The SMWS did an offer last week to tie in with Whisky Live - join for their usual 100 GBP a year and as well as the membership pack that gives 4 x 10cl samples of various whiskies you get a bottle of Mortlach worth around 65 GBP.
So before joining up I was invited to visit their London base (a further two are based in Edinburgh) which is 30 seconds from the rather nice area of Farringdon. The venue entrance is just off the main street, and above the well known Bleeding Heart Group which in fact also provides the food. Up a set of stairs you enter the main room, there is no reception here just a room of armchairs (think Ikea rather than Scottish Manor) and a bar with a staggering range of the SWMS whiskies to try.
I started with an Innocent Gun - a new beer for me and utterly delicious with toffee notes from the whisky cask finish. Then a mushroom tart (yummy) was accompanied by three whiskies from a range of areas and an explanation of the menu. They are available by the bottle but more practically by the measurement and like a Yo! Sushi are priced by colour dot on the menu (with almost all at the red price (around 6.10) on a Friday - deal!
You get the chance to buy bottles throughout the year too but where are these from? The SWMS take special casks from around 127 distilleries and check them regularly to see if they are ready to bottle. They are numbered rather than named so 1.1 is the first cask from the first distillery and only the best get through with a cask that does not distinctly differ from the normal bottlings sent back for more time or sold back.
So if you are interested get in touch with the venue, take a quick tour and decide if 100GBP is worth a access to the widest range of malts that I have seen.