The fun side of Freemasonry offers a variety of activities and goods that complement the serious aspects of practicing the Craft—sometimes these things mix—and now I see how the Grand Lodge of Scotland has announced the release of a Scotch whisky under its own name for us to enjoy at Festive Board or in the home. The press release is a bit confusing (70 cl is about 2 ounces shy of the 750 ml bottles to which we Americans have grown accustomed, and the claim of 46 proof is, thankfully, an error—the spirit is 92 proof; they mean 46 percent alcohol by volume), but here it is:
The Grand Lodge of Scotland has launched its own Single Scotch Malt Whisky named: The Grand Master Mason’s Choice.
Specially selected and produced by the Isle of Arran Distilleries for the Grand Lodge of Scotland, this is robust 46% proof (sic) single malt of character.
The 70cl bottle comes boxed and uses the Grand Lodge tartan as its main design theme. The label on the reverse of the bottle bears the following message:
The Grand Lodge of Scotland has had the pleasure of representing Freemasons working under the Scottish Constitution since 1736.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies and originated in Scotland. Below we explain Freemasonry as it exists under the Grand Lodge of Scotland which is the corporate body governing Freemasonry in Scotland and Scottish Masonic Lodges in many other parts of the world.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts by a series of ritual dramas. These remain substantially the same form used in Scottish Stonemasons’ Lodges and use Scottish Stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
The essential qualification for admission into and continued membership is a belief in a Supreme Being. Membership is open to men of any race, color, or religion who can fulfill this essential qualification, and who are of good repute.
For many years Freemasons have followed three great principles:
Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, voluntary efforts, and works as individuals.
Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards, and aiming to achieve them in their own lives.
The cost for a bottle of Grand Master Mason’s Choice is £40 [about US$61 as I type this]. We will ascertain the age and post the details. Apologies for the omission.
At this time this whisky is only available from the Grand Lodge shop within Freemasons’ Hall (after 10 a.m. due to Scottish licensing laws), but arrangements are in hand to allow for it to be shipped worldwide. Details will be posted on this page as soon as they are available.
In Scotland in is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 years - Section 110 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.
So there it is. If you had trouble locating Old Masters, an 80 proof blended whisky with the Square and Compasses on its label, take heart because it wasn’t that great anyway. It was okay, no better or worse than Johnnie Red or Dewar’s, and it cost around fifty bucks per bottle. I’m hoping someone at Masonic Week will have a dram of this to share.