News>How to Host a Summer Society Afternoon

With Summer in full swing, and get-togethers starting to happen safely now, we can take a moment to pour a glass and actually clink our glasses with friends and family, in person! I have missed hosting friends and family to sip and talk whisky, which has me inspired to host a Summer afternoon whisky tasting, Society style! I’ve matched up three perfect casks with three activities to make for an afternoon full of great fun and of course, great whisky! 


When tasting whisky, especially more than one, food is an incredibly important part of the experience. I am often asked for recommendations in food pairings, and personally I think small bite snacks fit this bill. Some of my favourites are Scotch eggs, charcuterie and cheese boards, and a variety of nuts and dried fruits.  Cask 26.165 ‘Surprising, inspiring, indulging’ paired with baked brie and hot pepper jam is absolutely dreamy! The warm creamy notes of the brie pair so beautifully with the whisky’s notes of smoked salmon and grilled shrimp, with the jam giving it just a pop a of sweet heat! Plus, that classic waxy profile of Distillery 26 just elevates the whole bite! My mouth is watering as I type this, as this is a great way to kick off the evening and whet your palate! 


When I host friends at home, and whisky is involved, I am often asked many questions. My love for this spirit is something I absolutely love to share, and I think that when you have even just a small bit of knowledge when it comes to tasting whisky, it truly does enhance your appreciation for the spirit. I recently wrote a piece on How to Nose Like a Pro, and how important it is in the tasting experience. This is a fun exercise to share with friends, especially those who are getting into whisky, or are just looking to enhance their skills. Head into the kitchen and grab some vanilla bean (or extract), brown sugar, honey and nutmeg. If you have some fruits like apples and pears, or citrus, slice those up and bring them along too. You can put them into little jars for passing around for ease. Now, pour each of you a small glass of Cask 28.51 ‘Classical and fulsome’ and starting nosing. This dram is bursting with notes of lemon, honey, vanilla and brown sugar, its truly a spice cabinet of aromas! Can’t quite find these aromas? Give your jars of spices and fruits a whiff and go back to the whisky. If you familiarize your nose with these aromas, they will be easier to find in whisky! 


Now, you have had a great afternoon of delicious small bites, enhanced your whisky nosing skills and had some great drams along the way. To cap off a great evening, let’s take a trip to Islay! While I do wish it was as easy as clicking our heels (or in this case glasses) together to take us straight to the Hebrides, we will have to sit back and relax with an amazing whisky and film instead. Pop some popcorn, pour a glass of the luscious heavily peated Small Batch Distillery 10 “Smoky Maritime Hit’, and click play on The Water of Life Film. Not only will you enjoy a peat packed Islay dram, but too a beautiful film on Islay and its whisky. Plus, you may see some familiar Society faces too! 


I wish you all a very happy Summer, full of great whisky and great memories with friends and family. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or if you need a recommendation or two! 

Jenna Elie