The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the world’s leading malt whisky club, is today (Friday 17 May) launching a week-long celebration of one of the hidden gems of the whisky world – grain whisky.
Unlike malt whisky, which is made from malted barley, grain whisky is made from unmalted cereal grains such as wheat, rye, maize or corn. Traditionally, grain whisky has been used in the production of blended whisky and is rarely released on its own. But when aged for long periods, such as 20 to 30 years, in highquality casks, it can become a superb spirit in its own right.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, winner of the Grain Whisky of The Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2013, is flying the flag for this often over-looked whisky with its Grain Whisky Week (17-25 May). Grain Whisky Week, part of the Society’s 30th-anniversary celebrations, kicks off today with the release of 10 grain whiskies, all bottled from single casks in the tradition of all SMWS bottlings, and continues with a grain whisky sampling at the London Whisky Fest on Saturday.
The Society, a members-only organisation, will also celebrate Saturday’s World Whisky Day by opening its doors to the public and inviting them to sample grain whisky at its three private venues – 28 Queen Street and The Vaults in Edinburgh, and 19 Greville Street in London. A complementary 10cl bottle of grain whisky will be offered to anyone buying membership in the venues on the day.
The Grain Whisky Week celebrations continue with grain whisky tastings at the following locations:
· 28 Queen Street (Tuesday 21)
· 19 Greville Street (Wednesday 22)
· The Angel Hotel in Guildford (Friday 24)
· The Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock (Friday 24)
· The Whisky Stramash Festival in Edinburgh (Saturday 25)
A limited number of tickets for non members are available for all the above tastings (call 0131 555 2929 to book) apart from the Whisky Stramash Festival.
Helen Stewart, the UK Brand Manager of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, said: “The Society was first established 30 years ago to celebrate the delights of single cask, single malt whisky but we have always explored the full spectrum of the whisky world to unearth the finest casks. Grain whisky is a hugely under-rated spirit and deserves to be discovered by many more people. We have been bottling grain whisky for several years now and are delighted to see it gradually gaining the recognition it deserves.”