Join SLTN and Smokehead for A Burns Night That’s Not For Everyone

Sign up now for virtual tasting on 19th January

SLTN and the team behind Islay single malt Smokehead have joined forces to host a Burns Supper with a difference for the Scottish trade in January.

In the first of the SLTN Trade Tastings, SLTN has teamed up with Ian Macleod Distillers to stage a special virtual tasting of the company’s Smokehead whisky range.

Operators and bartenders from across the Scottish trade signing up for A Burns Night That’s Not For Everyone will receive a tasting kit that includes samples of Smokehead Original, Smokehead Rum Rebel and Smokehead High Voltage – presented in the new Smokehead gift tin – as well as snacks to be paired with each whisky.

Hosted by Smokehead brand ambassador Mikey Sim, the virtual event will take place on Tuesday 19th January at 7pm. The event is limited to 180 participants so make sure you sign up here:

Ahead of the tasting, SLTN caught up with Mikey for the lowdown on the virtual event, his role and the Smokehead range.

Which drams have you chosen for the SLTN Trade Tastings and why?

Smokehead OG, High Voltage, Rum Rebel – these whiskies give us a clear picture of the evolving Smokehead range whilst highlighting our experimental nature.

What can bartenders expect from the virtual tasting?

An alternative perspective on single malt, with no standing on ceremony. Smokehead is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a single malt whisky.

How do you think whisky will perform in Scotland’s pubs and bars over the coming months? What trends do you expect to see?

I hope we can all start to expand our knowledge within our pubs and bars as this is the first hurdle. This will allow us to drive the category to our ever-adventurous customer base, being confident in our knowledge is key to the performance within the sector. I hope we will begin to see a lot more people pushing boundaries when it comes down to serving the humble single malt. Cocktails are a great way to challenge perceptions of whisky. This being said we don’t always need cocktails to spark interest, it could be a simple boiler maker serve that intrigues your patrons.

What are the main considerations for operators and bartenders when it comes to deciding which whiskies to stock?

Flavour! This should be the main consideration when deciding your back-bar. As consumers become more adventurous, back-bars should be a shop window to trial. With so many whiskies to choose from, I think you should always taste before making any decisions.

What do you think Ian Macleod Distillers’ whisky portfolio offers?

Ian Macleod Distillers’ portfolio is diverse. We have Glengoyne (Highland), Tamdhu (Speyside), Rosebank (Lowland) and Smokehead (Islay). All very unique but underpinned by quality. It makes me very proud to work for a company that strives for such quality across their portfolio. They are all, in their own right, incredible drams.

How long have you worked in your role and how did you get started in the industry?

I have been working directly on Smokehead since our rebrand in 2018. I started in the industry through bars, this is where I picked up my passion for spirits, in particular whisky. I always knew my end goal was to work directly with brands; part of the trouble is then finding a company you want to work for. You really want to believe in the product you’re working on. I was given that opportunity through my determination and then it really comes down to you. Grab the chance and run with it!

What’s your favourite part of the job?

There are many aspects of my job I love (most of them). But travelling, being able to share stories and some quality drams/serves around the world is always a ‘pinch myself’ moment.

What’s your most memorable dram and why?

My first ever taste of whisky, it’s a push to call it a full dram. This sparked my curiosity in a product I would later become so fascinated about.

If you could have a dram with anyone, who would it be, what would you drink and where?

Sir David Attenborourgh, Smokehead Rum Rebel, The Kruger National Park, South Africa.