Whiskywise2022-11-22T15:21:12+11:00

Whiskywise…

Love Bugs

Unfiltered #82 Feature: Going against the grain is nothing new to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and for our 40th anniversary Society writer Duncan Gorman decided to set up a tasting with a distinctly maverick flavour — with three adventurous members roped in to put it to the test.

The official launch of our Maverick bottling!

Last week in Melbourne, we launched the Maverick. The first of our special 40th anniversary bottlings celebrating 40 years as the world's leading whisky club. Here are some photos from the launch of this special release.  

Partner Bar Announcement: The Whiskery At Bellarine Distillery

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Australia is proud to announce that The Whiskery At Bellarine Distillery in Drysdale will be joining the ever-growing family of SMWS Partner Bars, and will now be stocking Society bottles at the bar for members and patrons to enjoy by the dram. A cosy fireplace for the cooler days   Located near the Bellarine Peninsula in Drysdale, The [...]

34 Years of Whisky Appreciation: The Whisky Champs Are Back

So, the Whisky Champs are back. This is something rather special for me personally, but also for the greater whisky community and history of whisky appreciation in Australia.   That last bit sounds awfully niche, and to many it will be.   To take a proper look at where it all began, we have to go back as far as the 1820’s. The first recorded [...]

All The Right Notes

April Outturn 2023 Article In his column from Unfiltered issue 37 in November 2017, SMWS honorary ambassador Hans Offringa explored the shared evolution and symmetry between his twin loves — a good whisky and great jazz.   “Jazz was born in a whisky barrel” ­- Artie Shaw I love jazz, especially the bebop variety. Listening with a dram in hand, contemplating the world at large, [...]

A Sensitive Matter

Originally published in Unfiltered #79 Do women have a better sense of smell and taste? Or is it simply different? Charlene Rooke reports on how biology, evolution and psychology could all contribute to making women more likely to be “supertasters”   A mouthful of dirty coins. That’s the metallic taste assaulting my tongue, evoking a memory of some foolish childhood moment. I spit out the [...]

From Fuel to Flavour

Originally published in Unfiltered #75 Words: Gavin D Smith   Scotch whisky and peat are as linked as smoke and fire, especially in areas where peat has been the most abundant and cheapest source of fuel. As Gavin D Smith reports, tastes can come and go, but with peated whisky more popular than ever, the industry faces fresh challenges to ensure its use of this fossil [...]

Let’s Get Festive!

November Outturn 2022 Article   Whew. What a year. Seriously. I probably say this every year, but every year is such a rollercoaster that constantly challenges, changes, and creates incredible experiences.   November for us is the bumper edition of Outturn for all your stocking stuffers and holiday drams to keep you going. Yes, there is going to be a December ‘top up’ Outturn again, but [...]

The Captain’s Balcony Sets Sail

Originally published in Unfiltered #73 Through two rebrands and a pandemic, Sydney’s latest Partner Bar, The Captain’s Balcony, is now home to a staple SMWS experience and a fast-growing collection of bottles, local Unfiltered Editor Adam Ioannidis writes.   The Captain’s Balcony hints at being one of those bars you’d expect to find in Singapore whilst getting lost exploring the side streets. Nestled in the [...]

The Beginners Guide To The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (Australia Branch)

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a premium whisky club; more than that, though, it’s a community, a place where whisky lovers, appreciators, connoisseurs, dabblers and enthusiasts come together to share their passion for flavour. That’s what it’s all about — sharing flavour and celebrating whisky in its purest form — cask strength bottled directly from a single cask. I’d like to take you back [...]

Stashed in the Attic: Old Bottle Effect

Featured in Unfiltered #60 Words: Tom Bruce-Gardyne OBE, or ‘old bottle effect’ lest anyone confuse it with the Queen’s birthday honours, is something of an enigma. It clearly exists in the world of fine wine, but what of whisky? Tom Bruce-Gardyne investigates. Charlie MacLean Is the character of a whisky completely locked in at the moment of bottling, never to change – or might [...]

Your Musical Whisky Companion

March Outturn 2022 Feature Article   Whisky is a versatile spirit that lends itself to many occasions and applications. In the last 20-30 years, it’s also increasingly being used to pair, match with, or provide contrast to other foods and drinks. The Australian branch of the Society has been particularly active in this regard, presenting some wonderful events for members that have gone beyond the [...]

Underrated whisky time: GRAIN!

