Last week I was invited to pop along to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society to witness the reveal of Unfiltered Magazine in its brand new digital format for the iPad. Available on iTunes, the new format brings the magazine to life enticing readers to scroll through various editorial pieces and get interactive with great video content. Each edition will be an amalgamation from a few different Unfiltered magazine and is available to non-members of the society. The magazine in its original form was always a welcome addition to my post box as it is interesting read that appeals to all especially the whisky enthusiast. The app is free to download with single issues priced at £3.99. With the digital additions availability outside the society, I am sure they will see a quick uptake in membership this year.
I always find it strange when I go to these events and am introduced as a blogger because I never started out as one, and even now I associate my ramblings with just that, ramblings. Although judging by the number of monthly hits they get, perhaps other see it as something else. However, gathered within the upstairs members room at the society were real bonafide bloggers such as Billy Abbott, Whisky Squad and Whisky4everyone and as we waited for the grand reveal we were offered a rather splendid 38yr old Glen Moray which was simply outstanding- but most things born in 1974 are and despite numerous hints dropped to Jo McGirr, the manager of the London arm of the society, a bottle didn’t make it into my bag.
A short trip across the yard from the society is the Bleeding Heart restaurant which, as the name may suggest, is not a vegetarian restaurant and as they rolled out the Chateaubriand it was clear they didn’t cater for those with little appetite either! I am not a small person, but even I had to leave a little of my main course so generous were the portions- but it was only green bean and potatoes, the steak was long gone.
Throughout the meal, each course was paired with a whisky from the society, 76.91, 106.18, 129.1 and 53.168. Jo did very well in choosing each one to match with the food, although when it came to the Kilchoman (129.1) I think we all agreed it was a little lost with its youthful peat and didn’t quite fit. Although, the two outstanding pairings were the Mortlach (76.91) with the banana parfait pudding and the Caol Ila (53.168) with Epoisses cheese. Another evening showcasing great drams and how, if chosen well enough, they have every right to replace wine during a meal.
A nightcap you say? back at the society? Oh, go on then. We trotted back across the yard to try out two favourites- 26.86 “Massage in a Bottle” (Clynelish) and 2.81 “Black Tea in a Greenhouse” a 15 year old Glenlivet single cask first fill Ex-Sherry Butt. Simply incredible and a fine finish to the evening.
Well it would have been if Jo, who thought he would test our skills out at identifying a dram, decided to hand a glass of amber liquid over to Jason B Standing and said “Don’t smell it because you will know too easily, just drink it”. If only my curiosity and love of a challenge had stayed quiet, but no of course I said ” me too”.
Before I knew it, Jason had slugged and passed on to me for me to do the same, which I did. If only I had held off 5 seconds I would have seen the look on Jason’s face which would have told me to refrain- alas, the Naga chilli vodka from Master of Malt was already over my palate and rushing with an impossible fire to the centre of my body where it would spend the next 30 mins trying its best to ignite me from within.
Beer was the only answer to dowse the flames and luckily SMWS has a great selection. Next time Jo—it’s your turn.