food, Recipes, Uncategorized

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

'The more you learn about scotch whisky, the less you seem to know.' Coming from an expert, these words might seem discouraging, but Norman Goodfellows' Carrie Adams sees this as the beauty of the spirit. 'The world of whisky is shrouded in mystery. Recipes and distilling techniques are such closely guarded secrets that it lends the process something magical, an aura of smoke and mirrors.' It was this fascination with scotch whisky that led Carrie and the Norman Goodfellows team to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. The society, which was founded in Edinburgh in 1983, is a membership organisation which bottles and sells single cask, single malt whisky. Now, thanks to Norman Goodfellows, South Africans can join the society, gaining access to its superb whiskies and its fabulous events. 'Single cask whisky will inevitably differ in taste to regular scotch whisky,' explains Carrie. 'Even casks from the same distillery that have lain side by side for the same number of years will have a unique identity, and it is this variation that the Society celebrates.' What the Society does is simple, but the results are outstanding. They buy casks from various distilleries (currently over 120) and bottle them with a unique labelling system that omits the distillery's name. Carrie explains that the curious nature of single cask, single malt whisky means the tastes are often not characteristic of the region it comes from. Add to this the fact that only limited numbers of bottles can be obtained from each cask, and you have some truly rare and unique whiskies. Together with Norman Goodfellows, the South African branch of the SMWS is introducing local members to their coveted whiskies. They organise regular whisky tasting events, where members get together to share and explore an exceptional quality and endless variety of single cask, single malt whisky. Most tastings involve food pairing, making for an enjoyable evening out where you will learn about both tasting and the whisky process in general, while sampling some of the world's finest scotch malts. At the end of the evening. members have the opportunity to purchase the whiskies tasted. For more information on the SMWS and on how to become a member, visit the Norman Goodfellows/SMWS website here. Text: Roberta Coci, Images: SMWS