Get ready to gather

The arrival of September can only mean one thing – it’s time for the Society’s annual Gathering, when we bring members together in the UK and around the world to share their passion for amazing whisky, firm friendships and all the good things in life. Wherever you are, there are plenty of opportunities to join the fun and capture the flavour of events


From the release of special bottlings, online events and in-person tastings, the SMWS Gathering is back with a bang this September after the events of the past couple of years.

The Gathering is a celebration of the Society’s spirit and what we were born out of almost 40 years ago – a chance to get together with existing friends, and meet up with others who have yet to become friends, over a shared passion for the very best whisky that you can find.

This year, we kick off proceedings with a double-whammy of events at our spiritual home at The Vaults in Leith. You can read more in our founder Pip Hills’s fascinating feature this month about the amazing history of the building and its fungus-filled wine cellars elsewhere in this issue of Unfiltered. But if you can make it, be sure to come along to where it all began at The Vaults on the evening of Friday, 2 September or during the day on Saturday, 3 September – or both – to kick-start the Gathering with tastings, masterclasses and a Courtyard barbecue.

Events continue throughout the month with the fabulous Gathering in Queen Street Gardens on Saturday, 10 September, when the Queen Street team will be offering an outstanding full day of whisky, food and entertainment in the exclusive Queen Street Gardens, open to us for one day only across the road from the Members’ Room in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.

In London, Simone and the team at 19 Greville Street are staging a variety of events throughout September, including an Indoor Garden Party, a Whisky and Tea Gathering and even a Disco Gathering. And look out for a very special evening in Glasgow where our Bath Street team take over the West Brewery at Glasgow Green on Saturday, 17 September.

You can download our full programme of events for details on timings and ticket prices here.

If you’re unable to attend an event in person, Unfiltered editor Richard Goslan will be hosting a special Gathering Virtual Pub session on the evening of Thursday, 1 September to kick-start the month – while our social media guru Mads Schmoll will be winding things up with a Gathering Drams virtual tasting on the last day of the month, Friday, 30 September. Settle down from the comfort of your own home to join in with both of those.

Internationally, our branches are all getting into the Gathering spirit as well – check your local website and social media channels for more on how to get involved and to meet up with members in your part of the world.

Wherever you are, we hope you can raise a glass for our annual Gathering and share a dram with us in real life or online!

Find out more about The Gathering 2022…