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Visit The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh

蘇格蘭首都愛丁堡參觀Scotch Malt Whisky Society

If you are planning to visit Scotland, there is no reason why you don't put Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, on your travel list. Apart from having some big whisky shops with an extensive whisky list where you can shop like Toys R Us there (with some small distillery brands and rare vintages there as well), you can also do some sightseeing like visiting the Edinburgh castle or go shopping. You can buy a traditional Scottish kilt with different colours and styles for ladies and gentlemen or grab a 100% wool scarf or pullover with tartan pattern there as souvenirs for your family and friends! If your legs are too sore after some serious shopping, I'd suggest you to go to the roof top bar at Harvey Nichols to enjoy a drink with a gorgeous view of Edinburgh.

If you are a whisky lover, another main reason to visit Edinburgh is that you must pay a visit to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) was founded by a small group of whisky lovers who bought the first Glenfarclas single cask whisky together in 1978 and they continued to purchase more and more single and rare casks. Until 1983, they decided to open the SMWS membership to public to recruit more whisky lovers to join the society. SMWS will bottle the single cask independently and name each cask with a special number code, instead of listing the whisky distillery name on the label. This will raise your curiosity about the whisky and you will appreciate the whisky slowly by your own judgement without the influence of the distillery name. SMWS has a big collection of rare or limited casks from over 120 whisky distilleries, so every single dram of SMWS is always special. You can trace back the distillery name from the code list. The number in the front indicates the distillery name whereas the number at the back shows the single cask number. I attended the tasting at SMWS and tried 5 different whiskies. The first one is Cask no. 55.32 (Royal Brackla 1997), which is 17 year old, aromatic and light, with honey, hay, ginger, lemon and orange blossom flavours, which is easy going. The second one is Cask no. 50.82(Bladnoch 1990), which is 25 year old, complex and sweet, with dried raisin, dark chocolate, toffee, toasty, tobacco, spices and oak notes, and the finish is quite long. The third one is Cask no. 39.124 (Linkwood 1986), which is 29 year old,  elegant with vintage touch, with dried mango, nutty, honey and lemon cream pie notes. Ladies will surely like this one more. The fourth one is Cask no.27.110 (Springbank 1992), which is 22 year old, smoky and complex, with dried fruit, toffee, leather, cigar and bacon notes, which I like this one the most. The last one is Cask no. 23.57(Bruichladdich 1993), which is 14 year old, light and smoky, with apple, honey, lightly peated, vanilla and floral notes.

I really think that every SMWS cask has its own specialty to give you surprise and you may not find these special single casks sold in whisky shops or distilleries. If you visit Edinburgh's SMWS, you can surely find most of the different number codes here (of course you have to join as a member) and get some lovely bottles that you like home! So, don't forget to check out this "IT" whisky society!

 

 

去得蘇格蘭,當然要去它的首都愛丁堡啦!除了可以去當地的大型威士忌酒舖入貨外(那裡有平常少見的品牌及年份高的威士忌),亦可到愛丁堡城堡或其他景點觀光,又或者去行街購物,你一定可以在那裡買到傳統的蘇格蘭裙,男或女的任何顏色及款式都有,當然不少得買蘇格蘭出名的100%羊毛圍巾或毛衣,我個人覺得格仔款式比較有代表性。行累了我推介到Harvey Nichols 的天台酒吧,喝杯酒順便看看愛丁堡的景色。

另外當然不可以不到位於愛丁堡的 Scotch Malt Whisky Society 的總部潮聖!Scotch Malt Whisky Society(SMWS)是由一班熱愛威士忌的朋友一齊開辦,最初是由1978年購入的第一桶Glenfarclas原桶開始 , 漸漸越入越多原桶,到1983年決定正式將SMWS公開收會員,只要是威士忌愛好者都歡迎入會。而SMWS 會以獨立酒瓶將原桶入樽,並以他們的特別騙號作為名稱,而不是酒廠的名稱,而這樣做會令你對這支威士忌更感好奇,並不會因為你熟悉那間威士忌酒廠而影響你對這威士忌的感覺,而是憑它獨有的吸引力去令你感受它的味道。而所有在SMWS的威士忌都屬於來自120多間威士忌酒廠的罕有或限量桶,所以都十分珍貴,每一口都是限量的味道。其實你亦可從他們的紀錄中查出不同特別騙號的意思,前面的號碼代表威士忌廠號,而後面的號碼代表是那一桶的編號。我在SMWS試了5款威士忌,第一款是Cask no. 55.32 (Royal Brackla 1997年),17年酒,香味濃郁而酒體輕巧,充滿蜜糖、乾草、薑、檸檬及橙花香。第二款是 Cask no. 50.82(Bladnoch 1990 年),25年酒,複雜而甜美,帶提子乾、黑朱古力、拖肥、烤烘、煙絲、香料、橡木等味,餘韻悠長。第三款是Cask no. 39.124(Linkwood 1986年),29年酒,帶出陳年的優雅,充滿芒果乾、果仁、蜜糖、甜檸檬批等,女士必定會比like。第四款是Cask no. 27.110(Springbank 1992年),22年酒,煙薰得來有層次,帶乾果、拖肥、皮革、雪茄、煙肉等味,是我最喜歡的那甁。最後試了Cask no. 23.57(Bruichladdich 1993年), 14年酒,輕巧的煙薰味,帶蘋果、蜜糖、淡淡的泥煤、雲尼拿及花香等。

其實我覺得SMWS的獨特之處是每一桶都有給你驚喜的地方,而你又未必在威士忌店甚至威士忌酒廠可以買到這原桶的風味,而在愛丁堡SMWS有齊最多的編號而又可以買到(當然要入會啦),所以如果你去愛丁堡的話,一定不要錯過去SMWS朝聖呀!