Scotch Malt Whisky Society commences The Gathering – a week-long (31st August – 6th September) programme of physical and digital events, tastings and festivals taking place around the globe.
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This year has been a tough one for gathering with loved ones or sharing a drink with friends. Many bars have pivoted to doing takeaway cocktails and members’ clubs have had to find new ways of providing their services to its subscribers. As part of its mission to help its members feel connected, Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has decided to extend its much-loved The Gathering series of events to include online tastings, talks and events that all its members can enjoy.
What is The Gathering?
Last year’s The Gathering saw events running throughout the week at the club’s spiritual home, The Vaults and other unique venues in wider Leith, Scotland. 2020 sees the evolution of The Gathering to include more global events and digital goings-on that SMWS‘s international membership and isolating audiences can tune in.
SMWS‘s main event is a Virtual Tasting streamed live from The Vaults on 6th September and they hope for as many members as possible (new and seasoned) to get involved. All you need to take part is SMWS‘s limited-edition The Gathering Discovery Pack, including five exclusive bottlings (£32). You can join in on your own, or organise your own gathering at home and take part with your friends. A full list of The Gathering events can be found here.
The Gathering events are open to all members, with annual membership priced at just £65 and including access to incredible events, exclusive bottlings of rare single malt whisky, and much much more. Full details on membership available here.
The Gathering Discovery Pack – Tasting Notes
26.145 Mood-lifting sanctuary
Highland | Juicy, Oak & Vanilla | 2nd fill ex-Bourbon barrel |8 years old | 58% ABV
Ripe white peach, beeswax, vanilla, honey, apricot compote, creme de peche, tinned mandarin segments, hay, and Haribo-esque sweet shop perfume.
Old fashioned fruity sweets, cream soda, blackcurrant Soothers, Humbugs, pickled ginger and citrus.
35.259 Rumtopf, birnenbrot and stollen
Speyside | Sweet, Fruity & Mellow | 1st fill ex-Bourbon barrel |24 years old | 53.5% ABV
Stollen, panettone & general amazing dried fruit & spice cakes. Something waxy with an echo of marzipan. Preserved oranges, ripe papaya, honeydew melon, coconut, maple syrup and honey.
A definite initial Bourbon influence, followed swiftly by juicy mango, papaya and oranges in syrup. Baking spices abound but the fruit stays front and centre.
Speyside | Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits | 1st fill ex-Pedro Ximenez barrel |16 years old | 59.8% ABV
Deep, sweet and warming with subdued aromas of apricot, tangerine, sultana and fudge-y toffee.
Spicier than the nose suggests with prickles of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom spiking the velvety mouthfeel. Baked fruit crumble, torched Demerara sugar, orange, candied lemon peel and black tea leaves come together to make sense of its name.
10.195 Shiver me timbers
Islay |Peated | Refill hogshead/HTMC |6 years old | 59.8% ABV
Gone-out bonfire, smoked kippers, sweet-glazed barbecued ham or smoked bacon, Frazzles, pork scratchings, beef jerky, smoked paprika, flambeed pineapple. Incredible.
OMG. An astonishing caramalised smoke full of vanilla bean, bacon jam, charred wood, spicy pepperoni and a touch of tar. Damn delicious!
53.332 Storm-tossed kelp on an Islay beach
Islay |Peated | Refill ex-Bourbon hogshead |11 years old | 58.8% ABV
Lightly sweet with a gentle kelp aroma, matched by hay, beach bonfire ash and a faint note of drying fishing lines.
More on the palate than the nose suggests with a rising peat smoke and engulfing roasted coffee bean flavour. TCP sneaks about the edges with menthol whilst molasses glazed ham, Mukhwas, liquorice and chicory dance around a central nutty sweetness.