The Scotch Malt Whisky Society loves a bit of experimentation, and now we’ve unveiled the Old Fashioned – a blended malt bottling matured in an IPA cask from a local Scottish brewery

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The Society’s first beer-matured blended malt came about after we sent Tempest Brewing Co in the Scottish Borders some first-fill Kentucky bourbon casks, which they used to mature their powerfully hoppy Double IPA – known as Old Fashioned.

Society members in Sydney get a first taste of Old Fashioned.

They returned the casks for us to mature an 11-year-old Speyside whisky in for another 14 months, before we blended that with selected malts from first-fill sherry hogsheads.

The result is our very own Old Fashioned, named in honour of the Double IPA that preceded it.

“We wanted to celebrate our love for whisky and beer together by creating our first beer-matured blended malt, Old Fashioned,” says the Society’s spirits manager Euan Campbell.

SMWS spirits manager Euan Campbell (left) takes a look around Tempest Brewery Co. with head brewer Doug Rowe.

“Tempest are based not far from us in the Scottish Borders, and shared our thirst for a bit of beer and whisky-related experimentation. We sent head brewer Doug Rowe and his team some first-fill bourbon barrels to mature their Old Fashioned Double IPA, and then used the same casks to mature our own blended malt.

“It’s certainly a departure for the Society, but I trust that when you try it for yourself, you’ll appreciate not only its vanilla notes but the hops and citric fruits from the beer that was in the cask previously.”

What’s its flavour profile?

Old Fashioned has a balance of sweet, herbal and citric notes.

The flavours from the blend of whiskies and the different casks they’ve been matured in has given Old Fashioned a balance of sweet, herbal and citric notes, similar in character to the Old Fashioned cocktail that the whisky has been named after.

How should you drink it?

However you like…we’ve bottled Old Fashioned at 50% abv, so it isn’t cask strength and you may want to be cautious about adding too much water. But we’ve also found it to be a fantastic base for a Society Old Fashioned serve, served in a tumbler with a large block of ice, a twist of orange and a bar spoon of sugar syrup (if you want) to bring out its citric character.

Here’s how to make create the Old Fashioned SMWS serve, with ambassador Kyle D’Andrea.

Sounds like it would be good with a beer chaser, as a traditional hauf’n’hauf

Funny you should say that…we thought the exact same thing, and we got Euan and Doug from Tempest together to try the Old Fashioned (whisky) and Old Fashioned (beer) pairing, before they moved on with pairings of Cask No. 107.16: Truly a fairy tale with Tempest’s Old Parochial Imperial Scotch Ale, and finally Cask No. 46.79: Chocolate, cream and malted Bali with Tempest’s Citra Citra IPA.

Check out Euan and Doug’s perfect pairings below.

Find your own perfect pairing with a bottle of the Society’s latest blended malt, Old Fashioned