Underrated whisky time: GRAIN!   Grain whisky, in the context of Scotch whisky, is the backbone of the whisky industry. Blended whisky still accounts for more than 85% of all whisky sold which has a grain backbone and malt dressing. This leads to the incorrect assumption that somehow grain whisky (aka any grain that isn't malted barley) is somehow 'inferior' to malt whisky. It really [...]

STARWARD: Drinker’s World by Chris Middleton

Two worlds of STARWARD PART 2: Drinker’s world Selling whisky is the most difficult part of the business, and much more expensive, compared to the mechanical and biological processes involved in the liquid manufacture of whisky. Maker’s world ends when whisky leaves the distillery in a bottle, protected by trademark to become a brand in […]

This in-depth article from the Chairman of STARWARD, Chris Middleton, is available only exclusively to members of the SMWS. Keen to be a member and explore the world's most colourful whisky club and all the benefits that go along with it? Click here to join up now.

STARWARD: Maker’s World by Chris Middleton

Two worlds of STARWARD In the whisky industry, regardless of country, distillery or label, there are two distinct worlds a whisky business must succeed in. There is Maker’s world, where the whisky is manufactured at the distillery. It’s a tangible and repetitive world of grain to beer, beer to spirit, spirit to cask. Once the […]

This in-depth article from the Chairman of STARWARD, Chris Middleton, is available only exclusively to members of the SMWS. Keen to be a member and explore the world's most colourful whisky club and all the benefits that go along with it? Click here to join up now.

Australian Whisky: Aussie Whisky Is Changed Forever…

The following article was written by our National Ambassador, Matt Bailey, for the August 2021 Outturn which features our very first Australian whisky bottled by the SMWS. He thinks this is a rather special occasion, and the first of many. Join him on this journey by joining the SMWS today.     Chapter 3 – Australian whisky is changed forever… By Matt Bailey   If [...]

Australian Whisky: The Great Reinvention

The following article was written by our own Cellarmaster and NSW State Manager for the SMWS, Andrew Derbidge. Chapter 2 chronicles the rebirth of the industry and where it's landed today. This full article plus more is in our August 2021 Outturn which features the Society's first-ever, panel-approved single cask Australian whisky. Keen to learn more and want to join Australia's leading single cask whisky [...]

Australian Whisky: Not So Humble Beginnings

The following chapter of Australian whisky has been written by Luke McCarthy for our August 2021 Outturn, launching Friday 6 August, in anticipation of Cask 147.1 Jacaranda Jam. This is the first Australian whisky to be selected by the expert tasting panel of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Keen to learn more? Join the world's most colourful whisky club today.   Chapter 1 – Not [...]

Early praise for Cask 147.1 Jacaranda Jam

Some early preview tastings have proven that upcoming Cask 147.1 Jacaranda Jam is set to wow members with the cask selection and spirit curation: Renowned wine & spirits reviewer for the Australian Financial Review, Max Allen, says of Cask 147.1: "I can vouch for it enthusiastically: it pours rich and oily in the glass, exudes aromas of cinnamon scroll, orange peel, beeswax and toffee, and [...]

Australian Whisky Takes A Leap Forward

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society proudly announces its first ever Australian whisky! In a seismic shift for Australian whisky and the appreciation of local spirit, we'd like to proudly welcome Society bottling code 147 to the family. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in August will be releasing the very first single cask Australian whisky ever to pass the scrupulous noses of our expert tasting panel. [...]

Society small-batch single malt hits heights at Ultimate Spirits Challenge

The Society’s small-batch Islay Festival bottling Smoky Maritime Hit wins ‘Extraordinary: Ultimate Recommendation’ award in prestigious USC competition. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Islay Festival bottling for the United States, Smoky Maritime Hit, has proved a hit with the judges of the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, with an award of 98 points that puts it into the highest category of ‘Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation’ as a Chairman’s [...]

Scotch Whisky Masters success for SMWS

Scotch Whisky Masters success for SMWS With more than double the entries this year than last, competition for the Spirits Business Scotch Whisky Master was more intense than ever – making the Society’s haul of one Master medal and five Golds from our six entries a fantastic achievement. This year’s Scotch Whisky Masters competition saw 169 entries from 45 different companies, making it the biggest [...]

Battle Royale: Batch Distillation vs Continuous Distillation

At the heart and soul of a distillery, and one of the most important parts of the whisky making process, sits the stills!   Those beautiful bulbous cauldrons boiling away with malted magic inside just waiting to vaporise and become liquid again, working to create a spirit that one day will become whisky! Truly a sight to be seen for any whisky lover! Distillation is where [...]

