Franklin Room: Scotch Malt Whisky Society, March 2023 Outturn
On arriving, we were greeted with a complimentary “welcome” dram. Which was a new thing. We’re here to taste the new bottles being released in March, but this one was just to start the night off I guess.
I’m not sure if the overall goal was to encourage mingling and standing about. Most folks (like us) took our drams to our seats, and slowly warmed up to the main event.
The dram was from Ben Nevis. And honestly, it was one of our favorites of the evening. We had a lot of great stuff to taste, but when we talked about it later… this intro dram was the one we were most tempted by.
A map of the evening. My running joke now is that at these events, it’s always the third dram that everyone falls in love with. No matter what it is, by the time you get to #3, you’ll love it.
A bit of record-keeping: I’ve been trying to jot down names of the new folks we meet, because… frankly, I’m terrible with names. And after a few drams, it gets hard to remember much of anything.
Liz and I decided to move around a bit tonight, so we’re sitting in different spots and trying to meet some of the other attendees.
Next to us (at the fancy round/end table) were David and Christina. Joe also joined late, but seems to have been to many of these events in the past.
Sharing the table with us: Doug and Belen. We got along pretty well, and I noticed that Belen was pretty good with her guesses on distilleries.
In particular: there was one dram that was very rich, and both Belen and Doug guessed Glen Grant. The dram was so far away from what I associate with Glen Grant (a much lighter whisky)… I was floored when it was revealed that yes, it was in fact Glen Grant.
I want to say I know a thing or two about whisky. But definitely very interesting to sit and drink alongside folks who really know a thing or two.
Towards the end of the night, things got a bit raucous. One of the later drams we tasted was from Highland Park. It was a 16 year, spending 14 years initially in an ex-bourbon hogshead. Then two years in a 1st-fill Pedro Ximenez STR barrique.
I’m still learning all the different cask/barrel styles. While I was familiar with the term “charring,” the acronym STR was new to me (it stands for Shaved, Toasted, and Re-Charred).
I think this was our last dram of the evening, and the conversation got pretty lively. Most of the event involved folks guessing details about each dram: the distillery, the casks involved, the age, and so on. And by the time we got to the end of the night, everyone was feeling pretty loose and chatty.
I had a fun time just listening to all that was going on. And recorded a bit of the atmosphere.