AD // The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
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I got the opportunity to work alongside The Scotch Malt Whisky Society to showcase their festive whisky releases and also their whisky calendar and was super excited to capture some nice shots with my camera. I went up into town to the Queen Street venue, which is beautifully decorated for Christmas and captured both photo and video content which I hope you will like.
As some of you already know I really like what the society do with spirits and have actually also worked for them in the past at venue called The Vaults here in Edinburgh. So I wanted to share some Whisky Christmas Gift Ideas in case you might be looking for something to add to your wish list or to gift the whisky enthusiast in your life!
SMWS Christmas Gift Ideas
I, of course, have to start by mentioning the society membership which is valid for 1 year and gives your access to the monthly bottle releases, exclusive venue access and discounts for tastings and events. If you don’t know what the society is about the simply answer is that they release single cask and cask strength whisky bottling every month to their member which is sourced from distilleries primarily from Scotland, but also from all around the world. They also have venues and sister bars in various locations, although their home and where it all began was in Edinburgh, and they organise tastings regularly throughout the year. They’re all about sharing whisky with friends, exploring flavours in a fun and interesting way and doing it all in a colourful way. I have been a member for many years and find that they do some of the best whisky tastings around just because they tend to have a fun theme or a different twist to them.
I’ve already mentioned that I really like the society tastings, but to give a few examples of what they’ve done in the past there’s been a 1920’s party at the Queen Street townhouse venue, whisky and beer pairings, distillery takeovers and curry nights to mention a few.
If you are someone who liked exploring various flavours then perhaps an advent calendar would be the perfect gift as it gives you the opportunity to try 25 different 25ml samples of spirits? Maybe pair it with your favourite chocolate calendar as well and then you have plenty of whisky and chocolate pairings to treat yourself with throughout the winter darkness.
The way the society keep their bottles apart is by sorting them into different flavour categories. Each bottle also has a distillery number as well as a bottling number so that you can do some detective work and find out where that whisky is from (google is your friend and soon enough you’ll know your favourites by heart). I believe there’s 12 flavour profiles and they have names such as Juicy, Oak & Vanilla, Lightly Peated, Spice & Dry, Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits and Oily & Coastal and each month there’s a variety of what profiles and bottles are released and they’re often themed to the current season. One of the most fun things about society bottlings is also that they have very quirky names and tasting notes. I have bottles at home called Mon Cherry, The St Bernard’s Barrel, Nutty Mocha Frappuccino and Full Metal Hospital so sometimes it can be a great gift to give someone a bottle with a funny or suiting name. The society bottles are of course very limited to often around 100-200 bottles of each so when they’re gone, they’re gone. They also offer mystery bottles where you don’t know which bottle you’ll receive until it arrives which I think can be quite fun and am often tempted as soon as I see it on the website… There’s even mystery bottle + membership deals that could make a great gift!
✦ Want to read more about whisky happenings?