Dinner and Scotch with Katie and Tim: SMWS Febrauary 2024 Outturn

Met up downtown with Katie and Tim tonight. We had a packed/tight evening: dinner at Avec, before heading over to the SMWS tasting at the Franklin Room.

The ride from our house was pretty quick, but it’s a longer haul for Katie and Tim (who were driving over from Indiana).

Dinner was really delicious (we got a variety of plates to share). I wish I had the wherewithal to take some photos – but I feel like we barely had time to settle in and catch up. We were pretty quick to order, and all had our eyes on the clock.

Our server was really accommodating, and had our bill to us with plenty of time to spare. The only regret I have for dinner is that we didn’t have more time to sit and savor our food more. And to have had more time to visit and relax in one another’s company (another 30+ minutes would have been ideal).

After a quick walk to the Franklin Room, we arrived to see the place was already pretty packed (something surprising to us).

Liz and I tend to show up near the start time, and we’re invariably the first folks to arrive. Today though, nearly all the spots were filled and folks were already digging well into the pizza that’s typically served before the start.

Our host, Elhan, was able to move some folks around… and got a full table, so that we could sit together.

Among the bottles we tasted, there was part of a description mentioned that made us all chuckle out loud: “haggis tang.” Taking a photo of this bottle, because I have plans to name my future band “Fat Highlander.” And our first single is absolutely going to be called “Haggis Tang.”

A different direction with tonight’s tasting: they tricked folks again, by introducing a much older whisky right off the start. And ended with an assortment of differently peated whiskies – which was very unusual.

And while Liz has slowly started to develop a taste for balanced, peated whiskies… Katie was surprised to learn that she liked some of the peated ones as well.

An unexpected share.

After the event concluded, folks hung out for a bit at various spots in the restaurant. While we were sitting and talking, Lauren came over with an incredible surprise – he had come across a Gordon & MacPhail Macallan (and brought a small glass for us to sample).

It took me more than a minute to register the fact that the bottle he brought to share with us was 21 Year Macallan. Specifically, this one.

Looking at the photo I took, I should have moved that bottle further away from the edge of the table. Yikes!

Another note – Lauren ended up getting a second glass, to give Katie and Tim a sample to try. And once he learned that Katie and Tim were bourbon drinkers, he pulled out a dusty Wild Turkey from I think 2011 (I wasn’t familiar with the term dusties, which was cool to learn about).

Lauren’s friend Steve was also in attendance tonight, and brought along a scotch by Michel Couvreur – a French producer who imported Scotch whisky and matured it in France.

It seems that around 2007, he could no longer call the product “Scotch,” as it was not matured in Scotland (check out this interesting summary of Couvreur).

The tasting was a lot of fun, and I daresay the mini tastes we had afterwards were just as enjoyable. I continue to be awed at the generosity of the folks at these gatherings (Lauren, Steve, and Max in particular).

I’m glad Katie and Tim got to experience a society tasting. And doubly glad they got to see a bit of what happens, at the afterparty of sorts. Lots of really fun conversations, knowledgeable people, and an overall good time.

Franklin Room: Scotch Malt Whisky Society, December 2023 Outturn
Franklin Room: Scotch Malt Whisky Society, October 2023 Outturn

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