Around the world with the Society

The Society has been active around the world over the festive season – here’s a flavour of what’s been going on at the world’s most entertaining whisky club

Big Burns Bash

The SMWS celebrated Burns Night in style on in January, with a global Big Burns Bash that featured contributions from the Society in Australia, Canada, China, Japan and the United States. If you missed the whisky, poetry, music, chat and more, you can catch up on an evening to remember below.

Special K

The Kaleidoscope Bar at 28 Queen Street ended 2021 on a high note, with the award of Whisky Bar of the Year in the Spirit of Whisky Awards. Congratulations to Sarah and the entire team at our Queen Street Members’ Rooms!

An epic virtual tasting

Almost 800 members across Europe took part in an epic Old & Rare Roaring 20s virtual tasting on Wednesday, 29 December, hosted by Mads Schmoll and with three Tasting Panel chairs – Olaf Meier, Charlie MacLean and Robin Laing – all taking part. Every dram was over 20-years old, and members were joined online through the course of the tasting with country managers and brand ambassadors Hannah Unterguggenberger in Austria, Bob Wenting, Chris Lauriers and Monique Ten Kortenaar from the Benelux team, Jean-Philippe Lardy in France, Florian Burkhardt in Germany and Magnus Fagerstrom in Sweden.

Spoilt for choice

Our German members gathered for a ‘Whisky Sunday’ event at our partner bar Oscar’s in Hannover on Sunday, 19th December. Our local brand ambassador Marcel Paschilke was on hand to guide members and guests through a whopping choice of 70 bottles gathered from tastings and festivals throughout 2021.

Melbourne on track

Our members in Melbourne held their festive party on a fantastic heritage A-class train which made its way around the countryside of Victoria State for a twilight journey with whisky and entertainment on board. Now that’s how to travel!

Old & Rare in the Netherlands

Partner bar Hotel Fidder played host to an Old & Rare tasting in December, with both Patrick Fidder and Society honorary brand ambassador Hans Offringa in attendance. One of the highlights of the line-up was a bottle from distillery 27 purchased by one member who wanted to share his treasure at a tasting with other members.

Virtual fun in Austria

Even with another lockdown in place, Jutta Unterguggenberger and her daughter Hannah put on a stylish Roaring 20s-themed virtual event for members across the country – cosy inside while the snow fell!

Awards success

The Society rounded off a successful year of awards in 2021 with eight of the highest prizes in the Luxury Masters 2021, with four Master and four Gold medals in a competition dedicated to super and ultra-premium expressions. The Luxury Masters is chaired by Spirits Business and are aimed at finding and rewarding the finest luxury spirits brands on the world stage. The entries are assessed by a panel of leading spirits experts, judged in a blind tasting format.

Smelling sweet in Shanghai

The SMWS team in China took the exploration of aromas in a new direction recently, with a collaboration with British artisan perfume brand, Boadicea the Victorious, in Shanghai. The Society team selected four whiskies to pair with four perfumes, from light to intense, with selected guests getting the chance to appreciate the synergy of the aromas and flavours from the whiskies and perfume.