Published on September 25th, 2014 | by Gavin


Glorious 12 Whisky Pop Up, Shoreditch

Be warned, this article is all about whisky; so if you love whisky, read on.  But if you don’t, you’d be equally advised to continue reading.  Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Scottish Malt Whisky Society’s Meat and Whisky pairing pop up in Shoreditch, an experience designed to show the versatility of the most diverse spirit in the world.

The Scottish Malt Whisky Society is a club that offers members the opportunity to try some of the most unique single cask whiskies from over 120 distilleries.  The owners buy a single barrel in each distillery just to create their own unique whisky and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever, so members have to buy fast.  The exact details of each creation are a closely guarded secret; every batch labelled with a unique number and the only thing revealed is what distillery it was created in.  What is promised though is that each barrel is unique, and although may not be to everyone’s taste, it will have plenty of character.  And this ‘Glorious 12’ pop up was set up to showcase just how characteristic the SMWS whiskies are, as I found out to much delectation.

Scottish Malt Whisky Society

Our host informs us that the night would consist of 4 whiskies and four dishes created by street food idols The Wild Game Co.  There are three different menus to choose from (3 menus, 4 drams each hence the name Glorious 12); ‘Toe in the Water’, ‘A Walk on the Wildside’, and ‘Brace Yourself’.  All had their merits with the grouse, brioche and fig on the Walk on the Wildside menu particularly taking my fancy, but ultimately I chose my menu based on the descriptions of the paired whisky.  And it is for this very reason that I chose to old, heavily peated drams accompanying the poultry and rib offerings of Brace Yourself.

Malt Whisky Drams

Already poured in anticipation, the drams swiftly arrive on the four hard wood banqueting tables where around 60 hungry whisky and meat eaters await.  And no sooner had I began sniffing my drams, the aroma of searing meat fills the air as the chefs get to work on the freshly butchered cutlets which further stimulates my excitement.

Wild Pig Rib

Wild Pig Rib with Dram 3.225

The first dish is soon upon me; pigeon, apple, chorizo and balsamic syrup.  I’m a big fan of pigeon and this worked well in conjunction with the chorizo.  But the real winner was the musky, classic tasting dram known by the catchy title ‘59.51’, created in the Teaninch distillery.  A google search reveals that this distillery is based in Alness in the Scottish Highlands and is owned by Diageo, mainly for the production of malt that goes into Johnnie Walker Red Label.

And the delights did not stop there, as each quickfire round of pairings offered something different but all with the common theme of the meat changing and enhancing the whisky on the pallet.  Of the four dishes, special mention must be given to the creamy dram 9.91 (Glen Grant distillery) that accompanied the mallard served in a marmalade and honey glaze.  Although a bit speculative at first as I tend to go for savoury rather than sweet but the whisky balanced the honey perfectly.


Mallard with Marmalade, Soy, and Honey Glaze

I had never heard of the Scottish Malt Whisky Society before, but if I had a whisky cabinet as full as The Beatles back catalogue, then there is no greater gift.  Membership starts from £122, full details available from http://www.smws.co.uk

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About the Author

Born and raised in Croydon, South London, Gavin is a lover of cocktails, a passionate foodie, and a self-proclaimed ‘dancing god’. A (relatively) normal guy that decided to start blogging about his experiences around the city he loves.

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