The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has created memory boxes as part of their Flavour Hunters festival celebrating whisky month in May. Partnering with professional psychologist Dr Ansgar Endress, Scottish chef Bruce Clyne-Watson and rollercoaster designer & ‘thrill engineer’ Brendan Walker the boxes, which are based on the science of memory recall and creation, are available exclusively at SMWS Members’ Rooms across the UK.
The SMWS has released six small-batch festival bottlings, each with its own distinct flavour. The six 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 seawater 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.