PRESS RELEASE – The SMWS joins the ADA

PRESS RELEASE The SMWS joins the ADA! The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is excited to announce its membership to the Australian Distiller’s Association. As the Society grows and takes a keen interest in the development of spirits around the world, the decision to join the Australian Distiller’s Association is a decision we’re keen to foster and support. The growth of spirits in Australia and the [...]

How to score that bottle you’re after on Outturn

We're merely days away from our next Outturn, so probably no better time than to provide you with the tips on how to score that special bottle you're after on Outturn day! First up, Outturn is our monthly catalogue of tasty whisky releases exclusive to members of the SMWS. Secondly, Outturn almost ALWAYS falls on the first Friday of each month (except in November). So for [...]

Hotscotch History

The Society prides itself on innovation, on experimentation, on pushing the flavour boundaries. It hasn't worked all the time... Your resident Society history nerd here on a Friday morning with one of my favourite SMWS experiments. Everyone is probably aware of this in some form, but not everyone will have heard the tale of the legendary MD's Folly... Sometime in 2001, the then managing director, [...]

Welcome Dean’s Lounge to the Society!

Welcome Dean’s Lounge to the SMWS! We’d like to formally welcome Dean’s Lounge to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society as a Partner Bar! Located at 7 Kellett Street, Potts Point NSW, Dean’s Lounge is a newly opened,  friendly, funky, inner-city, late-night neighbourhood bar that specialises in great whisky, free video games, tasty jaffles and incredible music. If you’re craving great drinks, cosy atmosphere, and a [...]

Celebrating Ten Years with Whisky & Alement x SMWS

CELEBRATING TEN YEARS Whisky & Alement Special Release of SMWS bar pick of Cask 72.89 Pirate's breakfast juice People often ask me which cities on earth have the strongest ‘whisky culture’? Which places have a really thriving whisky scene where the bars and knowledge of great whisky are thriving? This, of course, is an ever-evolving beast in whisky that’s all driven by great people and [...]

Pax A Punch: What is paxarette in whisky?

Casks treated by the condensed sherry syrup known as paxarette have been around for more than a hundred years. SMWS traces the history of its use in the Scotch industry and asks if its reputation is unfairly maligned. Scotch connoisseurs have long adored their sherried drams. And it’s easy to understand why.   Casks seasoned by […]

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SMWS Bottlings Score High In IWSC 2020

The SMWS has scooped a gold medal and five silvers in this year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition! The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has won high praise from the judges at the International Wine and Spirits Competition for its range of single malt whiskies, with a gold medal and five silvers. Hot off the heels of winning the coveted 'Independent bottler of the Year' three years in [...]

Nostalgia – it’s a thing of the past

One of the great discussion topics that vexes many a whisky enthusiast and ignites many strong opinions is the notion of whether or not whisky used to be better “back in the day”.   Even that statement by itself is contentious.  For when was back in the day?  Was it the 1960’s or 70’s, when blends still ruled the roost?  Was it the spirit distilled in the [...]

Deciphering the Hashtag

Although I technically qualify as a millennial, even I can get overwhelmed by the overuse of hashtags. They often get thrown around with wild abandon, and one would be forgiven for thinking they are unimportant and do not contribute to carefully crafted content. Many members may have seen these tags, or used them in passing, and not given much thought to the meaning that lies [...]

Celebrating the Australian exclusive Gathering cask

September each year is all about the Gathering. A global coming together of members across the world to celebrate the joy of whisky camaraderie. The joy of sharing great single casks with flavour adventurers at the SMWS. One of those casks is a full cask exclusive to Australia, Cask 26.147 'So many colours in a rainbow'. Let's read more about the history and story of [...]

Distilled Delorean

To properly examine the effects of technology in distilling and how it’s changing the game, we need to really go back in time to begin with. Where was distilling first discovered? Always a hotly contested subject among whisky buffs, as some say that the first use of distillation occurred in China, Egypt, or perhaps Mesopotamia. This ‘distillate’ was then mostly to create balms, essences, and [...]

August Malt of the Month

This month’s Malt of the Month is all about the Sugared Summer Strawberries, so let’s pour a dram to remind us of warmer days... Founded in 1897, BenRiach has a distillery history story not too unlike many Scottish distilleries throughout history; periods of closure due to either wars or running out of money. However, where BenRiach didn’t stop was in that infamous Scotch whisky downturn [...]

