The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Memory Boxes. Picture date: Sunday April 24, 2022. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire

These whisky memory boxes will roll back the years

To celebrate the SMWS Flavour Hunters festival throughout the whisky month of May, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society have created a sensory experience like no other.

Based on the science of memory recall and creation, SMWS have designed the world’s first literal memory boxes.

Partnering with professional psychologist Dr Ansgar Endress, Scottish chef Bruce Clyne-Watson and rollercoaster designer & ‘thrill engineer’ Brendan Walker, the boxes will be available exclusively at 2022 London Whisky Weekender and in SMWS Members’ Rooms across the UK.

Utilising tasting notes from the six small batch festival bottlings specially released by the SMWS throughout May, the six distinct boxes use touch, taste, smell, sight and sound to transport people back to happy moments or places in their life, such as ‘Nan’s House of Tea’ which includes Haggis spiced lamb breast with caramelised red wine pineapple, malt loaf and toasted oats.

Renowned Scottish chef Bruce Clyne-Watson expertly crafted the memory-evoking canapes to feature alongside each box: ‘Camping Out’ embraces those warm Autumn nights huddling around the fire with rabbit liver rillette dressed in a marmalade chutney, candied walnut, and nasturtium leaves.

Paired with a peaty whisky, ‘Watching the Harbour Boats’ is matched with smoky langoustine sprayed with sea water and a smoke gun, served on pebbles alongside a deep-fried Mars Bar with Irn bru & tobacco essence, conjuring fond memories of the seashore.

The SMWS sensory experiences engage with the episodic memory, the part of the memory that takes in a whole experience and commits it to long-term memory, creating a pathway to a positive time. Experiencing these alongside the whiskies also gives our brains the power and tools to create new, happy memories over a dram.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s new Memory Boxes (Photo: David Parry/PA Wire)

Bruce Clyne-Watson said: ‘It’s a real joy to be working with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society on such an unconventional and exciting project. The Society itself is an endless discovery of flavour, making it so much fun to create these canapes, which match perfectly with the SMWS bottlings.

‘Memory really does affect the way we experience flavour. Sampling the produce for this campaign genuinely evoked memories of my childhood, like going to my Nan’s house for tea as a wee lad; reminiscing over those warming, joyous memories. I can’t wait to see this campaign come to life in May and witness each guest’s whisky eureka moment.’

Helen Stewart, SMWS Head of Membership, said: ‘At the Society we believe flavour is more than what’s in your glass. May is whisky month and is the perfect time to show the world what the Society is all about.

‘This May we want people to join the Society in our hunt for flavour. Whisky lovers can become part of the world’s most entertaining whisky club and get involved in the Flavour Hunters festival wherever they are, through our website, Members’ Rooms and at the fabulous whisky festivals taking place across the UK.’

Find out more about the Scotch Malt Whisky Society at https://smws.com/