We’re taking it back to the origins of the Society this month with a special 40th anniversary bottling, Distillery No.1, complete with our founder’s signature on a bottle label with a difference
BOTTLE PHOTO: PETER SANDGROUND
The Society is releasing the perfect dram to accompany the updated issue of Pip Hills’ new book Maverick – The Founder’s Tale. The new bottling harks back to Pip’s whisky epiphany in which he describes how a dram poured from a farmer’s lemonade bottle in rural Aberdeenshire in the late 1970s changed everything.
Stan Barnett would visit Pip’s friends at their neighbouring farm with a bottle filled from his own sherried quarter cask of Glenfarclas whisky – undiluted, un-chill filtered and uncoloured. It was the finest whisky Pip had ever tasted, and inspired him to seek out his own cask for friends back in Edinburgh. One thing led to another…and here we are 40 years later, with almost 40,000 members around the world sharing their passion for whisky in its purest and tastiest form.
Our Distillery No.1 bottling was inspired by that very first dram, from the same Speyside distillery that the Society first went on to bottle our own whisky from in 1983.
“We not only bottled this from the same distillery, it’s had a similar maturation in a Spanish oak ex-oloroso sherry cask,” says SMWS head of whisky creation, Euan Campbell. “We’ve also had a bit of fun with the design of the label, which is meant to look very homemade and with Pip’s signature at the bottom – a nice throwback to the days of the lemonade bottle of whisky being shared around the farmhouse table.”
The true test is to share a dram of Distillery No.1 with Pip himself, who says: “That’s good stuff – it doesn’t get better than that. I can remember, long ago, being asked to describe our Society whisky and I said, ‘It’s simply the best distilled liquor in the known universe’. And while this was a large claim, it’s a justified one.”
We hope you all agree, and can raise a glass of Distillery No.1 in appreciation of what Pip started, how far we’ve come – and the best distilled liquor in the known universe.
Check with your local SMWS branch to find out about getting hold of a bottle of Distillery No.1 in your part of the world