To celebrate this World Whisky Day 2017 in style, what best than asking the experts themselves? I then got in touch with some respected malt maniacs to ask them what their “perfect WWD flight” would be – here’s Kai Ivalo (Spirit director at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society)’s contribution!
“With up to 500 single casks hand selected and bottled by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society every year, picking the perfect flight for World Whisky Day is a daunting task. Fortunately, I’m based at the Society’s original home at The Vaults in Leith, so I was able to consult with bartender and SMWS ambassador Marcus Parmenter, to come up with a flight of whiskies that are all currently available here at our original Members’ Room.
The drams we selected show a variety of style and flavour, with each whisky building on the previous one.”
- Cask No. 36.128: Moroccan afternoon tea is a 12-year-old Speyside in a first fill ex-bourbon barrel from the Society’s Spicy & Sweet flavour profile. It is a great dram to start, with light and fresh aromas, hints of minty then marshmallow sweetness and rich spices to taste.
- Cask No. 112.15: Harbour in a storm is a 16-year-old Highland whisky from our Juicy Oak & Vanilla flavour profile. It’s from a second fill ex-bourbon barrel with soft and sweet flavours of marzipan and aromas of cake dough. A great contrast with the first dram and worth comparing the aromas of these first two afterwards.
- Cask No. 7.167: Chocolate pralines in an oak box is a venerable 26-year-old from Speyside that spent 25 years in a refill hogshead and then one year in a first fill sherry cask (an American oak Pedro Ximenez hogshead in case you are curious). The flavour profile is also Spicy & Sweet, but this is clearly a more mature whisky and one to take your time over. There are aromas and flavours of rich fruits, chocolate, tobacco and a lingering finish.
- Cask No. 66.102: Applewood smoked cream is something a little bit different. This is from one of the two ‘living’ casks that can be found sitting on the bar at The Vaults. We took 50 litres from a refill barrel and transferred it to the third fill oloroso barrel where members have been able to witness its development for a couple of months. A good whisky to start with, it now has a rich and smoky depth with sweetness, herbs and a mineral quality. It’s a 9-year-old Highland whisky from our Peated flavour profile.
- Cask No. 29.212: Oyster flavoured wine gums is another Peated flavour profile whisky but this is from Islay and was in a refill ex-bourbon barrel. It’s 21-years-old so also shows its maturity, with seaside and medicinal aromas and a very well balanced rich palate of sweet pastry, chocolate, dark fruits and retrained smoke. A great way to finish off this selection.