEDT. Strictly limited to just 70 packs total, and just $129 each!

WHISKY & CHOCOLATE TASTING PACK $129*

Proudly collaborating with the amazing Krsna Rajalingam from Basik Chocolates, each whisky praline has been carefully handmade to pair with each Society single cask in the pack. Best part is that the pack has enough whisky and chocolate to share with a friend or partner! 30mls of each whisky and two of each praline included in each pack, making 10 x custom made artisanal chocolates, paired with each of the 5 x single cask whiskies! *Includes 5 x 30ml drams of the below bottlings, 10 x expertly crafted and paired chocolates from Basik Chocolates, two tasting mats + full tasting notes, and a virtual tasting on Friday 4 December to go through each pairing, cask, and your questions.

CASK 26.140 | CHALK AND ORE | 7 YEARS CASK 1.227 | A MERRY ADVENTURE! | 8 YEARS CASK 93.103 | LAST OF THE SUMMER GRIME | 12 YEARS CASK 10.196 | SMOKY HARBOUR FISH SUPPER | 6 YEARS CASK R1.5 | A LITTLE EXTRAVAGANT | 12 YEARS GRAB YOUR WHISKY & CHOCOLATE PACK FROM SMWS.COM.AU/EVENTS AND WATCH LIVE ON YOUTUBE OR FACEBOOK!

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FESTIVE ORDERING

This is your Christmas 2020 edition of Outturn. Time to sort out your stocking fillers and select your seasonal spirits to tide you over the festive season! Make sure you order early for delivery in time for Christmas.

SMWS.COM.AU

SHIPPING For delivery in time for Christmas, we recommend placing your order by Monday 7th December. Left it a bit late? For Express Post or Courier delivery, please contact our office.

FESTIVE SEASON OPENING HOURS The Society’s office will be closed from Thursday 24th December, re-opening on Monday 4th January. Orders placed online between Christmas and New Year will be dispatched as usual excluding public holidays.

WE WISH YOU AND YOURS A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON! 02 9974 3046 Mon-Fri 9.00am - 5.00pm AEDT

@SMWS_AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIANSMWS

SMWS_AUS

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

Profile for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Outturn Nov-Dec 2020  

Outturn Nov-Dec 2020