A history of flavour into wine and whisky!

There’s one constant that connects the worlds of wine fanatics and whisky appreciators: flavour. Our relentless search and journey in flavour that connects us with like-minded people and profiles that all seek out flavour and experience. However, to help facilitate that journey we both need one thing: oak. The humble oak tree. Quercus Alba and its friends Robur, Macrocarpa, Phellos, Acuta and more. Confused? Let’s [...]

Win this rare bottle of single cask whisky

The word is out. Back in 2018, we had a special cask of whisky bottled in Scotland exclusively for our Partner Bar network worldwide. While every cask is usually bottled for members, this one was bottled as a Partner Bar exclusive and no member sales were permitted. While raiding through the warehouse the other day, our ambassador spotted one stray bottle left of this cask. [...]

Lindores Abbey

Queensland Manager Scott Mansfield is a first generation Australian.  On his mother’s side, he can trace his family’s connection to Newburgh, Fife in Scotland back to the 1600’s.  There’s no doubt his family ties extend further back in the recesses of time. -- There’s not much new about Newburgh.   Generation after generation of its good folk have gone about their business as the River Tay [...]

SMWS Q&A: Spirits Director Kai Ivalo

Cask purchasing, coronavirus, Tasting Panels and sampling whisky infused with sheep dung – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s spirits director Kai Ivalo tackles a variety of questions in his question and answer session with Society UK ambassador Monique ten Kortenaar.   WHAT’S YOUR ROLE WITHIN THE SMWS? I’m both the spirits director and the marketing director. I work with the two teams for both sides [...]

Drink the whisky, not the kool-aid

Drink the whisky, not the kool-aid BY ALEX MOORES, SMWS VIC STATE MANAGER At the genesis of the Society, Pip Hills met with Russell Sharp at the Horseshoe Bar in Glasgow, a place that is still operational and a roaring good time from firsthand experience. The then-head chemist at Chivas Bros said to our founder that while he supported the idea of an independent bottling [...]

What’s your spirit animal?

This month is all about Animal & Flavour matches. What’s your flavour animal? Read on… WRITTEN BY NICK BAKER Animal & Flavour Matches   Young & Spritely - The Graphic flutterer (Rhyothemis graphiptera) This type of Dragonfly is found in the Northern wetlands of Australia. What animal represents the dance of life better than a Dragonfly? This species is one of the world’s most stunning. [...]

We’re bringing the festival to you

Each year in Scotland there are celebrations of all things whisky... Kicking off in May, there’s the Highland Whisky festival, Spirit of Speyside festival, the Campbeltown Malts festival, and The Islay Festival (better known as Feis Ile). A true celebration of malts, music, community and camaraderie. The Society has been integral to these festivals as a major partner for years and bottles some of the [...]

SMWS Wins Top Award in Luxury Masters Competition

A single grain bottling from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has been named the most outstanding luxury spirit in the Luxury Masters 2019, along with three Master and three Gold medals in a competition dedicated to super and ultra-premium expressions The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s year of awards success has continued with our single grain Cask No. G6.9: Listening to the frog chorus winning the ‘Best in [...]

A trip through some special releases

Last weekend, we wanted to take some time to revisit some exclusive bottlings loved by you. We asked members and ambassadors from across our community to provide their take on some of the memorable exclusives they’ve experienced over the years. Read on to explore each bottling with the original Tasting Note and some flavour notes from our members. We’ve also provided a wallpaper for your [...]

Discover Grain

With the release of this month’s Cask G4.19 ‘Could solve any problem!’, we thought it might be a good time to analyse grain whisky a bit more, dispel some myths, and learn more about the history of the fascinating Cameronbridge distillery.   Grain whisky from Scotland is definitely Scotch whisky, but is not to be confused with single malt whisky. So what is grain then? [...]

Big Swirl is coming in April Outturn: Learn More Here!

Big Swirl is coming! The Society's latest heresy release is being launched in April Outturn, Friday 3 April at midday. Keen to learn more? Want to join the Society with a bottle of Big Swirl? What is Big Swirl? Big Swirl is The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s 7th blended malt Scotch whisky release. It’s 10-years-old and it’s a blend of Speyside malts. Some of the [...]

Our Response To Covid-19

OUR RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC Dear members, Here at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society we have been monitoring developments of the Covid-19 / Coronavirus for a number of weeks and have been taking as many precautions as necessary. Whilst we are confident that we have implemented correct practices and that our members and hosts have all done their utmost to avoid any potential spread [...]

