Mads Schmoll

SMWS social media guru

First whisky memory

Being at my grandparents for Christmas in Virginia and my granddad drinking Dewar’s over ice. It’s the sound of the ice clinking in the rocks glass, the colour of the liquid glinting in the glow of the tree and the smell of woodsmoke from the fire in their living room.

Favourite whisky-drinking music

Depends on the moment and the mood, but most likely an eclectic mix of big band interspersed with a bit of older soul and funk when entertaining. Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and New Order are staples for solo dramming. I love pulling together our SMWS playlists from time to time and Coorie in with the SMWS and A very merry little SMWS Christmas are both pretty good encapsulations of my taste in music.

Best box set

Six Feet Under. I studied film and TV at university having already seen the series, and then was blown away learning about its impact on contemporary television. It’s not an easy watch, but it’s packed with incredible storytelling that captures the nuances of life in the early 2000s while also exploring life, death and grief in a way that hadn’t been done before.

Fantasy whisky tasting companions

I reckon former Laphroaig owner Bessie Williamson would have some great stories.

Most used emoji Catch me when I’m at work as SMWS Mads and it’s 🥃. In real life, it’s 😂 for all the memes, TikToks and cat videos that get shared about.

Most memorable dram

The day I found out I got the job at the SMWS was on American Thanksgiving. My dad was over and I was cooking turkey and all the trimmings when I got the call. The next day, after I’d come down to earth a bit, I handed in my notice and we popped out to the Pot Still and enjoyed a dram of Cask No. 88.16: Deliciously decadent dessert. That moment felt like the start of something big!

Guilty pleasure

Ketchup! I was the world’s fussiest eater when I was younger and it was the only way I would eat most things. I’ve moved on to more adventurous foods (thankfully) so it’s a firm favourite for the usual suspects, but sometimes for old times’ sake, I still eat it over buttered pasta.

Dream destination

After reading a travel feature about Cognac, I’m desperate to take a trip there and take my time trying both the food and drink. I drank cognac before I drank whisky, so I’m curious to come back to it with a bit more knowledge.

Strangest food

Although I now consider Glasgow home, I still can’t quite get behind the idea of a pizza crunch (battered and deep-fried pizza).

Favourite bar I have a special spot in my heart for the Auld Alliance in Paris, a proper Scottish pub which happens to be just around the corner from where my dad lives. We usually go for a pint, and I remember standing there all dressed up drinking pints after his wedding. Closer to home, I’ve always loved the Pot Still in Glasgow. It feels quite magical to tuck yourself away in a booth in the corner and catch up on life with a dram in hand – usually with friends who I haven’t seen in a while (or who don’t live in Glasgow).

If you were a flavour profile, what would you be, and why?

Some variation of Peated. I find the smell of woodsmoke particularly soothing as it’s linked to quite a few memories. It’s living above a teashop and constantly smelling Lapsang Souchong, the smell of woodsmoke while pumpkin picking as the weather turns colder and more recently, my first trip to Islay with the Society in 2019.