This September, Society members across the USA came together for The Gathering, a week-long celebration of our club’s heritage and shared love for single cask whisky. What an extraordinary week this was as the spirit of The Vaults, our spiritual home in Leith, was unlocked in five cities around the country in five nights. The events brought together old faces and new along with a toast from Society Chairman Paul Skipworth, who flew over from Scotland to join the celebration. If you were unable to make it to The Gathering, or if you are curious to know what happened in each of the five cities, here is a brief recap.
The celebration commenced in New York City at NeueHouse where more than 80 society members and their friends raised their glasses in honor to the past, present and future of our club. For the first time ever, 20 different single cask whiskies were shared among attendees, our largest selection of any Society tasting event to date. And while we cannot confirm that anyone made it through all 20, we can tell you that many of us tried! The evening concluded with a surprise dram of Cask 41.118 ‘Memory lane’, the most recent release from The Vaults Collection, a selection of casks that make up the rarest in our entire warehouse.
From New York City we made our way to Chicago where Soho House served as the site for The Gathering in the Windy City. The evening began with a welcome cocktail: a crisp and refreshing highball featuring our latest blended malt, Peat Faerie Jr. This helped ignite palates and get everyone in the mood to dive right into the cask strength tasting. And just like New York City the night before, guests had a blast exploring the variety of flavours and aromas from 20 different single cask whiskies.
After an unforgettable evening in Chicago, it was time to hit the beach! The Gathering celebration made its way down to Miami Beach, where we were joined by the gentleman who first brought The Scotch Malt Whisky Society to America more than 25 years ago, Mr. Alan Shayne. Alan spoke to the club’s past, sharing his own experience from the early days and the fond memories that many in the room cherish to this day. He remarked at how bright the future is for our club and encouraged all us to continue inviting our friends into The Society so that it be the dynamic community it is today. The atmosphere was electric as we cannot wait to be back in Miami soon!
With three nights down and a rather late one in Miami, it was time to make the long haul to San Francisco where the celebration continued at the iconic Wingtip. An extraordinary whisky culture has developed in San Francisco and the broader Bay Area in recent years and the passion and knowledge expressed by guests in attendance was incredible. Among the 20+ whiskies that were shared and enjoyed, one in particular, Cask 112.48 ‘A piece of paradise’ stood out as the fan favorite that evening.
And last but certainly not least, The Gathering came to an end with one last hurrah in Los Angeles! Society members and their friends packed the house at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, proving that the passion for single cask whisky is just as vibrant in Southern California as it is anywhere in the world. Many new friendships were made that evening, a testament to our founding belief that whisky is best when shared. Of all the whisky enjoyed that evening, the first to go was Cask 39.180 ‘Smokers on a new carpet’.
Thank you to all Society members for making The Gathering a week to remember! We are ecstatic with the growing enthusiasm for The Society in America as well as your willingness to share your love for our club with your friends. As we continue to grow, expect to see more events just like The Gathering taking place near you, all with more opportunities to enjoy our single cask whisky in the company of friends.