At The Scotch Malt Whisky Society we bottle some of the finest rare whisky in the world. Our award-winning single cask whisky is not sold to the public and instead offered exclusively to Society members through our online shop or over the phone.
Each Society bottling is unique and produced in a limited number, making each bottling incredibly rare. At the Society all our whisky comes from single casks. Each cask produces unique flavours, aromas and taste sensations. Joining the Society gives the adventurous whisky lover the chance to taste rare, one-of-a-kind whisky.
The Tasting Panel
Each of our single cask whiskies must pass the uncompromising nose test of our expert Tasting Panel – a group of independent whisky connoisseurs from all walks of life – before being deemed worthy of an iconic Society green bottle. The selection criteria are simple: quality and interest. The Tasting Panel meets weekly at one of the Society’s Edinburgh Members’ Rooms to judge a selection of samples, assessing the colour, nosing and tasting the whisky neat, then with a drop of water. The participants discuss each sample, decide whether it is of the required quality, and award it an overall score – but are under no obligation to pass any of the casks they have sampled. Casks that do not pass the test are rejected.
All our whiskies are undiluted, naturally colored and are not subjected to chill filtration or any other interference, so members can enjoy their dram as if it were straight from the cask. The net result is bottlings that often surprise, as well as delight, and which accurately reflect the remarkable variety in the craft of distillation, as well as the infinite complexities of wood, spirit and time, which can only be uncovered in a single cask bottling.
Understanding The Label
The bottles offered by the SMWS are unique from what you may find on the shelves of your local whisky shop. A number, rather than a name, denotes each distillery. This is because Society members want to discover and enjoy each whisky for their own flavour characteristics, not for where they come from.
A unique trait of the Society bottle is that it doesn’t mention the distillery the whisky is from. Due to the nature of single cask whisky, the region or distillery it comes from is often not the best indication of what it might taste like. The best way to enjoy the whisky is to focus on its flavour. For that reason the Society has developed 12 flavour profiles to help members navigate our monthly Outturn, and find a whisky best suited to them.