Press Release: The Oak Barrel Joins AMWTC 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Oak Barrel officially joins the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship as ‘Single Cask’ Sponsor The Oak Barrel is Sydney’s leading independent bottle shop. Founded in 1956 they boast over 60 years of service and regular masterclasses around wine, beer and spirits. For the sixth consecutive time, the Oak Barrel are proudly joining the AMWTC hosted by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society [...]

An Islay Icon

Let's dig a bit deeper on some of the fascinating single casks in this Friday's March Outturn: The island – and whisky region – of Islay is often erroneously pigeonholed under one label: “Smoky and peaty”. The reality is far from this: There are the unpeated whiskies of Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich, the broad-spectrum malts of Bowmore, Kilchoman, and Caol Ila, and there are the heavyweights [...]

To mash or not to mash?

If you’ve never visited Scottish distilleries and have a purely idyllic perspective on what all distilleries look like, then when you do visit, you’re likely to be a bit disappointed...   As I’ve said at tastings before, not every distillery looks like Strathisla. Some do, but many look like fairly nondescript industrial estates with rows of grey warehouses and often a few steel pipes poking [...]

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 [...]

Legendary Bottlings: The Society’s Early Single Casks

The coded numerical system that features on the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s (SMWS) bottlings was originally created in order to collaborate with distilleries. But the range serves today as a time capsule of a pivotal period in the history of Scotch whisky, as Angus MacRaild discovers.   Much like the grander arc of Scotch whisky itself, the history of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is populated [...]

Whisky Talk: Adding Water To Your Whisky

When it comes to appreciating a great whisky, there are a few techniques that I have adopted to ensure I get the most out of my tasting experience.   Techniques such as using the right glass, making sure the spirit is served at the right temperature (not too hot, not too cold), avoiding any spicy or bold-flavoured foods just prior to the tasting and eliminating [...]

Introducing Our New Look

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was founded in 1983 through a spirit of friendship – a small group of people who used the discovery of single cask whisky as a reason to get together and enjoy each other’s company. As word of mouth spread about how good the whisky was, friends of friends started to get involved. That group grew to become a community, and then a club of [...]

What is single cask, single malt whisky?

What is single cask, single malt whisky?   The Society is the worldwide leader, and most-awarded, independent bottler and whisky club on earth. What we have done best since 1983 is producing single cask, single malts, and occasionally other intriguing spirits also in single cask form. What does this mean and how does it differ from most commercially available offerings?   First, let’s work out [...]

What does the colour of whisky tell us about whisky?

Can the colour of a whisky really reveal anything about how it will taste? The biggest mistake in whisky appreciation, according to Chivas Brothers director of blending Sandy Hyslop, is judging a dram by its colour. So why do we continue to do it?   The basic answer is that it’s psychologically unavoidable – for better or worse, we make most of our decisions based [...]

The SMWS by Playwright David Mamet in 1995

The following article was written by American playwright, film director, screenwriter and author, David Mamet. It was written in 1995 for Penthouse Magazine and then faithfully reproduced for attendees to the Vaults 1682 Experience in 2019, complete with spelling errors and all. Here it is in all its glory for you to read again: -- SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY By David Mamet I’d had my [...]

Hat trick for SMWS at IBC 2019!

Society makes it three-in-a-row with Independent Bottler of the Year award! The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has claimed its third consecutive title of Independent Bottler of the Year in Whisky Magazine’s Independent Bottlers’ Challenge (IBC) competition. What better way to approach the end of the year than with further recognition for the consistently outstanding quality of our whiskies, by picking up our third consecutive title [...]

Learn more about Glenfarclas and Loch Lomond

Cask 1.210 'Kept in the dark' There's not much really I can say about Glenfarclas that your station host and Cellarmaster Andrew Derbidge doesn't know. It's his favourite distillery and he's kinda my oracle of whisky. Read this line to him if you've scanned the QR to get here... that said, it's a distillery renowned for its output of amazing sherried whiskies, and this one [...]

Learn more about Kavalan and Bunnahabhain

Cask 139.5 'Midnight espresso' Euan from the SMWS HQ doesn't mince words when he admits he's been chasing Kavalan for years. We finally bottled our first casks from distillery 139 this year (pictured), and they've quickly become rare and sought after very quickly, including cask 139.5 Midnight espresso. Thanks to the work of Dr Ian Chang and the late Dr Jim Swan, Kavalan has quickly [...]

