SMWS The Vaults New List Steak & Chips Tasting
On the 3rd of February I had the pleasure of attending one of my first bought and paid for SMWS events. I had previously been lucky enough to be asked along to the November pre-release tasting at SMWS Queen Street, however I was looking for an excuse to explore the SMWS Vaults venue down in Leith and could think of nothing better than a slap up meal of Steak & chips washed down with a dram or 5!
The event was hosted by Ryan McCafferty, who had selected 5 very special drams from the upcoming February outturn for us. This was a blind tasting event – which is always great fun as the guesses and tasting notes start wild and get wilder! Tasting whisky without being fettered down with preconceptions based on distillery, bottler, cask type, age, etc. can be quite good fun so long as you’re not the sort of person who always has to be right!
To begin with we were confronted with our first 3 drams (L-R) – as you can see there is not a huge range of colour difference between them so nosing was the best way. This comparative nosing is also quite helpful as you’ll go on to see each of these was quite different! They were later revealed as the following:
A 35 year old single grain sample from the closed Caledonian distillery
A 12 year old zesty and fruity bourbon-cask matured Speysider from Glen Moray
A 15 year old Craigellachie matured in a refill sherry butt
After a quick repast
we were treated to two further expressions:
A 27 year old Highland Park – meatier & juicier than the steak we had just consumed
A serious amount of peat in this 12 year old Port Charlotte expression.
The final line-up – with just enough left for me to re-sample and cross-compare before rushing off to buy my maximum allocation of 2 bottles of 127.42 for use in the WOLS tasting we held here:
And off home I went, well fed and watered and all for ~£30!