Come and coorie on in

It’s all about balance at this time of year – and if there’s anything that strikes that balance it’s the concept of coorie. Mads Schmoll draws her seat a little closer to the fire to investigate exactly what coorie means – and how it can help us make the most of winter

While the original Scots meaning ‘to stoop or crouch’ is more synonymous with bracing yourself against a gale, it’s more often used today as a verb meaning ‘to snuggle or nestle’.

In the last few years, it’s evolved further as a noun to define a Scottish lifestyle that’s as much about energising walks in the brisk outdoors as it is about basking in the warmth of a cosy fire indoors afterwards with a dram in hand.

So how can you embrace coorie? First and foremost, it’s about creating a sense of contentment at the start of what are the darkest and dreichest months of the year. It’s that feeling of getting back indoors after the heavens open when you finish a hill walk – the replete feeling after a Sunday lunch when the fire is on and there’s nothing left to do but relax, the feeling when you’re wrapped up toasty warm under a blanket while the wind howls outside.

This time of year cultivates potent flavour memories that are steeped with childhood notions of comfort. Fireworks, bonfires and toasted marshmallows round it out, creating a smell in the air that signals the shorter days and darker nights.

This powerful recall links to some of the more evocative tasting notes in our flavour profile chart. There’s coorie in a Peated profile dram that takes you back to the smell of the campfire embers as you sang with friends under the stars that one summer.

As the last gems from the garden make their way into the kitchen, apples, figs, pears and plums offer a feast of delectable options for an afternoon of baking. There’s a dram for every crumble, pie, scone and flapjack.

Go like-for-like and add a Young & Spritely or Sweet Fruity & Mellow dram to your hill-walking hipflask and pair with a flapjack. Or capture the season with something altogether different and try a Lightly Peated dram with your apple crumble.

Equally, coorie is as much about taking time to get lost in a good book as it is in being spellbound in the beauty of the outdoors.

Carve out some time for yourself in your armchair with a copy of The Founder’s Tale by Pip Hills, to discover the unlikely origins of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Delve into Unfiltered for some whisky education and entertainment. Or take on your household with a night of board games, soundtracked by our Coorie-In with the SMWS playlist on Spotify. Bonus points if you throw some Scots words into your Scrabble match! Of course, it’s also about the folk you share it with. A true coorie is shared with your most kindred spirits, the kind of bright and bold souls where an evening of sharing great drams flies by. There’s simply nothing quite like it.

Member competition

Share your best Coorie image on Instagram for the chance to win a dram. Tag your photo with @smws_uk and use #smwscooriein to be in with a chance. We’ll share our favourites and pick one lucky winner later this month.