SMWS - A Taste of the Members Rooms

With my best friend, and closest I have to a brother, david having his birthday this week it was time for our now annual tradition of a wee trip to the The Scotch Malt Whisky Society on Queen Street for a few drams.

A week or so before we went, which was last night, we noticed on the The Scotch Malt Whisky Society that there was a special "A taste of the members rooms" event that we could book, initially hoping to be a few of us it turned out only David and I as work got in the way of others joining us. The cost is very reasonable (for members being under £25) and included 3 drams plus a bar supper. Sounded like a good deal to us so we sorted it out and turned up a little early for our tasting.

We were looked after most of the night by a wonderful young chap named Angus, who really does deserve a big pat on the back for maintaining exceptional standards and customer service despite the fact that the members rooms were very busy.

Below you will find reviews of some of the drams we had, and some information about the exceptional food. If you're a member then get along to Queen St or the Vaults and do this tasting it is totally worth doing, and if you're not a member... go join here as you are missing out.

SMWS 125.71 SMWS 125.71

We arrived a bit ahead of our booked time so decided to start with a wee dram of something, and as I'd heard this was a cracker I really wanted to try it so this was dram no 1.

The SMWS 125.71 Chocolate Coke Float, which has been matured in a new french oak hogshead, is exactly what it says on the bottle and really was the best possible way to start off tonights dramming.

Bottle Name SMWS 125.71
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Glenmorangie
Age* 6
ABV 58.7%
Nose For me the initial note here is 70% and above Dark chocolate, bitter but something sweet underlying, then it hits up with vanilla and american cream soda with cremola foam and hints of cheaper Barrs Cola, it's that little bit sweeter than the american cola versions.
Taste This is soft and gentle especially for the age with vanilla and cremola foam taking over before a chocolate fondue and sweet foam strawberries finish the palate.
Finish Very sweet, with a short easy drinking loveliness.

SMWS 50.53SMWS 50.53

This lowland dram was the first from our "A Taste of the Members Room" experience and a really brilliant dram it was, I've been a bit wary of this distillery but i really shouldn't be and should be trying much more from them.

This SMWS 50.53 named Monster Mango and Melon really is fresh and fruity and was the perfect starter dram here.

Bottle Name SMWS 50.53
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Bladnoch
Age* 23
ABV 46.4%

This starts with some lovely fresh citrussy notes, like the outside of a lemon you have been rolling in yoour hand then it becomes more fruity, like walking through the fresh produce section of a quality supermarket, underlying this is a grassyness reminiscent of a dewy spring morning.

Taste Very light, the fruits here are watery fruits like melon and kiwi with light tangyness, touches of grass again, so easy to drink
Finish Super easy and fresh

SMWS 71.40 SMWS 71.40

For our next dram we moved to Speyside for something a bit more spicy and sherried, this one coming from a refill ex-sherry butt.

This 71.40 Sticky Apricot tarts at an Indian market was full of spices and as a major player in Ballantines blended whiskies you can really tell why.

Bottle Name SMWS 71.40
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Glenburgie
Age* 23
ABV 56.3%
Nose Initially this is really quite spicy and almost nippy on the nose with dulux emulsion paint and ground white pepper but there are hints of tinned fruit salad hiding in the background
Taste Smoother and more nutty than i was expecting from the nose although still a lot of ground white pepper and more of the tinnes fruit salad
Finish long finish, goes on for a while with spices and pepper

SMWS 129.4SMWS 129.4

The last dram of our "A Taste of the Members Rooms" experience for me was this SMWS 129.4 Peat Smoke Infused Peach Posset whereas David is not a lover of peat so he had something from distiller 73.

Young but not tasting like it is, this cracker from Islay really was a brilliant finish to the tasting and I would highly recommend anyone who can to try this.

Bottle Name SMWS 129.4
Bottler SMWS
Distiller Kilchoman
Age* 4
ABV 59.2%

The nose on this is seriously vegetal, root vegetables and smoke with huge notes of earthiness mix with some interesting fruity sweetness underlying.

Taste Smooth, especially for it's age and the smoke is there but it higes behind sweet fresh red and orange peppers
Finish Huge finish that building on the sweet peppers

Whilst there we also had some food as part of this "A Taste of the Members Rooms" and both of us decided to go with the flat Iron Steak with peppercorn sauce, a wise choice as both of us agreed after that it was one of the best steak's we had ever had the pleasure of eating and I would go back just for the food, if it not that the whisky was so good also.

Steak at Queen St
A camera phone picture of my steak