The Scotch Malt Whisky Society to Rescue

Olaf scrubs up rather nicely...

Lucas and I had been looking forward to this all month. We got an invitation to the SMWS to, as they put it:

‘sample some of the whiskies’ from the April outturn – the Society’s latest bottling list and discuss the delights of the dram in relaxed surroundings’

Now if there is anything we are capable of doing, I think it is enjoying  the SMWS’ new bottlings in relaxed surroundings. Throw in some great banter and some nice cheese, and you have yourselves a cracking evening, and that’s what we had. We invited a couple of friends along to let them enjoy the SMWS too. Why not?

I had never been to the Queen Street SMWS, I had only ever been to the one in Leith.  We all met in the middle of St Andrews square so that Lucas, who had been before, could act as a guide. He proved to be a useless one however, because last time he was there he had enjoyed himself so much that it was all a bit of a haze. After passing the Alcohol Awareness Offices on Queen Street, we finally found ourselves outside the opulent, business-like SMWS.

Our tasting was in a boardroom on the 4th floor with a beautiful view over the Forth and across to Fife. We were greeted by Olaf (our entertaining host, picture above), Stephanie and Jenny (they invited us, picture below). After introductions, we got down to the business.

Jenny and Stephanie were sporting new SMWS swimwear

Even though SMWS use numbers instead of the names of distilleries, we still like to work our old school style. We tried Rosebank 19 yo, Benrinnes 15 yo, Hazelburn 9 yo, Springbank 12 yo and an Ardbeg from the Blasda batch of spirit.

Now because I am such a hardworking blogger, I have decided to lay down the charge to Lucas to write up our opinions of these whiskies (coming up tomorrow). Delegation, it feels sooo good.


Information about the SMWS:

As a member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society you can discover the very best single cask, single malt whisky available to mankind anywhere in the universe.

Only ever from a single cask, from a range of over 120 whisky distilleries, every Society bottling is exceptional. Capturing rarity and perfection in the glass, the Society’s malt whisky attracts the curious and discerning.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Gift Membership is ideal for last minute gift buying – With instant membership we’ll send you an email with a link to download a temporary Society Membership card. You can either print this out or send the web link with your own message.

Your Society Membership gift starts with our curiously layered Membership box, with its four carefully selected 10cl single cask, single malt whiskies, plus other Society goodies. These will give a taste not only of the Society as a whole, but the delectable single cask single malts we offer.

The Membership box also protects the beautifully unassuming Society Membership card. From access to an unparalleled selection of single cask single malt whiskies, on which we’re the leading authority, to UK-wide whisky tasting events and entry to our Members’ Rooms, this little card unlocks the very best the Society has to offer.

Come on in, the whisky’s lovely

The Society Gift Membership pack contains:

  • 4x10cl Society regional selection of single cask, single malt whiskies
  • Society Members’ Handbook and Notebook
  • Society Membership Card and Lapel Badge

Within a week or so, once the person you’ve gifted membership to has had the chance to discover (and enjoy) the contents of your Society Membership pack, we’ll be back in touch with more information on how they can make the most of their membership.


Membership costs roughly £100 a year and allows you access to their 2 bars in Edinburgh,1 bar in London, exclusive bottlings and much more. For details visit their website.

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