It’s official! I am excited to announce that after long last, I am officially a member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. In my last post, I offered my review of the Society’s upcoming release: 7.148 “Wicked Viscosity”. Unsurprisingly, the whisky was epic and shortly after posting it on Instagram, my inbox was flooded with questions from many of you regarding the Society and how one can go about acquiring the bottle. Having just joined the Society myself, I thought I’d take a moment to address some of your questions here and perhaps share a bit on why I am excited to finally be a member.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international members’ club founded in 1983 that brings together whisky enthusiasts from all over the world. Simply put, if you like whisky, particularly single malt whisky, the Society is a great way to meet others who share a similar passion. They have 3 private club venues in the UK and a network of partner bars scattered around the globe that serve as a communal gathering place for its 25,000 members. Throughout this exploratory journey into the world of single malt whisky, nothing has compared to the experience I’ve had meeting so many of you. It is the sharing my love for whisky that I’ve found most enjoyable, far more so than tasting it. That is the reason I write about whisky on Instagram (spoiler alert: and my upcoming blog) and that is the reason I could not be more excited for what the Society has to offer.
But beyond the communal aspect of the Society is of course, the whisky itself. Members have an exclusive opportunity to purchase bottles from the Society’s monthly outturn of single cask single malt whisky. This whisky is bottled from over 130 different distilleries in Scotland and beyond and represents some of the very best in the world.
I briefly touched upon this in my review but for those of you who are not familiar with single cask whisky, it is, well, what you would expect: single malt whisky that is pulled from a single cask and not blended with any other before being bottled. When it comes to maturing whisky, no two casks are ever alike. Even if the casks are made from the same type of wood, hold the same type of spirit for the same number of years, the final output will always be different. On average, single casks will yield enough liquid to fill just 200-250 bottles so for those of you who enjoy trying rare or unique whisky, well, this is it!
Far more important than rarity and uniqueness is the overall quality of the whisky. Before acquiring their casks for bottling, the Society places each through rigorous approval process. This process is lead by a ‘Tasting Panel’ consisting largely of distilling industry experts. They are highly selective with their cask selection, ensuring that each bottle represents the Society’s quest of finding the best of the best. All of their whisky is bottled at natural cask strength and can range in age from less than 10 years to oftentimes more than 30. It’s all naturally colored and non-chillfiltered. Simply put: it’s real whisky.
So for those of you who share my enthusiasm for the opportunity to join a diverse community of whisky enthusiasts while acquiring epic whisky at reasonable prices, let’s do this! I’ll be reviewing more of the Society bottlings as they are released and it would be fun to discuss them together.