A whisky home from home

The pandemic has forced all of us to spend more time at home, but some SMWS members are fortunate enough to have their very own whisky den to keep comfortable, socialise when permitted, or tune in to virtual tastings and our online pub sessions. Looking for some inspiration? Here’s a selection of what our members sent in from around the world

Szabolcs Jozsa

in Hungary finished his den two years ago, before he was an SMWS member. Now his Society bottles take pride of place, and he gets together here with friends for whisky and a cigar every two to three weeks.

Fiona Kemp

and her partner Mike Jubber in Dunfermline ordered a BBQ hut last year and set about transforming it into their very own ‘Whisky Bothy’, complete with whisky memorabilia sourced from antique shops and shelving made by Mike from old barrel staves. The still-shaped bookend was modelled on the shape of the Laphroaig stills. Last year the Bothy was a place of escape for a few drams, and now Fiona and Mike are delighted to be able to welcome friends in for a cosy dram.

James Stubbs

near Portsmouth has converted his internal garage into a ‘Modern Whisky Bothy’ that combines his passion for the SMWS with a comfortable space for gaming. The wall-mounted TV also comes in handy for the Society’s virtual tastings, while a poster with our history and flavour profiles provides quick reference while James and his friends are enjoying a dram. James’s gaming partner and fellow SMWS member Blair Paine might not be spending quite as much time in the Whisky Bothy, as he and his partner Laura Cook recently welcomed a baby daughter. Congratulations!

Jen Taylor

and her boyfriend Graeme Douglas in North Yorkshire now have almost 700 bottles of whisky in their collection, with around 250 of them from the SMWS. They had the shelves specially reinforced to make sure they can cope safely with the precious cargo sitting on them.

Tony Collins

in Aberlady built ‘The Roundhouse’ in December 2017, but it really came into its own during the restrictions of the past year and a half. Tony was able to host various ‘multimedia’ whisky and cigar events in line with changing indoor and outdoor restrictions, and through lockdown ‘The Roundhouse’ became the focal point for six whisky-loving pals, including fellow SMWS members Jason Aird and Ben Walker.

Dr Ann Bingham

Sometimes all you need is your own part of the room, says Dr Ann Bingham in Southampton. That’s where she keeps her treasured collection of SMWS bottlings to hand:

“It’s just a little corner of the room but it’s very cosy,” she says.

Jesse Corbeil

Your own whisky-drinking space can come in all shapes and sizes – and for Jesse Corbeil in Montreal, Canada, it’s simply a barrel that he rolls out into his backyard to use as an outdoor whisky table for get-togethers, or when he’s reviewing whiskies for his YouTube channel, Dribs & Drams. “The barrel is a little cramped for slinging cocktails, but it's just right for whisky enjoyment,” he says.

“I stuck a flush-mount light to the top to add a little onscreen drama. If the weather’s too rough, I use it in my workshop.”

Morten Ebbesen

We already featured our member Morten Ebbesen in Denmark in July this year, but wanted to give him another shout-out for his level of dedication in designing and painting the 12 colours of the Society’s flavour profiles on a wheel in his ‘whisky den’ at home south of Copenhagen. “It’s a bit of fun and also allows me to keep things fresh by changing the bottles that I have on the shelves for each of the flavour profiles,” he says.