Highlights this month include:

  • Whisky, beer and curry: Only ever reached for a pint of lager with your curry? It’s time to think again. Unfiltered teamed up with Edinburgh chef Tony Singh and Michael Johnstone from Walkie Talky Brewing Co to find the perfect trinity of Society whisky, craft beer and spice-infused Indian cuisine.
  • The Spice Route: The range of spices you can detect in a complex glass of SMWS single malt is seemingly never-ending. But how does each one of the Society’s 12 flavour profiles pair with a specific flavour note? We asked SMWS executive head chef, James Freeman, to match one of his signature dishes with a suitably spicy Society dram.
  • Knowledge – craft beer and whisky: Peel away the packaging, forget the fluffy marketing speak, the finishes in an exotic cask, the long years in oak, the dents in the still, the distillery cat…and whisky is pretty simple stuff. Stripped to the bone, it is distilled beer. When and where the first drop of Scotch whisky was produced, and by whom, remains one of the great unsolved mysteries, but one thing’s for sure – it began with a brew and has done ever since. Tom Bruce-Gardyne has more on the synergies between whisky and beer.
  • Whisky History – beer cask maturation: The whisky industry has explored various forms of cask maturation, in pursuit of fresh flavour profiles. Gavin D Smith reports on the use of beer barrels by different distillers, and the challenges of working with beer-seasoned casks.
  • Column – Edinburgh beer city: Scotland is celebrated throughout the world for its whisky. The richness of the country’s brewing history is not so well known, but as John Martin from the Scottish Brewing Archive Association writes, it’s a tradition that stretches back to pre-Roman times – with Edinburgh at its heart.
  • From The Vaults – whisky and beer: The combination of whisky and beer is appreciated around the world, from the traditional ‘hauf’n’hauf’ in Scotland to the boilermaker in the United States. Gary Atkinson explored the history and synergy between the two drinks in this feature from Unfiltered issue 20 in July 2013.
  • Distillery and brewery visit: You can’t beat a whisky with a beer chaser. But how about mixing up a distillery visit with a side trip to a nearby brewery? With the rise in the number of both distilleries and breweries around Scotland, there are plenty of options. Richard Goslan lined up a hauf’n’hauf combo in the heart of Perthshire, with a trip to Blair Athol distillery and the nearby Wasted Degrees Brewing.
  • Highballs – the high life: Whisky highballs are increasingly popular, and no wonder, finds Inka Larissa, as the simple mix of Scotch and soda is a great way to showcase various flavour profiles and discover the complexity of the spirit. Cask-strength and higher strength whiskies work well in cocktails, as they add texture and bring different notes from the whisky to the forefront, contributing significantly to the body of the drink.
  • SMWS Canada 10th anniversary: The world of whisky is one of boundless exploration, with new friendships and relationships forged every step of the way. This month we’re raising our glasses to our friends and colleagues Kelly and Rob Carpenter, who are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of running the Society’s branch in Canada.
  • Member story – Peter Hughes: Our feature in Unfiltered 59 about keeping track of your whisky journey prompted long-standing member Peter Hughes to get in touch about his own Society experiences, documented meticulously since he signed up more than three decades ago.
  • Share a dram with…Tom Smith: SMWS United States.
  • Partner bar and new SMWS branch: The SMWS has officially opened its first branch in Latin America, under the guiding hands of Hardey Martínez León and Katri Walker in Mexico. The couple, originally from Colombia and Scotland, are bringing the Society’s offering to Mexico City through their own bar, Salón Rosario. Unfiltered caught up with Hardey and Katri to find out more about their background, their passion for artisanal spirits and their plans to bring single cask and single malt whisky to Mexico.
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