FLAVOUR FRIENDSHIP AND FUN
Mysterious codes, talk about Tasting Panels, monthly Outturns and an ever-changing selection of green bottles with a dash of colour on them – yes, there’s quite a lot to get your head around at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
I hope the fact that you’re reading this means you’ve already taken the plunge into our wonderful and curious world – or if you’re not a paid-up card-carrying member yet, you’re well on the way.
We’ve never cared much about who our members are, what you wear, where you come from or even how much you already know about whisky. As long as you’re ready to share the experience of incredible drams in good company, you’ll be warmly welcomed here in a diverse community of characters. That’s how we started out in 1983, after our founder Pip Hills and some pals in Edinburgh had stumbled upon the then-unknown delights of single cask, cask strength whisky. You can read about Pip’s epiphany in his own words in the following pages, but what really matters is the sense of sharing in that discovery all those decades ago, and the magic of that moment when the whisky’s aromas reach your nose, you savour it on your palate, and you simply go: wow!
Pip and his friends believed they had discovered whisky in its purest and tastiest form – with more character, more influence from the individual cask, and more variety with a constant stream of one-off bottlings. Their spirit of curiosity, imagination and a maverick determination to do things their own way are the building blocks of the Society – as much a part of our fabric as the ancient stone of our spiritual home at The Vaults in Leith.
For four decades now we’ve been spreading the word and sharing our whisky love around the world. Members come to us to share their passions as well as a dram. To discover new friends and infinite new flavours. To hear some great old stories, learn some new ones and find fresh ways to experience the joy of whisky.
I hope you find the information you need to begin your Society journey in the following pages, and some of our quirky practices make a bit more sense.
It’s a starting point, but once you step in you’ll find that it’s an endless journey, of discovery, flavour, friendship and fun. We like to keep the emphasis very much on the last part of that list – why be too serious when you have seriously good whisky?
I look forward to seeing you at one of our Members’ Rooms, partner bars or even for an online catch-up before too long – and if you have any questions I can help with, get in touch directly any time.
Enjoy the journey, and a very warm welcome to the SMWS. Cheers!
"A SPIRIT OF CURIOSITY, IMAGINATION AND
DETERMINATION TO DO THINGS THEIR OWN WAY ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE SOCIETY"