Society named ‘Best in Show’ and all seven whiskies entered win double gold medals in the prestigious 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is celebrating after being named “Best in Show” at the 17th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC). The Society also won an unprecedented seven double-gold medals out of our seven total whiskies submitted.

Cask No. 29.224: We arrived!, an 18-year-old bottling from Islay, was the undoubted star of the show.

It picked up a double gold medal, awards for Best Scotch, Best Single Malt Whisky, Best Independent Merchant Single Malt, and beat approximately 1000 whiskies entered into the competition to take the overall Best in Show title.

The third release from the Society’s Vaults Collection, Cask No. 29.234: Smoked and salted toffee apples, also won a double gold medal, following up on its award of 95 points in the recent Ultimate Spirits Challenge competition.

The 27-year-old Islay was described by SMWS ambassador Hans Offringa as “like a love letter to Islay in liquid form, its gentle smokiness leaving me staring dreamily into the dying embers of a beach bonfire”.

Exotic Cargo, the Society’s first ever blended malt whisky which we put out for members’ approval last year, also came up trumps with the SFWSC judging panel, picking up double gold for Best Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.

Our “sherry-soaked cruise into paradise” was recently followed up with the Society’s second batch of blended malt whisky, Exotic Cargo 2.


The Society’s other double gold-winning bottlings were:

Cask No. 10.119: The chimney in a beehive

Cask No. 30.97: Dancing on a volcano

Cask No. 4.229: Volcanic jam

Cask No. 7.187: Silky, sexy and indulgent

Euan Campbell, spirits manager at the SMWS said: “2018 celebrates our 35th anniversary and we’re delighted to mark this with such a brilliant array of awards. They’re great recognition for the innovative approach we take at the Society. Our portfolio of malts, from 134 distilleries, is a unique concept and to be rewarded and recognised on this international stage is testament to the quality of our whisky collections.”

“From new distillery partners to new chapters around the world, the Society keeps an exciting pace in the world of whisky,” said Amanda Victoria from the Society’s US branch. “Being named best whisky in the world at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is a recognition that will reinforce our club’s international leadership and bring the Society’s authoritative reputation in the world of whisky into the homes of even more whisky-lovers around the globe.”

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the world’s foremost spirits competitions, this year attracting over 2,500 submissions from producers around the world. Since its introduction in 2000, the SFWSC has become one of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world, with a medal award recognised as an indicator of exceptional quality and craftsmanship.