Learn more about Caol Ila and Glenlossie

Cask 46.72 'Jungle slippers' 25 years is a long time. That was 1994. What were you doing then? Glenlossie is often a grassy, complex, and backbone of many Diageo blends. It also sits next door to the younger distillery Mannochmore which was created out of requirement to the growing needs of Scotch whisky back in the early 70's before the big 80's bust. The distillery [...]

Learn more about Ruadh Maor and Cragganmore

Cask 16.38 'ACME ghost repellant'  A truly fascinating return to form for distillery 16 with the SMWS. We've not seen a 16 coded bottle for some time, and this is just the 38th cask ever. Technically Glenturret distillery, but they call their peated run 'Ruadh Maor'. Try saying that after a few. A fascinating distillery that likes to lay claim of being the oldest operating [...]

Learn more about Strathila and Glenallachie

Cask 58.28 'Usquebae an' blankets warm' Often quite a heavy spirit at Strathila, known for being the most picturesque distillery in Scotland with it's stunning gardens and old-school pagoda roof. Visiting the distillery will reveal they don't really focus on their single malt, but instead refer to their output as the 'heart of Chivas Regal' which is true. Their stills are cramped into a tight [...]

The art of collecting whisky

After reading a great article recently by our Cellarmaster on ‘whisky flippers’ and the ugly side of scalping whisky, I was inspired to look at the other side of the coin: whisky collecting. What does this mean specifically, and how do you collect whisky? Some drams for thought… I’ve often categorised whisky buyers into three broad categories in this respect. The first is whisky drinkers. [...]

Navigating our festive Outturn for 2019

It's that time of year again, where our massive festive Outturn is upon us and we release our bumper double-issue covering November and December to make your warm dramming months as wonderful as can be. How do you navigate Outturn, what can you expect, and more... Outturn is our monthly release of single cask, cask strength, single malts and more. Outturn falls on the first [...]

History of the SMWS in Australia – Part One

The following was written by John Rourke, one of the co-founders of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Australian branch, back in 2002. He wrote this for our Vaults 1682 dinner menu for guests on the night. Here it is faithfully replicated for all to enjoy!   History of the SMWS in Australia, Part One In the year 2001 having lived in London for the previous [...]

Society Wins Three Awards at Icons of Whisky 2020

The Icons of Whisky 2020, Australia awards were held in Sydney on October 21st this year. The Icons of Whisky is an awards program convened by Whisky Magazine and its international agents to recognise the people, places, and products that strive for excellence in the whisk(e)y industry. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Australian branch, have taken out a full trifecta this year:   SMWS National Ambassador, Matt [...]

We have a book! Introducing The Founder’s Tale for October

Rewind to May 2019 in the cask room at the Vaults in Edinburgh enjoying a great dinner and a few drams, and I was lucky enough to be sitting literally right next to the very founder of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Pip Hills. A truly traveled man with wondrous stories, his journey from not knowing a single thing about Scotch whisky, to being one [...]

5 things I wish I knew earlier in my whisky journey

5 things I wish I knew earlier in my whisky journey I’ve proudly been talking about single cask whisky, single malts, rums, Armagnacs, grains, Cognacs, and more for years and years now. I absolutely love the discovery of flavour that I get around members and friends who discover a whole new side to whisky. I’ve been asked some cracking questions lately at events and online [...]

Old Fashioned Friday

Old Fashioned being released this Friday 16/08 for our mid-month offer!   When the Society first bottled Japanese whisky, members were furious, membership cards were torn up, anger in the mailroom from their beloved SCOTCH whisky club bottling a Japanese whisky?! Surely they are inferior to our malts. Surely they won’t do. We were just ahead of the curve in whisky innovation back then just [...]

More accolades for SMWS Bottlings at IWSC 2019

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society continues to wow judges at international tasting competitions, with a string of awards in this year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC), now in its 50th year. The IWSC’s top award of Gold Outstanding went to Cask No. 35.224: Fata Morgana, our 23-year-old bottling from the Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits flavour profile. The IWSC judges’ tasting notes found “an explosion of tinned fruit salad, with apples, [...]

An island treasure – but not from Scotland

The way some British patronise other nations, I often wonder whether Queen Victoria still reigns. People persist in trotting out the story of the label boasted: ‘Made from Scottish Grapes - Finest Speyside Whisky’. Everyone ‘knows’ that this label existed, but one has actually seen it. Other Japanese products having been routinely mocked and then greatly admired, I was extremely curious when I had my [...]