Whether it’s by chatting with one of the Society’s knowledgeable bar ambassadors, joining fellow members at a colourful and enlightening tasting event, visiting a partner bar or immersing yourself in the pages of Unfiltered and our online features, we can help you broaden your understanding of whisky – and along with that, your appreciation of what’s in your glass.
Here are our top 10 tips to take your whisky knowledge to the next level in 2019.
Visit a distillery
There’s nothing quite like making a visit to a distillery to increase your whisky knowledge, and build a connection not only with that place but with the part of the world it’s situated in – and the people who produce the spirit.
There’s never been more choice about what distillery to visit, or more opportunities to get up close to the distilling process, from the intimate such as Isle of Raasay to the massive new Macallan distillery.
Let the distillery visit you
The Vaults holds regular distillery visits on Monday evenings, where members can learn more about a distillery from a visiting ambassador, sample their own bottlings and compare and contrast them with single cask Society drams.
Learn how to distil
From Springbank’s week-long immersion in every aspect of distilling to Ballindalloch’s one-day ‘Art of Whisky Making’, more distilleries are offering hands-on whisky-making experiences. A couple of lucky SMWS members who won a prize to take the Ballindalloch course can testify about how much they learned and enjoyed it.
Visit a whisky festival
It could be joining the full-on experience with the Society in May at Feis Ile on Islay, the Spirit of Speyside, Campbeltown or one of the hundreds of other festivals taking place across Scotland and the world throughout the year – grab your chance to sample a huge variety of drams and meet kindred spirits along the way.
Delve into our partner bars
Sampling a well-chosen flight of whiskies, presented by an expert Society ambassador and shared with a group of fellow enthusiasts is the ideal way to compare, contrast, learn – and have a bit of fun at the same time.
Go back to school
Organise a home tasting
Whether it’s one of Society Tasting Panel chair Charlie MacLean’s, Unfiltered columnist Ian Buxton’s or whisky bard Robin Laing’s collection of poetry, you can always settle down with a book and a bottle for some home-based education and entertainment.