Scotch Malt Whisky Society members from near and far came together at The Vaults last week for our first ever Gathering event – a true demonstration of how a passion for whisky in its purest form can unite people across the world

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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Gathering at The Vaults took place over the week of September 2-8, with a packed programme of tastings, events, tours and all-round fun times, inspired by our spiritual home in Leith where the Society was founded in 1983.

The Gathering kicked off with a Leith-inspired whisky and food pairing, featuring the fantastic Kilted Donuts at The Vaults.

Among the Society’s guests from further afield were Michele Meador and her husband Randy, from Atlanta in the US. Michele won the Society’s competition to travel to the Gathering.

Members took the opportunity to explore Leith’s whisky history with local expert and Society member Justine Hazlehurst.

Where it all began…in the Society’s case, in 1983, but The Vaults has been around a lot longer than that.

Leith’s Biscuit Factory hosted our screening of Trainspotting, along with a whisky tasting.

Society founder Pip Hills returned to The Vaults, meeting the team here with the bottle that started it all off, Cask No. 1.1.

Pip’s car – a 1937 Lagonda – also plays a key role in the Society story, and the current owner was kind enough to pay us a visit to show off his pride and joy.

Members got into the spirit with the First Friday Members’ Gathering in the courtyard at The Vaults.

Our bottling of Cask No. 33.137: Campfire marshmallows on singed sticks was a star of the show, available to members by the dram only both in Leith and elsewhere to celebrate The Gathering.

If you couldn’t make it to The Vaults in person, you could be there virtually with a special online tasting, hosted by SMWS master brand ambassador John McCheyne and legend of The Vaults Members’ Room, Dean Marinello.

What do you say we do it all again next year? Cheers to that….