If it’s February we’re feeling somewhat obliged to talk about Valentine’s Day. Nowadays, here in the UK at least, there’s a whole industry geared up to making us feel guilty if we don’t book a fancy meal, pick up a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates.
You can probably guess where my feelings lie when it comes to being forced to act romantically on a specific day in the calendar. But we’re not total curmudgeons at Unfiltered. In fact, a sense of passion drives everything we do within The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and the wider whisky world, and we love to hear from members and industry insiders who are happy to share their own passion.
We were delighted to sit down recently with Scottish actor, Outlander star and Society member Sam Heughan to find out more about his love for the SMWS, why he’s been inspired to create his own whisky and what’s on his drinks horizon in 2023.
Mads Schmoll celebrates singledom instead of Valentine’s Day clichés with her devotion to what the Society is and has always been about – the single cask in all its unadulterated and unblended glory.
And we explore the life of the Scottish novelist Neil Gunn, who was writing with a fierce passion – and intimate knowledge – almost 100 years ago about ‘true’ Scotch whisky, distilled from pot stills and capturing a true sense of place.
Elsewhere we find out more about one of the Society’s most recent additions to our roster of distilleries, with a visit to Shelter Point on Vancouver Island in the company of Charlene Rooke. And it’s not only whisky that we share a passion for – in this issue of Unfiltered, bourbon gets a look-in thanks to the insights and expertise of Four Roses master distiller Brent Elliott.
I guess we had to get some roses in there somewhere. Happy February to our passionate members, whether Valentine’s Day means anything to you or not.