With the on-going and seemingly never-ending lockdown restrictions in place perhaps there is no better time to join The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) if you are partial to the odd wee dram. Membership opens up a whole new world of adventures for whisky-lovers, with unique whisky experiences that can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home, with annual membership starting from just £65.
The SMWS offers an ever-changing range of one-off whiskies, released each month, with membership giving you access to all of these as well as tickets to a calendar of exciting and informative events throughout the year.
Every single malt whisky is hand-picked for its exceptional quality and intriguing character and strictly limited to the contents of one cask.
With over 27,000 whisky members around the world, membership provides you with exclusive access to Members’ Rooms at The Vaults in Leith, Edinburgh as well as a Members’ Room at 28 Queen Street in Edinburgh city centre. The Society also has an exclusive Members’ Room at 19 Greville Street in London’s Farringdon as well as a new Members’ Room at 38 Bath Street in Glasgow. As a member, you will also receive a calendar of UK-wide virtual tasting events. For example, over the festive season, The Society has adapted to its members’ needs with an extended programme of at-home entertainment, including virtual tastings, masterclasses, live music, podcasts, video content and music playlists, all of which can be seen here on the events section of their website.
As part of your membership, you will also receive access to the multi award-winning monthly Outturns of around 20 new single cask whiskies plus a free subscription to digital magazine Unfiltered, the Society’s award-winning monthly digital members’ magazine. You can even tailor your membership to your individual requirements.
For example, the Happy Hamper: Society Hosting Kit costs an additional £90 a year and is the brand-new Society Tasting Kit, bringing you everything you’ll need to host a whisky tasting in the comfort of your own home, It includes two Society glasses, whisky journal, water jug and pipette, tasting mat and 3 x 10cl Society whiskies.
Flavour Fun: Bottle Of The Moment costs an additional £45 and adds your first 70cl bottle to your membership.
For an extra £25, you can Explore: Five-Dram Discovery Pack & Virtual Tasting, which is the perfect pack for self-exploration in the comfort of your own home. This is the perfect introduction to The SMWS, giving you the chance to take part in your first Society tasting online, where you’ll be guided through five 25ml drams by Society ambassador Bob Wenting.
And should you wish to read up about the Society’s origins then for an extra £25, you can add the Curl Up: The Founder’s Tale which makes for a great read by Society founder Pip Hills who looks how the Society has grown into the world’s leading whisky club from when it was established in Edinburgh back in 1983.
To join or find out more about The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, please visit https://smws.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society