Just consider: in the late 1970s, as Society founder Pip Hills has said, he managed to get a taste of whisky drawn straight from the cask, undiluted and un-chillfiltered. It was such a revelation to him, he knew straight away he had to share his discovery with his pals back in Edinburgh.
“They’d drunk blended whisky, but they’d never tasted anything as wonderful as this,” he told Unfiltered last year. “At that time I had a great many friends in and around Edinburgh and to many of them I told the story of the amazing whisky. The tale improved in the telling, as such things do, and the idea emerged that I should enquire whether there were any chance of getting hold of such a cask, with the intention of asking my chums to share it.”
By passing on his initial discovery and watching as word of mouth spread about this single cask, single malt revelation, the Society came into being and continued to grow, across Edinburgh and then across the world.
We may have expanded in terms of our scale and in the territory we cover, but with every bottle we release we come back to the impulse Pip had when he tasted a dram from a single cask for the first time: You’ve got to give this a try!
This month we’re celebrating that ethos by inviting members near and far to join us at our spiritual home at The Vaults for The Gathering, a week of tastings, events, stories, fun and shared drams.
For some of you, The Vaults will already be a home from home. For others, your first experience of our original Members’ Room at this beautiful historic building will likely leave an indelible impression, just as it did for the Society’s spirits manager Euan Campbell that he talks about in the introduction to this Outturn.
Whether you can make it here in person or not, we hope you can join The Gathering in one form or another, through a related event in your own city or by joining our virtual tasting from The Vaults on 7 September. We want as many members as possible to be able to share a taste of Cask No. 33.137: Campfire marshmallows on singed sticks, which will only be available by the dram at Society events related to The Gathering.
Or simply take your pick from any of the fantastic offerings from this Outturn and set up a little Gathering of your own, just as Pip Hills did in his Edinburgh flat all those years ago. Each and every one of our bottlings, after all, is still a discovery better when shared.
Here’s the Society’s master brand ambassador John McCheyne with his pick of the September Outturn