The Tasting Panel2018-04-11T17:28:09+00:00

The tasting panel…

The role of the Society’s UK tasting panel is one that sets the Scotch Malt Whisky Society apart from any other whisky label on the market. There is not a single bottle of SMWS whisky that has not been tasted and approved by this select and secret group of industry experts.

Leave no nose upturned

The modern method for these clandestine events is for people with a proven record in picking quality whisky to be invited to take part in a blind tasting of casks being considered for bottling. There is no direction for what should or should not be passed but the palates of those who sit at the table.

As the nose, taste and finish are all critiqued by each individual, the purely subjective tastes and aromas are all scribbled down by the panel head to form the basis for the often bizarre and lyrical tasting notes and descriptions accompanying every bottle.

Keep any palate entertained

Once these are decided a name is created, often from a unique quote or story one of the panel members told about what that sample reminds them of. Finally a score is given by averaging those of the tasting panel members and if it passes the panel then instructs our cask manager to move ahead with bottling.

There is only one rule that must be adhered to by the tasting panel; that any whisky we bottle must leave no nose upturned.

“Of course we don’t have to pass anything… I’ve been on plenty of panels where none of the samples were passed for bottling,” – Panel Member

Register as a Taster!