• No chugging
• Not for swigging, glugging or knocking back
• Members do not pour water into another man’s whiskey
• To leave no nose upturned!
I was expecting to be led up stairs to a secret password protected room full of books and men in waistcoasts with elbow patches, but instead the tasting room of the members only Scotch Malt Whiskey Society was well, so modern. We were seated in the small bar area by the handsome waitstaff in minimalist black in anxious anticipation of our tasting.
The Society purposely describes each single cask, single malt whisky with it’s own unique, quite maverick, whisky tasting narrative. Big and small producers provide the whiskey, but the Society renames the procured barrels to it’s own liking. We settled in to our tasting, but I couldn’t help but notice the gentleman sitting alone at the next table – he had brought with him six different chocolate bars and was tasting them with just as many drams. And, he was typing notes furiously into his iphone. He had this “food writer” look about his endeavours. Giving him the flirty eye in an attempt to selfishly secure some chocolate, he never even looked up.
The descriptions were quite entertaining – and I had to contemplate what to begin with. Banderas in a Tux? A Girl Band’s First Hit? Kissing a Balrog’s Bum? (Not quite sure what a Balrog is much less if I would considering kissing it’s bum…) and ultimately decided to save Whiskey Flavoured Condoms and Skunk for the next visit. Old Encyclopedias in a Chinese Supermarket was my first.
I was schooled on the art of sipping whiskey, when to add water, when not to add water, and to never add ice. It’s strange entering such a masculine environment with the occasional “Are you lost?” look from the members. Ultimately, I learned scotch malt whisky is best slipped slowly and with good company.