Last week The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America released its May Outturn with a series of preview tasting events across the country. Members gathered in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco for a chance to meet one another and get an early taste of our largest outturn selection this year. Thanks to our recent team expansion to the West Coast, it was the first time Society members gathered in four different cities across the US in just two nights! Here’s a recap.
The festivities began in the heart of New York at the Hyatt Hotel where members were tasked with a blind tasting of five Society casks. The blind tasting made for a humbling yet fun experience as participants were asked to guess the age, cask type and region of origin of each whisky. Which whisky was the most interesting of the night, you ask? Picking just one is always tricky but many members remarked that the opening dram 95.25 ‘The fuchsia is bright’ was perhaps the most surprising of the selection, especially being from a relatively unknown distillery.
The blind tasting format continued at the remaining tasting events including Chicago, where members gathered at the iconic Delilah’s, recently named ‘Best Whisky Bar’ at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards. Our members in the Midwest were also torn on their favorites of the night but of a number of attendees were quick to identify Cask 53.272 ‘Splendid sweet, smoky synthesis’ as the quintessential peated Islay malt.
Out on the West Coast, San Francisco was the third city to host a May Outturn Preview Tasting event and we could not be more excited to continue with more events in the Bay Area. Members gathered at SF’s own Elixir Saloon to meet one another, many for the very first time, all while sharing their own fond memories of Society spirits of the past and personal travels to The Vaults in Edinburgh. Of all the whisky sampled throughout the evening, it was hard for Bay Area members to look past Cask 35.228 ‘Cigar juice’, undoubtedly the oldest and most complex cask in the lineup!
Down in sunny Los Angeles, members came together at Southern California’s up-and-coming whisky bar The Village Idiot. The warm weather did not deter members from reaching toward one of the richest, most intensely-flavoured whisky of the lineup. Cask 16.34 ‘Thunderbirds are go!’ is one of the most unique casks we’ve seen this year and unsurprisingly, it generated a lot of conversation among Southern Californian members!
Thank you to all members who helped make these tasting events so exciting. If you were unable to attend this time around due to other commitments or geographic constraints, we invite you to visit our Events page, where we regularly add newly scheduled events all around the country including even more this month and in June. We look forward to sharing a dram with you soon!