An exciting new chapter for the SMWS in Australia

//An exciting new chapter for the SMWS in Australia

An exciting new chapter for the SMWS in Australia

A special announcement from the team at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Australia


Here at Society HQ, there’s always plenty happening behind the scenes. Whether it’s planning our next big event, preparing our next Outturn, or assembling our next shipment, you can guarantee we always have something in the works to enhance your enjoyment of the world of whisky and your membership experience.

Something that’s been an ongoing project and in development for some time now has been the structure of our branch here in Australia and the management behind our operations. We can now share some good and exciting news…

The Australian branch of the Society was founded by John Rourke and Andre Tammes back in 2002 and has, for 18 years, operated in what might best be described in business terms as a franchise of the Society. While there are other stakeholders in the business, Andre and John have been seeking retirement for some time, and the team has spent the last while looking how best to continue the Australian branch under a new structure that would ensure a completely seamless transition.

The good news is that we have found a solution that allows our branch to continue uninterrupted under the direct ownership of the SMWS at The Vaults. Andrew Derbidge has been appointed Chairman and Director, and our wonderful team of Suzy, Matt, and Donelle will continue in their roles. Our fantastic State Managers – Jenny, Drew, Scott, Fred, Jason and Alex – also remain unchanged. In fact, in terms of your contact and involvement with the Society, it is genuinely a case of business as usual and nothing’s changed. The timing of this also happily and conveniently coincides with the launch of the Society’s new monogram, giving the start of 2020 a new look with the same team.

The one small administrative change you’ll notice is that the name on your direct debit statements for membership will change from Scotch Malt Whisky Society Pty Ltd to The Artisanal Spirits Company Pty Ltd, in due course. Don’t worry, we’re still the SMWS….The Artisanal Spirits Company is just the legal company the Society now trades under.

In the meantime, to coincide with the new-look monogram, we’re sending all members the new lapel pin and the official monogram Unfiltered magazine, in conjunction with the upcoming March Outturn in around two weeks. We hope you’ll wear the new lapel pin with pride and invite your friends to come along for the journey into great spirits.


Here’s to 2020 and beyond!




Andrew, Matt, Suzy, Donelle, and the whole state manager team

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Australia


With announcements as big as this, there’s never been a better time to be a member of the Society worldwide. Join an enlightened whisky movement with a membership at our core here.


About the Author:

Matt Bailey is the National Ambassador and Development Manager for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Australia. He's tirelessly trying to meet every member and share a dram with you all.

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