Franklin Room: Scotch Malt Whisky Society, June 2023 Outturn

Tonight, Liz and I went to Franklin Room for another SMWSA outturn tasting event. I’m not someone who frequents restaurants in Chicago, but we’ve definitely come to the Franklin Room with more regularity than any other place I’ve been to.

What’s funny – the Franklin Room actually closes down to host these events (usually on a Monday night). I’ve gotten very comfortable with the space, and it’s interesting to feel like one of those recurring customers… even though we tend to come here when it’s closed.

On arriving, we learned about two fun treats. Our host, Elhan Orhon, set up a few bottles to share with the participants. A kind of appetizer, of sorts.

On the left: Tabanco Time, a SMWSA blend (something I wasn’t aware they did).

On the right: what Elhan referred to as his “Infinity Bottle.” It’s pretty much a continuously changing bottle, made up of the leftovers from prior SMWSA tasting events.

He was very quick to clarify that these “leftovers” were from the bottles, and not from the unfinished portions from peoples’ glasses.

I was reminded a lot of the bowling alleys of my youth, where you could buy a fountain drink at the concession stand. And you had free reign to fill up your cup from whatever options they had available. And there was one variation, called a “suicide,” where you would take a little bit from every option.

So you’d fill your large, plastic cup with a little Coke, a little Sprite, a little Moutain Dew, a little Dr. Pepper, a little Orange Crush. And just mix everything together. It was a catchy name, I guess – because we always referred to this type of drink as a “suicide.”

To me, the “Infinity Bottle” was just a grown up version of this. A lot of whiskies mixed together, and in some ways… similar to the spirit of whisky bottlers. At any given time, the “Infinity Bottle” would be this unique thing to taste… never to be replicated, once it was gone.

A very fun introduction to the evening. This is at least the second or third event where someone has brought a bottle to share with the group, not out of obligation but just out of the sense of sharing. It’s a nice event.

Overall, a fairly tame evening (I was expecting things to be a bit more raucous, given our “appetizers”). Compared to the March Outturn event, where we had folks yelling over one another, tonight was fairly laid back.

We learned that there wouldn’t be any more outturn events for a few months, at least until September. Which was a bit surprising to hear. So in hindsight, it was good we were able to make tonight’s event.

There was mention of some other/personal events, in the interim, which we signed up for. So here’s hoping there are some opportunities to try some drams with others, between now and September.

Franklin Room: Scotch Malt Whisky Society, March 2023 Outturn
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