YOU BELONG HERE
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s origins are unconventional, founded by ‘Maverick-in-Chief’ Pip Hills out of a sense of adventure, an endless discovery of whisky, friendship and fun. We started out in 1983 with a few friends in Edinburgh sharing single cask whisky and experiencing a flavour epiphany. Now we are a worldwide whisky club with around 40,000 members who treasure flavour and the joy of shared experiences with whisky in its purest form – once sampled, never forgotten. Come on in and join us on a journey of endless discovery
WORDS: RICHARD GOSLAN
Since we started out, we’ve always believed in doing things differently. As unconventional whisky experts we seek out whisky in its purest form, prize flavour above everything else and give each bottling a curious name.
FOLLOWING OUR OWN PATH
We discovered the delights of whisky drawn straight from the cask – undiluted and unadulterated – when it was considered too quirky and challenging. Overlooked and unappreciated, it had been left to languish in warehouses across the country, unknown to the wider public.
ABOVE: a sensory tasting event in Paris
We shared our discovery when industry experts said there was no demand for it.
In Pip’s own words: “The people who said it couldn’t be done were so dull!” He and his pals ignored industry warnings about the certain failure of their venture, watched word of mouth spread, unearthed even more treasures, and then opened a club to unite people with a passion for flavour, for variety and for fun.
A NEVER-ENDING FLAVOUR JOURNEY
You’re cooried in to the fireplace with the one you love on a chilly winter’s night. You’re surrounded by the sweet aroma of gorse bushes on a springtime stroll. You’re toasting a marshmallow over the embers of a mid-summer campfire at the beach. You’re walking through a pine forest after an autumnal rain shower, with the smell of petrichor in the air.
ABOVE: a Society anniversary event in Edinburgh
At the Society we love to explore flavours and share our discoveries throughout the year, with a new Outturn for members every month of whiskies hand-picked by our expert Tasting Panel.
Our members enjoy exclusive access to whiskies from more than 150 distilleries in Scotland and beyond. We (usually) bottle them at cask strength and offer a constant variety. How you drink them is entirely up to you. And you never quite know what might be coming next
A PASSION SHARED
We don’t just bring you amazing whisky – we bring our members together to share their passion at our Members’ Rooms, tasting events, festivals and our network of partner bars around the world.
Ever tried whisky with a beer chaser, with an unusual food pairing, the perfect hot toddy, cocktail or a custom cask-matured dram?
We’re constantly serving up not only stunning whisky, but also intriguing ways to enjoy the experience, where you can both learn more about our latest bottlings and share the love with your fellow members.
That makes the SMWS the perfect place to start out on your whisky journey, or take it to the next level.
ABOVE: sharing a dram in our Glasgow Members’ Room