The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Launch at Whisky and Alement
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) of Australia has joined forces with Whisky + Alement to give single malt lovers all over the globe a chance to experience whisky like never before in Australia . The partnership offers guests of Whisky + Alement the unique opportunity to sample an exclusive range of the Society’s distinctive single casks which are usually only available to members, making this the premier destination for any true malt whisky lover in Melbourne.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Australia has reached double figures, having spent the last 10 years deliciously providing whisky enthusiasts single-cask wonders – whisky that was unheard of when we broke new ground down under 11 years ago.
2013 is also the year the Society turns 30! In those 30 years the Society has grown significantly – we’re now present in 18 countries across the world. The hallway on Scotland Street, Edinburgh, where the original syndicate of friends were patiently waiting for their first cask to arrive on the back of a rusty Lagonda would be a little crowded now with our 26 000 members! Over time we have been able to become a hugely diverse, eclectic, international group of friends, with the largest collection of single cask, single malt whiskies anywhere in the world.
Whisky + Alement is the new face of the previous Chez Regine – an intimate whisky bar located in Melbourne’s CBD. After a major refurbishment, the tavern owners Brooke Hayman and Julian White threw open the doors to both the old and new whisky lovers of Melbourne in February 2013. The intimate venue also acts as a whisky school, aiming to educate through experience and tuition the emerging younger demographic. Armed with an overwhelming level of whisky knowledge, the 4-strong bar team (Julian, Brooke, Evelyn & Liam) are able to ‘wow’ any guest that walks through the door, providing an authentic Scotch Whisky experience.
In addition to launching with 9 Society bottlings, the team have created ‘The Never Ending Cask’. A collaboration between SMWS and Whisky + Alement, this allows whisky connoisseurs to try a dram directly from the barrel – a unique experience unlike any bottled whisky. The initial fill is from a single Islay distillery finished in a 20litre sherry cask for over 3 months: it will be topped up periodically, thus creating an actively ageing Society house expression. Perfectly served both by itself with a drop of water or as a boilermaker: One things for sure though - it’s not a dram for the feint hearted!
I was able to catch up with the crew including Georgie Bell, the Ambassador of the Society visiting Melbourne for the launch from Scotland. With the rennaisance of Scotch worldwide, this Society is at the forefront. Every cask is different and every cask has character. This is for the discerning. Georgie pulled out a 20 year whisky that was nothing like I'd ever had before - nuances of campfire, pulled pork and smoky old leather. Each dram is an adventure. But don’t take our word for it – saunter down to the bar and try it for yourselves!